Department of Mathematics and Statistics Quick Facts
General summary: Mathematics is a challenging but an engaging discipline because it trains the mind in critical and logical thinking. It challenges the intuition and stretches the imagination. Its mastery is central to the natural sciences and figures prominently in many of the social sciences. Because it trains one to think logically, mathematics provides an excellent preparation for any career field - technical or non-technical.
Average number of majors graduating per year: 12
Percentage of students desiring graduate school accepted within 2 years of graduation: 100%. In the past five years, we have sent students to masters and Ph.D. degree graduate programs at UMass, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Miami of Ohio, Wesleyan University, and George Washington University.
Strengths of the department/program:
- Our Bachelor of Arts major is unique in that it allows the student to choose one of three “tracks”. The pure math track prepares the student for the abstract thinking necessary for teaching, graduate school, or professional mathematics. The applied math track gives students the skills to solve problems using technology needed for jobs in industry. A student graduating from the statistics track will have the ability to analyze data and the skills for graduate work in statistics or jobs such as an actuary.
- The mathematics major is housed in a joint department with Computer Science and Statistics, and coursework in these disciplines is required for our major. This allows students to add breadth to their major and provides for cross-disciplinary research opportunities, senior theses, internships, etc.
- The wide variety of programs we offer means that we are a good addition to many other majors (either as a double major or major /minor).
- We provide excellent teacher preparation. In the last 7 years, 100% of our majors passed their PRAXIS certification tests, with 44% scoring in the top quartile.
- Our department is proud of the close community formed between faculty and majors.
Associated major/minor programs: There are 10 programs offered in our department, and all are related.
- Two BS Majors (Mathematics, Computer Science)
- Four BA Majors (Computer Science, three different tracks in Mathematics)
- Four Minors (Mathematics, Statistics, Computational Science, Computer Science).
Student opportunities to participate in:
- Internships: There are multiple possibilities for internships with many made possible by our proximity to Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Nextedge Technology Park.
- There are many opportunities for students participate in research projects here and on other campuses. In the last five years, students have conducted mathematical research at Wittenberg, Louisiana State, Trinity University, Mount Holyoke, North Carolina State, Texas A&M, University of Nebraska, and Northern Kentucky University.
- Our students have presented their research at regional conferences at Ashland University, Kent State University, Bowling Green University, the University of Dayton, the College of Wooster and Oberlin College, and national conferences in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Ohio State, and Pittsburgh.
- Students that intend to become high school teachers will spend one semester teaching in the area schools.
- Students in our statistics track can spend a semester consulting with area businesses.
Study abroad experience:
- Within the last five years we have had students spend entire semesters abroad in Germany, Greece, and at a mathematics intensive program in Budapest, Hungary.
- Some of our majors intern with the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement, consulting with area non-profits.
What can my child do with a degree in this field? While many departments espouse the wide variety of options that open with their majors, we genuinely feel that no door is ever shut with a math major.
Your student may not be doing calculus in their job, but they will be analyzing data, solving problems, and applying their Wittenberg education to many situations.
Employers know that a math major is smart, trainable, and dedicated. Here are just a few of the wide variety of jobs that our Wittenberg math alumni currently hold:
- Systems Administrator Geologist
- Financial Analyst Field Auditor
- Inventory Pricing Specialist
- Investment Banking Electrical Engineer
- Radiation Safety Officer Senior Sales Specialist Marketing
- Operations Research Analyst High School Teacher
- Housing Economist
- Telecom Manager
- Social Worker
- Budget Counselor
A math major is also excellent preparation for professional programs. Mathematics majors score higher than any other majors on the LSAT and GMAT, and are among the highest on the MCAT. Multiple studies have also shown that taking more mathematics classes will equate to more income, regardless of your major.
General summary:Statistics is the art and science of using quantitative analysis to get insight from data for solving real-life problems. As such, it’s the ideal job field for the “information age” in the 21st century, in which people are flooded with so much data that they don’t know how to make sense of it. Statisticians help people in other fields use data to solve problems in the real world.
Students interested in jobs or grad school in statistics or actuarial science can major in math and specialize on the Statistics Track. Students in other fields can pursue a Statistics Minor, so that they can apply powerful stat concepts and methods and techniques to analyze information from work in their major field.
Average number of recent stat trackers/minors graduating per year: 3
Acceptance rate of recent stat trackers/minors applying to graduate programs: 100% in...statistics, biostatistics, applied statistics, operations research,
psychology, sociology, philanthropic studies, non-profit management, economics
- Iowa State
- Ohio State
- North Carolina State
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- Air Force Institute of Technology
- George Washington
- Bowling Green
- Virginia Institute of Technology
- Florida International
ISU, OSU, and NCSU above are among the top 5 stat grad programs in the country.
Strengths of the statistics programs:
- Extremely practical real-world application of quantitative analysis
- Information-age job field with great pay and growth potential
- Perfect for combining with other majors and minors in which data are used
- Wittenberg is one of only a few liberal arts schools nationwide with a stat track and stat minor
In the past two years, students have participated in the following service-learning internships and field experiences:
- Helping local neuromuscular massage therapist Laurel Finch design, carry out, and analyze a multi-factor study on over 100 subjects concerning jaw dysfunctions
- Assessing the impact of after-school arts education programs for at-risk youth by Springfield’s national award-winning Project Jericho
- Analyzing the effects of programs to reduce the recidivism rate from junvenile court, through the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement
What can students do with a degree in this field?
Statisticians use data to help people in other fields solve problems. In this sense, they get to play in everybody else’s back yard. Statisticians work in all phases of business, government, industry, academia, insurance and investment, research, public service, consulting, etc. Here’s what a few recent stat trackers/minors are doing:
Andy Bates ’09 is now a statistical analyst for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Brian Bennett ’08 is an actuary for Geico Insurance in Washington, DC
Jennie Williams ’06 got a graduate degree in Biostatistics from Ohio State
Jon Stewart ’06 develops statistical forecasting models at the Federal Reserve Bank in NYC Katie Westlund ’05 uses her stat minor to help non-profits write successful grant applications Bri Barclay ’04 is a statistical survey sampling analyst with the Leavey Center in Los Angeles Jessica Counts ’04 uses her M.S. in statistics at the U.S. Census Bureau
Katie Joseph ’03 uses her M.S. in statistics at the U.S. Department of Energy
Of particular note, actuaries are the stat/math brains behind the entire insurance and investment industries, so stat study is essential for actuarial science, which is a powerful hybrid of stat, math, economics, and business. Recent Witt stat trackers and minors have become actuaries at the following firms:
- Motorists Insurance
- Employers Reinsurance Corporation
Beginning in school, and continuing at successively higher levels across their college studies, students should prepare for twenty-first-century challenges by gaining:
Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World
• Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts
Focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring
Intellectual and Practical Skills, including
- Inquiry and analysis
- Critical and creative thinking
- Written and oral communication
- Quantitative literacy
- Information literacy
- Teamwork and problem solving
Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance
Personal and Social Responsibility, including
- Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
- Intercultural knowledge and competence
- Ethical reasoning and action
- Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges
Integrative and Applied Learning, including
- Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies
Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings
The learning outcomes stated above are part of the Association of American Colleges & Universities' (AAC&U) LEAP campaign, which includes Essential Learning Outcomes. For more information visit the AAC&U page.