# About the Major

# The Mathematics Major

The mathematics major is academically rigorous and students learn to think about the source, implications, and purpose of mathematical knowledge in the context of a holistic Christian worldview. Students receive rigorous mathematical training in a manner integrated with their Christian faith and are thoroughly prepared for graduate work in mathematics or employment in industry or government.

Mathematics is about making rigorous connections between beautiful patterns. These patterns may be very abstract structures or they may be more direct models of the physical world. Amazingly, the most theoretical of mathematical subjects may have powerful applications, and often applications inspire interesting mathematical ideas.

# Core Subjects

Mathematics majors study core subjects such as, calculus and differential equations, logic and methods of proof, and linear algebra as well as higher-level math courses, including both theoretical and applied electives, such as abstract algebra, real variables, numerical analysis, dynamical systems, topology, number theory, and operations research. The department also requires students to learn LaTeX (a mathematical document typesetting programming language), computational software such as Maple, and the programming language C++, all skills that ensure that students are well prepared for future mathematical work or research.

All freshmen students mathematics majors are enrolled in the introductory course Beautiful Math Structures and Thinking constructed just for them. This course is a ``pre-professional’’ introduction to mathematics that builds community among incoming math majors and offers an exciting introduction to many modern mathematical ideas not seen in calculus class, such as propositional and predicate logic, number theory, infinities, public-key encryption, philosophy of mathematics, fractals, and chaos.

# Off Campus Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to attend undergraduate math conferences at nearby universities, to participate in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition, and to just have fun at informal ”Math Nights’’ for mathematically minded students, professors, and friends.

# Preparation

In order to prepare for the math major, students should take a strong foundation in algebra and trigonometry in high school. Taking a calculus class at high school is helpful but not essential. A great way to prepare for the math major is to stimulate your interest in mathematical thinking with math puzzles, competitions, or participation in a math club.