Mathematics is a grand creation of the human mind, and it has a long and rich history. Mathematics is “the language of science,” but in this quantitative world it has becoming increasingly important in the social sciences and the humanities too. Whether a student is planning to be a mathematics major; or is interested in traditionally quantitative subjects such as physics, chemistry, computer science and economics; or wants to be at the forefront in biology, environmental science, business or political science; or just wants to understand the numerical and logical arguments in the newspaper, it is important that she or he has a solid understanding of mathematics and statistics. With a broad selection of courses, faculty members who are dynamic teachers and accomplished scholars, exciting research opportunities and small class sizes, Dickinson is a great place to build and enhance this mathematical foundation.
The mathematics major at Dickinson College provides a balance between theoretical mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics. The department offers a wide variety of core courses and a rich collection of topics courses. Recent mathematics electives have been in the areas of mathematical biology, dynamical systems, knot theory, coding theory, graph theory, the history of mathematics and number theory.
It is common for Dickinson mathematics majors to study abroad, most often in Norwich, England, or Queensland, Australia.
Students who wish to take their first mathematics class at Dickinson or wish to receive credit for a mathematics course taken elsewhere should visit the placement and transfer credits page or the advising guide.
Many mathematics majors have exciting research experiences while at Dickinson—as independent studies with professors, through yearlong senior research programs in pursuit of departmental honors, as paid research assistants or in summer research experiences (at Dickinson and elsewhere). Students have published articles in peer-reviewed research journals and have presented their work at regional and national conferences. Recently students have conducted research in diverse areas such as graph theory, combinatorics, operations research, statistics, mathematical biology, algebra, dynamical systems, complex dynamics, knot theory, topology and the history of mathematics.
Careers and Graduate School
Dickinson’s mathematics majors graduate ready to excel at the jobs of today and to create the careers of tomorrow. Many enter the job market immediately to work as consultants, as teachers, in finance, as actuaries and in government. Some students pursue further education; they have gone on to study at top graduate programs in mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics, other scientific fields, and economics, and others have gone on to law school or medical school.