At Earlham, we strive to teach our students mathematical fundamentals and problem-solving skills that they can apply in a variety of disciplines or in further study of mathematics. Mathematics students may participate in weekly "mathophiles" seminars and informal lunches, attend regional meetings of professional mathematicians, and participate in mathematically related off-campus programs during the academic year or the summer.
The Association for Women in Mathematics (Careers That Count) describes mathematics as "… a powerful tool for solving practical problems and a highly creative field of study, combining logic and precision with intuition and imagination. The basic goal of mathematics is to reveal and explain patterns — whether the pattern appears as electrical impulses in an animal's nervous system, as fluctuations in stock market prices, or as fine detail of an abstract geometric figure."
Some recent alumni are in graduate school studying applied mathematics, actuarial science, computer science, education, engineering, environmental science, law, mathematics, medicine, musicology or theology. Others have become high school teachers, business managers, computer programmers, systems analysts, environmental statisticians, actuaries or mathematics professors. Recent graduates have pursued advanced study at Indiana, Oregon State, Miami and Stanford universities and the universities of Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Special Learning Opportunities
We have close and continued faculty-student collaboration, both in class and in settings like working together in the Math Studio.
Students can participate in summer internships at the Centers for Disease Control, the National Laboratories, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, NASA, the NSA and major universities.
Math students have also studied and modeled heat loss from College buildings and houses, and for the City of Richmond designing improved trash collection routes.
Student-faculty research projects have studied such topics as global warming, pattern formation in animal coats and the spread of ideas during the “Arab Spring.”
Quant House — a student organized off-campus house — is not only a place to live but also a source of tutoring and lectures.
Tutoring for Calculus and Elementary Statistics is available. Tools like smartpens and Kurzweil readers are available at the Academic Enrichment Center.
Earlham math majors have gone on to graduate school in mathematics, physics, economics, finance, music, geosciences, and psychology.
Alumni have pursued a wide variety of careers, including finance, agents both for the NSA and for the FBI, actuaries, aspects of computing and secondary teaching.
A student recently presented her work at a national joint meeting of the Mathematical Association of America and American Mathematical Society.
Jacob LaChance says math is simple, and the key is not to think about math but rather to think with math. As a sophomore, he was part of the Earlham duo that placed first in the Michigan Autumn Take Home Challenge. More
An NSF Grant to Study Invasive Microbes
Topher Weiss-Lehman ’10 is studying invasive species through a theoretical lens.More