Mathematics and Statistics


Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science | College of Arts and Science

What is Mathematics and Statistics?

The study of mathematics and statistics emphasizes careful problem analysis, precision of thought and expression, and the mathematical skills needed for work in many other areas. Mathematicians and statisticians are interested both in the theory and the applications within their disciplines. Theoretical mathematicians discover new theorems and increase basic knowledge in "pure" fields like abstract algebra, analysis, or topology. Applied mathematicians and statisticians use tools growing out of calculus, computing, statistics, and operations research to solve problems in science, industry, government, and other areas.

Mathematicians or statisticians may work in highly technical areas such as computer programming, or they may work in economics (as statistical analysts), in operations research, in insurance (as actuaries), or in any other field requiring sophisticated analytical skills. Some of these fields include sciences such as astronomy, chemistry, physics, engineering, biology, oceanography, meteorology, and ecology, or fields as diverse as linguistics, law, or business.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Emphasis on teaching

The ratio of instructors to students is small and allows for an excellent one-on-one relationship. Many classes for mathematics and statistics majors have 20 or fewer students. Students receive individual attention and get to know instructors. With Miami's focus on undergraduate education, senior faculty regularly teach first-year as well as upper-level courses. For guidance, you'll also be assigned an adviser in your first year.

A broad range of courses

With more than 200 undergraduate students majoring in mathematics, math education, or statistics, Miami can offer a broad range of courses in the areas of pure and applied mathematics, statistics, and operations research.

Special seminars

Students have numerous opportunities to work with faculty in small groups, including seminars for first-year majors, seminars in mathematical modeling, study groups for actuarial exams, honors calculus and honors linear algebra, and problem-solving seminars. Problem-solving skills are developed or sharpened in these courses and prove useful in mathematical research work, consulting in business and industry, or taking competitive exams.

An active mathematics honorary

Pi Mu Epsilon is an active student honorary that hosts outside speakers and sponsors trips to regional and national conferences where students are given the opportunity to present their research. Some of our students have received prizes for their high-quality presentations.

Opportunities for undergraduate research

Through the University Summer Scholars Program, an undergraduate program sponsored by the Office for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching, students are given the opportunity to do research with a faculty mentor.

Students can also work with a faculty member doing independent studies. In many cases, this leads to a paper that can be presented at a regional or national student conference. The National Science Foundation also sponsors summer programs such as the Research Experiences for Undergraduates. A number of Miami's students majoring in mathematics and statistics have been accepted in such programs.

Mathematics and statistics colloquia

Undergraduate mathematics and statistics majors are encouraged to attend departmental colloquia, which are held several times each semester. This gives students exposure to new ideas, applications, and famous scholars.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

There are no additional admission requirements for this program.

What courses would I take?

Miami's majors in mathematics and statistics require both theoretical and applied mathematics courses. During the first two years of study, most students majoring in mathematics and statistics complete a sequence of calculus courses and a linear algebra course. With the help of an adviser, you select one or two additional courses that strengthen your preparation for upper-level studies.

The related hours requirement is a concentration of courses in an area of study that has a well-established relationship with mathematics and statistics. This requirement enhances your study of mathematics and statistics and allows you to tailor the courses to your interests. There are specific tracks that you can follow in certain areas such as actuarial science and systems analysis. For other areas such as biological or social science, or decision science, you can design your program with departmental and adviser approval. The requirement also includes a course or demonstrated competency in computer programming.

What can I do with this major?

Our graduates are very successful in obtaining employment. A recent survey showed that approximately 40 percent of our graduates who earn an arts and science degree attend graduate school; 40 percent go into careers in business, industry, and government; 10 percent go into teaching; and 10 percent pursue an actuarial career. Other areas of employment for our graduates are in statistics, computing and information systems, and operations research.

Most mathematics majors who earn an education degree go into teaching, but some go into graduate school or business and industry.

Many important problems in government, private industry, health and environmental fields, and the academic world require sophisticated techniques for their solutions. The study of mathematics and statistics provides specific analytical and quantitative tools for dealing with these problems. Employers view graduates with a strong background in mathematics and statistics as good problem solvers. There is also a growing demand for graduates with broad mathematical training in addition to experience with computers. Often these graduates can quickly acquire the technical knowledge that is needed in many specialized fields on the job.

Job titles held by alumni with degrees in mathematics and statistics are many and varied, such as actuary, benefits consultant, financial analyst, statistician, internal auditor, scientist, market researcher, biomathematician, operations analyst, systems engineer, software developer, management consultant, and numerical analyst.

Those who go on to graduate school find their bachelor's degree is an excellent base to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in mathematics, statistics, operations research, or other fields such as business administration, computer engineering, computer science, economics, law, or medicine.

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Mathematics
123 Bachelor Hall
Oxford, OH 45056

Department of Statistics
Dr. John Bailer, Chair
311 Upham Hall
Oxford, OH 45056