This page serves as an introduction to the areas listed and makes no claim to be all inclusive. See department coordinator, counselor or advisor for more complete information.
|College/School/Department||Fairmount College of Liberal Arts & Sciences|
|Name of Program Emphasis||Mathematics and Statistics|
|Counselors||If you would like to
talk to someone teaching in the field, please make an appointment with:
Mr. Paul Scheuerman, Assistant to the Chair and Instructor
Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
355B Jabara Hall
Prof. Kenneth G. Miller, Graduate Coordinator
Mathematics and Statistics
343 Jabara Hall
Boeing Wichita Company
Cessna Aircraft Company
Actuaries for insurance companies
National Bureau of Standards
Teaching at the high school and college level
Statisticians at the Hallmark Card Co., etc.
Operations research positions in various oil companies
in the Field
school and college level)
Teaching and research (universities)
Industry (statistics, operations research, numerical analysis, differential equations)
|Working Conditions||Working conditions in the field of mathematics vary greatly, depending on the organization.|
|Personal Qualifications||You must be a good
problem solver and you must be able to concentrate.
Those who are interested in university teaching must not be easily discouraged by the competition they face.
Educations & Job
|Students can get
part-time jobs as programmers at the aircraft companies and other local
businesses and organizations.
You can also earn money by grading papers for the mathematics department or you might be hired as a tutor in the Math Lab.
|Student Organization||Pi Mu Epsilon, an honorary society for students with an interest in mathematics|
|Try-out Courses||Mathematics 242.
Calculus 1 (5)
Statistics 370 Elementary Statistics (3)
|Future Outlook||The future outlook is good, but it is also very competitive|
|Famous People in the Field||Pythagoras, a Greek
philosopher and mathematician, circa 582-500 B.C.E. (Pythagorean
Euclid, a Greek geometrician, circa 300 B.C.E. Wrote The Elements which served as the "Bible" of geometry for 2200 years.
Hypatia, a Greek mathematician, 355-415 C.E. Considered by many to be the first female mathematician of note.
Rene Descartes, a French philosopher and mathematician, 1596-1650. Credited with the creation of analytic geometry.
Sir Isaac Newton, an English philosopher and mathematician, 1642- 1727. Invented calculus.
Leonard Euler, a Swiss mathematician, 1707-1783. He was one of the most prolific mathematicians. Papers written by hime were still being published long after his death.
Maria Agnesi, an Italian mathematician, 1718-1799. She wrote one of the first, and best, calculus texts as an aid for her brothers' education.
Sonya Kovalevsky, a Russian mathematician, 1850-1891 She developed an interest in mathematics when she read the lecture notes in mathematics used to paper her bedroom.
David Hilbert, a German mathematician, 1862-1942. He is most remembered for the twenty-three problems he posed in 1900 (see More Information & Resources below). Hilbert also wrote the first significant revision of Euclid's Elements.
Emmy Noether, a German mathematician, 1882-1935. She was an outstanding algebraist who fled to this country from Nazi Germany.
Paul Erdös, a Hungarian
mathematician, 1913-1996. He was a world traveler who's publication
list exceeds 1500 papers.
|Quotes||"We have got to let
people know that there are serious scientists on the faculty of this
University, people who are doing work on the frontiers of mathematics."
. . . . . John Hutchinson
|"If I have seen
farther than others, it is because I have stood on the sholders of
. . . . . Isaac Newton
|Community Counselors||If you would like to
talk to someone working in the field, please make an appointment with:
Mr. David Eastman, WSU BS (math) '71, MA '75
Willis Corroon of Kansas
P.O. Box 2697
Internaltional Brokerage Firm
Wichita, Kansas 67201
|At the Second
International Congress of Mathematicians, which was held in Paris in
1900, David Hilbert presented an address in which he reviewed the
mathematical advances of the nineteenth century and tried to predict
the probable mathematical developments of the twentieth century by
proposing twenty-three problems which he believed would be, or should
be, among those occupying the attention of mathematicians in the
The first problem was solved that same year by Max Dehn. As of today, fourteen more have been solved. Recent solutions of problems have been given by Kolmogorov (1957), Nagata (1958) and Matiyasevic (1970). Eight of the problems remain unsolved. Perhaps the solution for the next one will come from a student at Wichita State University.
|In order to begin a program in mathematics or statistics, a student must complete the calculus sequence: Math 242Q, 243 and 344.|
|As a Graduate with a degree in Mathematics||You will find it
almost impossible to accept a position where mathematics is not
required. Basically, you will find that your work is to help other
people by solving the problems they bring to you. You will probably
find yourself in one of two broad categories: applied mathematics or
pure (theoretical) mathematics.
Applied Mathematics. If you work in the area of applied mathematics, you will try to develop theories and techniques that solve the problems in your organization, investigating how to express the situation in mathematical terms, how to use your knowledge of mathematics to find a solution. You could do this in an engineering project (on an airplane, a bridge, a building) or in scientific research (the effectiveness of a new drug), or in industry (how to make the greatest profit, how to lay out a new plant building, how to increase the efficiency of the production line, etc.) or in research and development (to extend the knowledge in a particular business or find new ways to use the information that is already known).
If you choose to be a statistician, you will use mathematical theories to collect and analyze numerical information and to estimate unknown quantities. You will plan and design surveys in one of many fields (Neilsen ratings, Dow-Jones averages, psychological experiments, Gallup polls, etc.).
Actuaries for insurance companies must have a strong mathematics background to design insurance and pension plans that are financially sound. Here you would collect and analyze the statistics needed to calculate the chances of death, sickness, injury, unemployment, retirement, etc. You will also compute the premiums the company must ask in order to pay the claims that are brought to them over the years.
Teaching, at either the high school or college level, requires (in addition to competency in the field) a dedication that will help you obtain a suitable position in the face of the large number of other applicants for the same job.
A bachelor's degree is essential for first level jobs in mathematics and graduate work is usually required for any promotions or advancements. Many positions require a knowledge in other areas (engineering, management, teaching, etc.) plus the ability to communicate, since you must explain your findings as you report them back to non-mathematicians. For this reason, an ability to write well is highly regarded.
Pure (Theoretical) Mathematics. If you should work in the area of pure or theoretical mathematics (although this usually requires a Ph.D. degree) you will be searching for new principles and/or new relationships between existing principles in an effort to enlarge the field of mathematics. You will want to increase the world's basic knowledge of mathematics, without necessarily knowing what the practical applications might be. You will probably be employed by a university or a research organization, such as the National Bureau of Standards.
a Student majoring in
Mathematics at WSU
|You will be studying
one of the oldest and most basic sciences. It will be helpful if you
have already taken as many mathematics courses as possible in high
school. Here you will probably study analytical geometry, calculus,
differential equations, probability and statistics, mathematical
analysis and modern algebra. There are fewer specific requirements than
in the past to allow you more flexibility in preparing yourself for the
future, and advisers in the mathematics department will help you choose
those courses that are most valuable if you wish to make a career in
At Wichita State, you will work toward either (1) a Bachelor of Arts degree, (2) a Bachelor of Arts degree for teaching at the high school level, (3) a Bachelor of Science degree or (4) a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in statistics. All four sequences require at least one course in computer science and over twenty semester hours of mathematics above the 500 level. Many courses include examples of the use of various concepts found in actual professional situations (numerical analysis and statistics are good examples). Each year you will be able to hear recognized mathematicians who are brought in by the department: recent speakers have come from the University of Nebraska, Ohio State and Washington State University. Mathematics majors who enroll in Mathematics 380, a seminar for one hour of credit, get to know each other better as they start talking about their field. You can enjoy solving problems together in an atmosphere more like a student club than a classroom.