Many people believe that doing mathematics is synonymous with performing calculations. However, mathematics is much richer and deeper than that assessment. Indeed, mathematics can be viewed as the study of quantity, space, structure, and change built on a foundation of logic and abstraction. It is one of humanity’s oldest academic pursuits dating back to at least the 6th century B.C.
As a discipline in its own right, mathematics is a world of deep ideas, useful techniques, and surprising discoveries. Outside of that, mathematics provides tools and critical thinking skills that are vital to many other disciplines. For a student with an interest in mathematics and some other discipline, there is typically an academic and career path that brings together both interests. Consequently, mathematics is an ideal discipline for an additional major or minor as employers in a diverse range of fields highly value mathematical skill and training.
Objectives & Goals
Our goal is to provide a supportive yet challenging academic experience where students are encouraged to develop into well rounded mathematical thinkers. We do this through a rigorous program of study as part of a strong liberal arts education. We get to know our students and help guide them not only through our program, but through decisions about where to go from here, whether it be graduate school or a wide variety of career opportunities. Our graduates leave with the ability to think critically and logically and to successfully navigate the entirety of mathematical problem solving, a process which includes formulating a problem, solving it correctly, and then properly interpreting the results in order to draw valid conclusions. Students are also equipped to communicate the process and results in written and oral forms.
Is This Program for Me?
Students that major in mathematics tend to be detail-oriented and diligent. Many enjoy trying to solve puzzles and use logical approaches to challenges. Creativity is also a useful trait particularly for upper-level courses.
What Makes Us Different?
The faculty of the department value a casual atmosphere which encourages community among faculty and students. The small class sizes ensure individual attention. Opportunities for undergraduate research with one of our faculty are typically available for interested students. The department has also had students accepted into competitive summer research programs at other universities.
The problem-solving skills and logical thinking taught in a mathematics major are highly valued by employers in a very broad range of industries. As many people are averse to mathematics, having a degree in mathematics can set a job candidate apart from the crowd of other applicants.
Career OpportunitiesA mathematics degree at Samford prepares graduates for a wide variety of careers and further academic work. Graduates interested in further education can go on to earn an MS or PhD in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics, or similar fields. While a number of careers such as an actuary or a secondary mathematics teacher can directly follow from a mathematics degree, many uses of mathematics in the workforce combine mathematics with another field. This allows a graduate to use mathematics in another field of interest. A sample of careers that heavily use mathematics:
- Software Engineer
- Data Analyst
For students interested in law school, it is of note that students that major in mathematics on average perform very well on the LSAT.