By creating a mathematical biography and a mathematical family tree, students of Truman Koehler Professor in Mathematics Linda McGuire have an opportunity to reflect upon their mentors and personal experiences with the discipline.
Mathematics is a dynamic subject that helps us understand and explain the world around us. The mathematics major at Muhlenberg combines theoretical and applied approaches to learning and teaches students to draw connections between mathematics and other fields of study. As a mathematics major, you will find small classes and have the opportunity to work closely with engaging faculty who are focused on your success. Distinguished scholars in their own right, professors in the major offer diverse backgrounds in areas of theoretical and applied mathematics, statistics and analytics. They serve as both teachers and mentors, helping students explore their interests in mathematics and potential career paths.
Math offers courses that are part of the College’s Integrative Learning Requirement, helping to explore topics like psychology, business and public health from a mathematics perspective. In the junior and senior year, students can choose from a range of special topics—courses like Number Theory, Matrix Revisited (computational linear algebra), Auction Theory and Sabermetrics—that are popular among majors. The department includes a rigorous major in mathematics as well as minors in mathematics, analytics and statistics.
Opportunities with Impact
The opportunity to put theoretical and applied learning into action is an integral part of the Muhlenberg experience and vital to student success after graduation. Students are encouraged to take advantage of a number of research opportunities available at the College. Students may obtain a grant for independent research as part of Muhlenberg’s Summer Research program. These grants allow students to pursue research of interest, developed independently or in partnership with faculty research advisors while living on campus. All students complete a CUE (Culminating Undergraduate Experience), which lets students bring together all of the experience, knowledge and skills they have attained. Math majors may work independently or in teams of two to develop and carry out an approved research project. Faculty also include students as research assistants for their scholarly work. Majors often present their research at both national and regional Mathematical Association of America (MAA) conferences.
Muhlenberg math majors have been accepted into highly competitive REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The REU mathematics program features 48 college, university and organization sites around the country where groups of about 10 students work on research projects based at their host institution. Accepted students receive stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel.
Working through the Career Center, majors will find internship opportunities across a variety of industries. Each year the Career Center provides more than 4,000 internships options for students in all majors in addition to job shadows and externships. Students also serve as Learning Assistants and workshop leaders, helping their peers understand and excel in mathematics and statistics courses. Math majors compete in math competitions, including MAA-sponsored events.