Mathematics

Mathematics

The skills gained by studying mathematics, such as problem solving, technical communication skills and reasoning with quantitative information, open doors to  many careers in industry, government, business, computer programming and education. Students have used their mathematics degree in combination with their liberal arts education to become engineers, lawyers, AmeriCorps volunteers, human resources specialists and graduate students pursuing doctorates in diverse areas such as molecular bioscience, aerospace engineering and education. 

Central offers a flexible course schedule that allows you to gain comprehensive mathematics experience and pursue teacher licensure, internships and study abroad, all while graduating in four years. If you appreciate logical thinking and enjoy the challenge of solving problems, pursuing a degree in mathematics at Central College can provide a path to future success. 

80%
of current math majors have an additional major, are pursuing teaching licensure or both
  • Recent mathematics grads are placed in career fields such as engineering, finance and information technology
  • Three of Central’s mathematics faculty have won college-wide teaching awards

The Real World

 

Successful Careers

  • Shannon Coulson ’15, research associate in tumor immunology, NewLink Genetics, Ames
  • Ricky Boyle ’14, technical services engineer, Epic Systems Corp., Madison, Wis.
  • Renee Art ’14, math teacher, Hogan Preparatory Academy, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Tim Wilson ’14, software developer, Alliance Technologies, Des Moines
  • Jacob Stein ’14, financial analyst, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines
  • Alan Grau ’91, president and owner, Icon Labs, Des Moines
  • Brian Reece ’95, Presidential Award-winning math teacher, Central Academy, Des Moines
  • Kathie Flood ‘86, video game designer and CEO, Cascade Game Foundry, Seattle, Wash.

Organizations

  • Math Club
  • Kappa Mu Epsilon (mathematics honor society)

No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Paige Wilkin

Paige Wilkin

"Every class has made me a stronger problem solver."

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Graduate Placement

  • University of Iowa, mathematics
  • University of Notre Dame, aerospace engineering
  • University of Colorado-Boulder, aerospace engineering sciences
  • Iowa State University, architecture 
  • Montana State University, molecular biosciences

Internships

  • University of Hawaii at Hilo, Research Experiences for Undergraduates
  • Pella Regional Health Center, Data analyst intern
  • Vision Financial Group, Des Moines
  • Allied Technologies, Des Moines
  • The Bridge, Ottumwa

Courses & Faculty

The mathematics major at Central allows students to develop core mathematical skills (pattern recognition, generalization, abstraction, logical reasoning, modeling, analyzing and solving problems, reading and analyzing mathematical content), as well as the ability to communicate mathematics clearly and concisely in both oral and written forms. The ability to reason with quantitative information, solve intricate problems, and communicate the results to others are highly valued skills in any field.

Learn more about mathematics in the course catalog.

Mathematics  photo
Meet the faculty:
  • Russell Goodman, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics, interest areas include sports analytics, algebraic geometry, mathematics in pop culture, teaching mathematical communication skills
  • Allen Hibbard, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics/Computer Science, interest areas include teaching abstract algebra and calculus using Mathematica, programming, genealogy
  • Thomas Linton, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics , interest areas include descriptive set theory, statistics and calculus
  • Mark Mills, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, interest areas include actuarial science education
  • Wendy Weber, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics , interest areas include geometry, mathematical and pedagogical preparation of prospective and in-service teachers and oral and written mathematical communication

Sample Schedule

First year
  • Calculus I and II
  • Introduction to Computer Science
Sophomore year
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Foundations of Mathematics
  • Linear Algebra
Junior year
  • Mathematics Seminar
  • Abstract Algebra I
  • Differential Equations
  • Numerical Analysis
Senior year
  • Real Analysis I
  • Geometry
  • Probability

The Central Difference

Research Opportunities

Students of mathematics at Central participate in numerous research opportunities both on campus, such as working on a senior thesis, and off campus through Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) at a variety of larger universities. These opportunities deepen students’ knowledge of applied or abstract mathematics and prepare them for future careers or further study in graduate school.

Facilities

Central’s Vermeer Science Center was awarded the silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the United States Green Building Council, the first LEED-rated building in the state. Students have direct access to classrooms and laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and presentation technology.

Study Abroad

As math major, you have international opportunities through Budapest Semester in Mathematics Education. All Central students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Central Mathematics Students

100%
of recent grads with secondary teaching licensure were employed within one year of graduation

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Want to find out more about mathematics at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.