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University Catalog
    Western Washington University
  Jul 20, 2017
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2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mathematics, BA

Department of Mathematics, College of Sciences and Technology

70 credits in mathematics plus 18-21 credits in supporting courses

Introduction/What is the Study of Mathematics?

“Mathematics reveals hidden patterns that help us understand the world around us. Now much more than arithmetic and geometry, mathematics today is a diverse discipline that deals with data, measurements, and observations from science; with inference, deduction, and proof; and with mathematical models of natural phenomena, of human behavior, and of social systems.

As a practical matter, Mathematics is a science of pattern and order. Its domain is not molecules or cells, but numbers, chance, form, algorithms, and change. As a science of abstract objects, Mathematics relies on logic rather than on observation as its standard of truth, yet employs observation, simulation, and even experimentation as means of discovering truth.” From: Everybody Counts: A Report to the Nation on the Future of Mathematics Education (c) 1989 National Academy of Sciences.

Why Consider a Mathematics Major? 

“The special role of Mathematics in education is a consequence of its universal applicability. The results of Mathematics-theorems and theories-are both significant and useful; the best results are also elegant and deep. Through its theorems, Mathematics offers science both a foundation of truth and a standard of certainty.

In addition to theorems and theories, Mathematics offers distinctive modes of thought which are both versatile and powerful, including modeling, abstraction, optimization, logical analysis, inference from data, and use of symbols. Experience with mathematical modes of thought builds mathematical power-a capacity of mind of increasing value in this technological age that enables one to read critically, to identify fallacies, to detect bias, to assess risk, and to suggest alternatives. Mathematics empowers us to understand better the information-laden world in which we live. ” From: Everybody Counts: A Report to the Nation on the Future of Mathematics Education (c) 1989 National Academy of Sciences

Empowered with the critical thinking skills that Mathematics develops, recent Mathematics graduates from Western have obtained positions in a variety of fields including actuarial science, cancer research, computer software development, business management and the movie industry. The skills acquired in our program have prepared graduates for further academic studies in Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Oceanography and Education.

Compared to the BS Mathematics major, the BA has fewer advanced requirements and provides greater flexibility in the choice of courses to take.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Tjalling Ypma
Bond Hall 202A

Undergraduate Advisor
Mathematics Department Office
Bond Hall 202

 Sample Careers

Actuary | Research Analyst | Statistician | Biostatistician | Math Teacher | Demographer | Database Administrator | Information Scientist | Modeler

 Major/Career Resources

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Students who intend to complete a major in Mathematics are urged to declare the major formally at an early point in their Western career so that a program of study can be planned carefully in collaboration with a departmental advisor.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.