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Mathematics


Peter Draznik discusses his research on underlying patterns in round-robin tournaments with his faculty advisor, Dr. Tom Bengtson.
  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Augustana graduates in mathematics pursue careers in fields including statistics, operations research, actuarial, biological and physical sciences and teaching. All of Augustana secondary education majors in math have found high school teaching jobs after graduation.

Students can receive up to nine credits in mathematics internships. Besides internships, they gain hands-on experience in the field through summer research and student teaching.

Recent mathematics majors have completed internships at AVG Automation Corp, Deere & Company, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, Olympic Steel, and ii-A—a finance and insurance firm in Sydney, Australia.

What graduates do

Here's a sampling of what mathematics graduates do:

Samantha Tyner '12 majored in mathematics, economics and French; she now is enrolled in the Iowa State University Ph.D. program in statistics.

Adam DeSimone '12 majored in economics and mathematics, and now is enrolled in the economics Ph.D. program at Michigan State University. Adam’s decision to be a math major surprised him, but he “took a couple of math classes as a freshman and just never stopped.”

Melissa Dalen '11 majored in mathematics and a teaching mathematics. Today she is a math teacher at Delavan Junior/Senior High School in Delavan, Ill.

Daniel Tsui '61 majored in mathematics. In 1998, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics. He is an Emeritus Senior Scholar at Princeton University.

Augustana offers a major and minor in mathematics, a mathematics teaching major, and a major in applied mathematics. Popular second majors or minors include computer science, chemistry, physics or music.

Courses are sequenced according to students’ individual progress. Classes begin with solving well formulated problems; then work toward building examples and techniques; and advance to problems, models, structures and abstractions.

Students of actuarial science take a two-course sequence that covers all material found on the first actuarial exam.

Facts & distinctions

The five full-time mathematics faculty all hold the Ph.D. The department holds the endowed Earl H. Beling Chair in Mathematics.

The Beling Scholar program funds students’ independent study or research projects in computer science or mathematics.

Every year, mathematics students and faculty travel to professional meetings such as the section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and MathFest, the annual summer meeting of MAA.

Augustana has had a chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, since 1979. The college also has a mathematics and computer science club, which started as the mathematics club in 1952.

The Math Student Resource Room (a.k.a. Ratiocination or “Rat” Room) in the Olin Center for Educational Technology is a walk-in help center staffed by experienced mathematics student tutors.

Marty Resner '14, student math teacher at Bettendorf (Iowa) High

"The math classes I took helped me in several ways to be a teacher. During the higher level classes I learned what it was like to be one of those struggling students so it gave a perspective as a student I never really faced. The higher level classes helped me see and learn why we do some of the things we do in math and how they all relate. This helps me have a better grasp, understanding, and appreciation for the math that I teach in the high school."

Peter Draznik ’14, mathematics and physics majors

“This summer (2013), I’m studying the topic of tournaments in graph theory. My research is looking into underlying patterns of round-robin tournaments and developing methods to count the many types of tournaments. It is always difficult to tell where a project will lead, but if any of my work gets published, I will be very contented."

Mary O’Malley ’11, mathematics and secondary education majors

“Hands-down, my math and education professors helped me to get where I am today. Because Augustana is a small liberal arts school I was fortunate enough to work with the same faculty throughout my four years here; not only was I able to form relationships with them, but they were able to help steer me on the path that I needed to be on.”

More Than I Imagined: Matt Humphries

Matt Humphries '14 plans to pursue a career in researching alternative energy. "I thought I would pursue a degree in biology/pre-med and go to medical school. I changed my mind to go into chemistry after becoming aware of and very interested in chemistry research."

Seniors review Internet math talks

A new crop of math majors is stepping off campus and into the next phases of life. Some go to industry, some into teaching, and some into graduate school. Along any of these paths, one way to continue learning is to watch talks about and using mathematics. Here are interesting math talks that have been extended by further literature research by graduating seniors.

More Than I Imagined: Erik Westerberg

Academic All-American Erik Westerberg is majoring in math and math education. Why Augie? The classroom sizes were small enough where I could build a relationship with professors; it was a safe distance away from my home in Elmhurst, Ill.; and because of the opportunity to be a part of Augustana's storied football program.

More Than I Imagined: Matt Osman

Senior Matt Osman wasn't "academically oriented" in high school. "I only enrolled in Geology 101 at random," he said. "Now, four years later, I'm graduating with degrees in both geology and math and am set to attend one of the world's foremost scientific research institutions! Who'da thunk it?"

Former banker makes learning math fun

Venell Slaughter '03 realizes he is a rare commodity within Chicago Public Schools: a black male who teaches math. Only 5.7 percent of CPS' 22,283 teachers are black men, and fewer teach math. But the 33-year-old middle school teacher said he's happy he beat the odds and is now working at Crispus Attucks Elementary School. Slaughter was a math and computer science major at Augustana.
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