Mathematics Department FAQs – Asbury University
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Mathematics Department FAQs

▾ What can I do with a major in mathematics?

Mathematics provides 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.  Also many opportunities are continually unfolding in a variety of exciting interdisciplinary 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 is great for excellent teachers and researchers in the field of mathematics.

▾ What are the differences among the majors offered by the department?

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 communication. 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.

▾ What if I want to teach mathematics?

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.

▾ Who are the professors?

Asbury University Mathematics 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, University of Kentucky, 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 is not unusual to see your professors leading a hall prayer meeting or inviting you to their home for a get-together.

▾ What resources do you offer?

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.

▾ What internship opportunities will I have?

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.

▾ What other activities or organizations enhance your department?

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.

▾ What opportunities are there for me to get to know the other students in my major?

The best opportunity to get to know other math students is the monthly Math "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.  Some teams even spend the night in the math/science building!

Besides the First Friday socials and math competition, you will be invited to participate in Sigma Zeta. Sponsoring meeting and parties for you to discuss science and math with others who enjoy your field of study, the Sigma Zeta club provides many out-of-the-classroom opportunities.

▾ Can I take elective courses or complete a minor in another area?

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 communication.