|The Pi Mu Epsilon Honor Students for 2012 are, from left, front row, Amanda Miller and Stephanie Adamkiewicz; and back row, Dan Hearne, Brian Green and Ben Studer. (Not pictured: Samantha Tyner). Pi Mu Epsilon promotes scholarly activity in mathematics among students.|
Augustana College offers a major and minor in mathematics, as well as a major for teaching mathematics. The six full-time faculty all hold the PhD, and the chair of the department holds the endowed Earl H. Beling Chair in Mathematics.
Through the Beling Scholar program, students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a math professor on topical independent study projects of their choice.
Student coursework is personalized and based on individual progress in math. Classes begin with solving well-formulated problems, then work toward building a collection of examples and techniques and then advance to problems, models, structures and abstractions. A two-course probability and statistics sequence covers all material found on the first actuarial exam.
Augustana’s liberal arts curriculum provides a well-rounded education, developing students’ analytical reasoning and written and oral communication skills. Students majoring in math often choose to enhance their major with a second major in a related field such as computer science, chemistry or physics, or even a field such as music.
Outside the classroom
Students can take advantage of competitive, funded opportunities to work with a professor on mathematical research during the summer. Recently, an Augustana math and biochemistry major won national recognition from the Council on Undergraduate Research for her work.
Each year, math students join faculty traveling to professional meetings, including the Illinois section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and MathFest, the annual summer meeting of MAA.
Augustana has had a thriving chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, since 1979. The college also has a mathematics and computer science club, which encourages discussion among students and faculty and brings in outside speakers. In all, the college offers more than 150 various extracurricular organizations and student interest clubs.
Augustana graduates in math pursue a variety of careers including statistics, operations research, actuarial, physical, biological, social and management sciences, and teaching.
Secondary education majors complete their Augustana education in four years, and 100 percent find high school teaching jobs after graduating.
Augustana’s math graduates enroll in prestigious graduate programs such as the University of Illinois, University of Oregon, University of Iowa and Notre Dame.
What students say
Annie Chang ’10, mathematics major
“Studying math at Augustana is truly an enjoyment and a rewarding experience. What I like the most about the math department are the professors. I really appreciate their efforts in making the material interesting for the students in the classroom. Whenever I go in for help, they are always very patient and helpful in explaining the material. The professors here are caring of students as individuals, and you can talk to them about anything. They have also inspired and challenged me to explore the intricate world of math, and I find my interest in math growing with every class.”
David Macfadden ’10, mathematics major
“When I came to Augustana I didn’t have much direction in terms of what I wanted to study. I enrolled in courses spanning all areas of study but quickly knew the math program was where I wanted to be. Although challenging, a math degree provides analytical problem-solving skills that can be obtained through few other majors. Fortunately, the faculty is there to help you along each step of the way. The professors are not only highly intelligent and great teachers, but also truly care about the academic and personal development of each student.”
Kara Larsen ’09, mathematics and education major
“When I arrived at Augustana I knew exactly what I wanted to major in. I have always enjoyed math and was hoping to one day teach what I have learned in my education career. The faculty in Augustana’s math department has reassured me that my major was a perfect fit for me. They have motivated me through all of my classes. Even though I have had to work hard, I have learned so much more than I had expected….”