Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with a major in mathematics?
What are the differences among the majors in the department?
What if I want to teach mathematics?
Who are the professors?
What resources do you offer?
What internship opportunities will I have?
What other activities or organizations enhance your department?
What opportunities are there for me to get to know the other students in my major?
Can I take elective courses or complete a minor in another area?
Mathematics and computer science provide an excellent foundation for a variety of work and ministry opportunities. Our department's traditional strengths have been providing very successful teachers at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels, but new opportunities are unfolding in a variety of exciting areas. A math major from Asbury University can go to any region of the country (and in many parts of the world) and place into excellent positions. The demand for excellent teachers and researchers at the post-secondary level is also very high.
The mathematics major prepares you for graduate study in mathematics, mathematical physics or a mathematics-related area that relies heavily upon theoretical mathematics. If your career goal is to teach at a college or university or to become a member of a research team in government or industry, for example, you may want to consider this major.
The computational mathematics major equips you to enter the workplace directly. For example, you could enter the field of statistics, management science, operations research, actuarial science or biometrics. However, you may want to consider combining this major with a minor in one of the sciences, business, economics, or media communications. Graduates with these combinations are very attractive to employers.
The financial mathematics major gives you the technical skills to perform financial and economic analyses. Professional opportunities for actuaries are always near the top of the employment projections. The continued spread of free-market economies increases the potential for these graduates to have an international impact.
If you wish to teach secondary or middle school, you should choose the mathematics grades 8-12 major. The math department works closely with the education department to design a program that follows the recommendations of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Mathematical Association of America.
Asbury University professors are well-prepared and seasoned scholars, earning their degrees from institutions like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, Southern Methodist University, Northwestern University and Florida State University.
Beyond their professional duties, these men and women make a personal commitment to their students. They are available for you—in and out of the classroom. At Asbury University, it isn't unusual to see your professors leading a hall prayer meeting or inviting you over for a get-together. In fact, at the end of your senior year, the math and computer science department will take you out to dinner to congratulate you on a job well done.
A network of IBM PC-compatible machines supports the math and computer science program. Students also have access to a Macintosh Power PC lab and a Linux lab. Recently, the department constructed a 10-node Beowulf computer cluster. This "supercomputer" enables students to learn the fundamentals of parallel computing.
Mathematics Grades 8-12 majors are required to participate in practica and student teaching in local schools. While not mandatory, we highly encourage our other majors to seek an internship experience as well. Many of our students have been involved in internships around the nation and overseas. Asbury University students have worked with recent alumni to build a solid reputation for the university at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Many students are active in the Sigma Zeta math/science honor society and, for education majors, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Faculty members participate in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), among other organizations. Faculty in our department research collaboratively with colleagues in the chemistry and physics department and the education department.
The best opportunity to get to know other math students is the monthly Math/CS "First Friday" socials. As the name indicates, we meet in a faculty home the first Friday of each month to eat, hang out, watch movies and play games. We find these times very relaxing and a great way to develop friendships among students and faculty.
A highlight of our year is the annual Math Modeling Contest. We compete against hundreds of schools internationally to solve real-world problems presented by field experts. Teams of three students work most of the weekend of the competition, and everyone has a good time. Some teams even spend the night in the science building!
Besides the First Friday socials and math competition, you will be invited to participate in Sigma Zeta, otherwise known as the "science club" on campus. Sponsoring meetings, parties and opportunities for you to discuss science and math with others who enjoy your field of study, the Sigma Zeta club provides dozens of out-of-the-classroom opportunities.
With the exception of mathematics grades 8-12, all of our programs give you an opportunity to take elective courses. We encourage you to consider a minor course of study in an application area like physics, chemistry, economics, business or media communications.