Meaning in Numbers
The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or bachelor of Science (B.S.) in mathematics is designed for the student who wants to learn math theory and applied mathematics. What students learn as a mathematics major —mathematical theory; algorithms; how to use computers to solve problems — opens the door to a career in almost any field. Economics, science, engineering, education, to name a few.
There are two basic types of mathematics, and students study both at Olivet.
Theoretical mathematics uses mathematical theory, computational techniques, algorithms and computer technology to solve problems. University professors often divide their time between teaching and conducting this type of research.
Applied mathematics uses mathematical modeling, computational methods, computer analysis and other tools to identify and solve practical problems. Real-world examples include: helping an airline reduce the cost of engine maintenance; devising a detailed plan for the clinical trial of a new drug; allocating an investment among several financial instruments to meet a risk/reward trade-off.
The B.A. degree program has a liberal arts slant. It is specifically designed for students who want to complete a double major.
The B.S. degree program is designed for students who want to major in mathematics, but don’t want to teach at the high school level. Our strong foundation of pure mathematics, combined with the variety of applied mathematics, prepares students to pursue an advanced degree. Graduate teaching fellowships are readily available at major universities for superior math students. It is also ideal for students who want to work in a mathematics profession, such as research and development for a company.