major is offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics within the College
of Science & Mathematics.
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSMATH.shtml
Mathematics is offered as a major and minor at JMU.
The department offers a program of study in the mathematical
sciences which meets the needs of a wide variety of
students and make a continuing contribution to the advancement of mathematical
knowledge and dissemination. The program provides opportunities for in-depth study which
lead to careers as mathematicians and statisticians in industry and government, mathematics
teachers; and to further study in graduate school. The
first two years of introductory mathematics focus on
differential and integral calculus. The studies of the
last two years are devoted primarily to basic material
in the fields of analysis, algebra, geometry, computing
and statistics. The two parts of the program are distinguished
by methods of presentation, as well as by content. The
first two years lead gradually to appreciation of definitions
and proofs, and to precision in mathematical language.
The latter two years anchor basic mathematical concepts,
results and methods, and increase the knowledge of applications.
The program is committed to promoting mathematics as
an art of human endeavor as well as a fundamental method
of inquiry into the sciences and a vast array of other
disciplines. In addition to the concentrations listed
above, the department also offers a minor in Statistics.
Students seeking teacher licensure are encouraged to
consult with the appropriate program in the College
me more about this field of study.
Mathematics is the study of such objects as numbers,
operations, space configurations, mappings, and abstract
structures. Those studying mathematics develop skills
to manipulate these objects and analyze the relationships
between them. Much of the knowledge and effort of a
mathematician is devoted to formulating and analyzing
models, which can be used to make predictions. A mathematical
model is a set of equations whose solution can be used
to predict the behavior of the phenomenon being modeled.
The 5-day forecast that we see on the 11:00 news is
prepared using output from a weather model. The predictions
we see in the news concerning the growth of the economy
are based on various mathematical models. The performance
and reliability of communication networks are often
predicted using a network model. The predictions produced
by mathematical models vary in quality. Sometimes they
are right on target and sometimes they are meaningless.
Certain models can be calibrated by running an experiment.
For example, a fully instrumented building can be burned
down and the results compared to the output from a fire
model. When used as part of a design process, a well-constructed
mathematical model can often produce enormous cost savings.
me more about specializations in this field.
Mathematicians specialize in a wide variety of areas
such as algebra, geometry, analysis, probability and
statistics, mathematics education, and applied mathematics.
The college graduate with a bachelor's degree in mathematics
or actuarial science can qualify for a broad range of
highly paid positions in a variety of industries. In
private industry, companies in the computer, communications,
and energy field employ many mathematicians. Students
interested in government work will find that almost
every bureau and branch of the federal government employs
mathematicians in some capacity. Mathematicians, statisticians,
operations researchers, and actuaries work in the Department
of Health and Human Services, the General Accounting
Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the
National Institute of Standards. The Department of Energy,
the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, and the National Security
Agency also employs many mathematicians. Many mathematicians
are attracted to teaching and research opportunities
at primary, college and university settings. In most
four-year colleges and universities, the Ph.D. is necessary
for full faculty status. Many mathematicians with a
bachelor's or master's degree teach at the K-12 level.
Major Research Laboratories like IBM, ATT, Bell, and
Research Institutes support purely scientific research
positions. Many other job titles apply to mathematicians
who have specialized in an applied branch of mathematics.
Actuaries assemble and analyze statistics to calculate
probabilities, and thereby set rates, in the insurance
industry. Operations Research Analysts apply scientific
methods and mathematical principles to organizational
problems. Statisticians design, carry out, and interpret
the numerical results of surveys and experiments. All
of these careers begin with an education in mathematics,
and a curiosity about the use of mathematics to solve
common major or minor combinations from other departments
complement this major?
Some common combinations with a Mathematics major are:
Astronomy, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Biology,
Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Information
Systems, Finance, Geographic Science, Geology, Integrated Science and Technology,
Materials Science, Physics, Quantitative Finance, Statistics, Telecommunications, or Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
Those students who are able to think independently and
creatively and are not afraid of hard work are the most
successful in mathematics.
Recently, JobsRated.com ranked Mathematician as the best job in America, with Actuary and Statistician at second and third, based on salary, work conditions, and other factors. Many graduates choose typical career paths associated
with this major. However, some graduates choose nontraditional career fields that utilize skills and experiences developed
during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some
fields will require graduate study or further training.
The listing below offers examples of possible career
paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.