Majors: Mathematics
: Mathematics
Related Majors
: Applied Mathematical Science (Starts Fall 2011)
Program Director: Joseph A. Iskra, Jr.Associate Professor of Mathematics
Academic Catalogue

The mathematics major provides breadth and depth in the study of mathematics and encourages students to achieve a sound understanding of the various areas of mathematics. Students who major in mathematics have many options, including careers in industry, government, statistics, teaching, and graduate study in mathematics and engineering. Wesleyan mathematics majors have enjoyed success in these and other career options.

A student majoring in mathematics first encounters the basic ideas and methods of analysis, algebra, and geometry in the required courses of calculus, computer science, linear algebra, differential equations, and physics, learning both theoretical and applied aspects of the material. She continues with courses selected from probability, statistics, geometry, and other areas, giving further breadth to her knowledge of mathematics. She also fulfills the Senior Integrative Experience by taking a course in mathematical modeling (MAT 405) or probability and statistics (MAT 419), integrating her study of  mathematics with other disciplines.  At the same time, she can deepen her knowledge through a two-semester sequence in real analysis, abstract algebra, or linear algebra. Finally, a capstone course based upon topics in set theory and topology helps her see how concepts from abstract algebra and analysis combine to form these  cornerstones of advanced modern mathematics.

A student begins her mathematics program at the level indicated by her background, interests, and preparation as determined by a placement examination and consultation with a member of the mathematics faculty.  Internships and research are encouraged. For information about specific courses offered, please see our Academic Catalogue.

Related Programs
Wesleyan has a pre-engineering dual degree program in conjunction with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Auburn University, and Mercer University.  Under the dual degree program, a student attends Wesleyan for three years (90 semester hours) and then attends one of the cooperating institutions for two to three years.  After completing the academic requirements of the two institutions, the student is awarded a bachelor's degree from both Wesleyan and the cooperating engineering school.

Our pre-engineering program is administered through the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.  The pre-engineering curriculum is designed to give an engineering student a strong background in the liberal arts as well as the basic mathematics and science she will need for her engineering coursework. We have had graduates in electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering.

Mathematics and computer science classes are taught in Tate Hall and a dedicated computer laboratory.  Mathematics students have access to computer algebra systems and software and hardware for programming.

Special Opportunities
Independent study and research is a highly encouraged component of the curriculum for mathematics majors. Faculty members welcome the opportunity to support and direct independent study and research efforts of students enrolled in MAT 451, 452, or 499.

Students enjoy competitions and academic opportunities organized by our student chapter of Kappa Mu Epsilon or the Wesleyan Math Club. The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), for example, is a contest sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America and COMAP (the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications) where teams of undergraduates use mathematical modeling to present their solutions to real world problems. Teams are usually made up of two to three people. For more than a decade, Wesleyan has participated in these contests with impressive results -- some members of the teams were actually freshmen and sophomores! 

Graduates from Wesleyan with a major in mathematics are currently studying at the graduate level in mathematics and related areas, working in government and industry, and teaching high school or college mathematics. Equipped with a strong liberal arts background, our graduates combine a mathematics foundation with other unexpected academic disciplines and succeed in a wide array of professional pursuits.  Some recent graduates who doubled majored in mathematics and physics are now succeeding in law school.  Of the Wesleyan mathematics majors who graduated in the past five years, forty-three percent immediately secured work in a field related to their undergraduate degree while fifty-six percent  pursued graduate or professional school. 

You'll find recent Wesleyan graduates pursuing post baccalaureate degrees related to the field of mathematics at countless prestigious institutions across the world including Washington University, Clemson University, The University of Texas (Houston) Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M, Northwestern University, Emory University, Vanderbilt University, Duke University School of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine,  Florida State University Dental School, University of California Veterinary School, University of the West Indies Veterinary School, Vanderbilt University Law School, and Mercer University Law School.


Joe IskraJoseph A. Iskra, Jr. Herbert Preston and Marian Haley Associate Professor of Mathematics. B.A. (Mathematics) Florida Southern College 1976; M.S. (Mathematics) Vanderbilt University 1978; Ph.D. (Mathematics) Vanderbilt University 1983. My research interests are in abstract algebra, specifically semigroup theory. I have some knowledge in related areas such as lattice theory, graph theory, and set theory. Tate Room 13.

Hilary KightHilary W. Kight Associate Professor Emerita of Mathematics. A.B. (Mathematics) Mercer University 1964; M.A.T. (Mathematics Education) Emory University 1972; Ph.D. (Mathematics Education) Georgia State University 1991. My interests include mathematics education, women's studies, gender and mathematics issues, and the history of mathematics.

Randy HeatonRandy Heaton 
Assistant Professor of Mathematics;B.S. (Applied Mathematics) Georgia Institute of Technology 2006; Ph.D. (Pure Mathematics) Florida State University 2012. I am interested in cryptographic problems related to trap-door functions and exploits on cryptographic schemes. I also am interested in symbolic computation problems related to elliptic curves and modular forms. Tate 14.