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Mathematics

  • Mathematics is the foundation on which many other academic disciplines are built. When you pursue a mathematics degree, you are developing analytic and quantitative reasoning skills that will help you in all areas of life.
  • The mathematics field is traditionally very competitive, but at Olivet, we’re here to help you. Students and faculty work together — and like each other, too!

    We will work together to prepare you well for the rigors of graduate school. You will also gain the skills and knowledge you need to enter any number of the math-related careers that are currently in high demand.

    Olivet students benefit from:  

    • Learning that goes beyond the classroom. Math lab will help you transition from high school to college when you are taking freshman-level courses.
    • Extra job-related experience by serving as peer tutors.
    • Opportunities for fun and learning with peers through Math Club
    • Class devotions that relate to you and your academic life, such a recent series on apologetics that that fit in with the study of logical reasoning.
    • Godly professors who care that their students succeed in all areas of life.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Senior Seminar, team taught by two professors, helps prepare students for grad school. Student projects have included:

    • the Basel Problem, probabilistic polyforms, magic squares
    • origami
    • re-lining a University parking lot in the most efficient way
    • assisting the Department of Art and Digital Media with finding an optimal way to schedule their courses, faculty and classrooms.

    Additionally, two research options are offered by Olivet for mathematics and science students:

    • Pence-Boyce Research Program Fellowships — Named to honor two Olivet professors, Elbert Pence (physics) and Fannie Boyce (mathematics), and funded by alumni and friends of Olivet. Alumnus Mark Lockwood published his work on probabilistic polyforms as a result of his participating in this program.
    • Olivet Research Associates Program – Set up to fund research in science and mathematics. Work with a faculty member on a forward-looking, 10-week research project during the summer. Projects may be theoretical, lab or field studies. Receive a stipend so you can work full-time on your project.

    Accept the challenge and take the Putnam Exam. Designed to discriminate at the highest level and to identify the best math students in country, this eight-hour exam would challenge even professional mathematicians. Just to score points is an accomplishment. For the first time in 2010, two of our students took it and scored points.

    Additional Opportunities

    Math Club is open to all students, but designed particularly for math and math education majors. Past activities have included:

    • “Mathematical Magic Show”
    • “Pi Day”
    • Math murder mystery
    • Mathematical origami project
    • One-on-one tutoring with community middle school and high school students

    Careers 

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15 of the 20 fastest-growing careers in the next decade will require math and science proficiency.

    Alumni careers include: Actuary, professor, researcher, high school math teacher, middle school math teacher

    Companies and organizations that have employed our alumni: U.S. Air Force, Conseco, NASA, State Farm Insurance, Microsoft; high schools and/or middle schools in Tennessee, Florida, Indiana and Africa

    Accreditation 

    National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for Math Education major
    Approved for all three sections — Economics, Corporate Finance, Applied Statistics — by Validation by Educational Experiences (VEE) for Actuarial Science exams

    Areas of study:  

    Mathematics, B.A. and B.S.
    Actuarial Science, B.S.
    Mathematics Education, B.S.

  • Mathematics Right Image
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15 of the 20 fastest-growing careers in the next decade will require math and science proficiency.

  • Complete list of faculty