The Department of Mathematics at Whittier prides itself in offering a rigorous, yet student-centered program of the highest caliber. Our major goal is to develop logical reasoning and problem-solving skills among our students, to make them independent learners, to demonstrate the power and beauty of mathematics, and to show them the relationship of mathematics to other disciplines.
The department offers the following majors and minor:
- Mathematics, major and minor
- Mathematics with teaching credential emphasis
The department also participates in the following interdisciplinary major and minor programs:
- 3-2 Program in Mathematics/Engineering - This five-year program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Whittier College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from a university.
- Mathematics-Business - The interdisciplinary program involving mathematics and business administration provides a strong background of concepts and techniques in the field of "quantitative management." It prepares the student for a variety of positions in banking, insurance, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries.
- Scientific Computing – The interdisciplinary minor is designed to help prepare students majoring in one of the sciences for advanced computing work in their own fields and for work in the computer industry.
Most of the students in the College take at least one course in the department to satisfy COM1 (Quantitative Reasoning) requirement of their Liberal Education Program. Students from many other disciplines such as business administration and the sciences take additional mathematics courses. The department also participates in the teaching of college-wide courses such as Freshman Writing and Science & Society courses as much as possible.
Department members generally rotate the teaching of various courses. This allows the students in the department to be exposed to different teaching techniques. Due to the small number of math majors, most upper-division courses are taught in alternate years.
Faculty of the department strongly encourage its math majors to take advantage of opportunities offered during the school year and summer, such as:
- work-study employment, in which students can work as graders or graders
- research on campus with Whittier faculty and during summer REU programs
- participation in mathematics conferences
- co-authoring research papers that are published in mathematical journals
- study abroad programs in Budapest and Moscow
- mathematics semesters through programs with Penn State and Smith College
Graduates with a mathematics degree choose a variety of careers in teaching, banking, high-tech industries, or work as programmers, system analysts, actuaries, or engineers. About 15 percent of our graduates attend graduate school, medical school, or law school.