Mathematics at Arcadia University is part of a combined department in Computer Science and Mathematics. Our mathematics programs are designed to help students develop problem-solving skills as well as the theoretical insight needed both for applications and graduate study. Courses use state-of-the-art technology including graphing calculators, smart boards, Amazon Web Services cloud computing, programming tools such as Python, and statistical software such as SPSS, SAS, and R. Mathematics majors often minor in areas such as bioinformatics, computer science, or secondary education and many take advantage of our 3+2 engineering programs with the University of Pittsburgh and Washington University. Our recent graduates are actuaries, secondary teachers, biostatisticians, SAS programmers and graduate students in mathematics, statistics, and business. See the Careers tab for more information on job prospects after graduation.
What to Expect
Nurturing and small classroom environment
Close interaction with and mentoring by faculty inside and outside the classroom
Rich opportunities for student research with faculty
Opportunities to attend undergraduate conferences, all 100% funded and sponsored by the department
Extensive research support, including fully funded fellowships for summer research
Social activities through the Math and Actuarial Science Club and the annual Math/CS department picnic
Flexibility to take advantage of Arcadia’s many wonderful study abroad opportunities
As well as being outstanding teachers, our faculty are active scholars. Dr. Ned Wolff publishes in mathematics education and applied statistics, Dr. Emily Marshall in graph theory, Dr. Carlos Ortiz in mathematical logic, especially finite model theory and finance theory, and Dr. Xizhong Zheng in computability and complexity in analysis, a field which overlaps with both computer science and mathematics. Our faculty also have real-world experience: professor emeritus Dr. Louis Friedler is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries, Dr. Ortiz has a degree in engineering, and Dr. Wolff taught high school. Our faculty are actively engaged in mathematics and mathematics education and bring their excitement and knowledge into the classroom. Meet our faculty.
The Bachelor of Arts degree program prepares students for teaching mathematics at the elementary and secondary school level and for jobs in industry and business. It can serve as a second major for students specializing in other fields.
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
The Bachelor of Science degree program involves a deeper investigation of both mathematics and applied sciences and prepares students for graduate study, teaching and work in programming and research. Career options include business, government, industry, teaching positions at all levels from elementary through university, and actuarial science positions.
Every Arcadia mathematics major completes a Capstone Project during his or her junior or senior year. Capstone Project courses in mathematics are offered in graph theory, differential equations, actuarial science, and statistics. Students can also work with faculty on more individualized projects in areas such as the theory of computation. Capstones give students an opportunity to experience research mathematics firsthand. Projects culminate in a final paper and presentation open to the campus community.
Majors in the Computer Science and Mathematics Department are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of the study abroad opportunities that Arcadia University offers. In recent years, students have studied at universities in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, and Italy. All benefited greatly from their experiences.
Students who plan to study abroad should meet with their advisers as soon as possible to discuss their options. This is especially true given that several of the Department’s upper-level courses are taught on an alternating year basis. Therefore, the best semesters to study abroad might differ from year to year. Several courses are part of sequences, and students are advised to take those entire sequences at Arcadia.
Many majors elect not to take any math or computing courses during the semester abroad, instead choosing humanities and social science courses that fulfill Undergraduate Curriculum requirements. These latter courses are more apt to help students gain a rich knowledge and appreciation of the culture of the country in which they are studying.
Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to the Department Chair and the Office of Global Engagement.
Career Opportunities in Mathematics
Graduates of Arcadia University in mathematics have many career opportunities open to them. Our department actively helps students find positions. We give advice on resumes and cover letters, give suggestions on job searches, and even make phone calls for the initial contact. For general information on careers in mathematics, see www.ams.org/careers and www.maa.org/careers.
Arcadia graduates teach in many middle schools and high schools in Philadelphia and the suburban area. The faculty have many contacts which help students find placements.
Many of our students take advantage of Arcadia University's combined engineering programs with the University of Pittsburgh and Washington University. Typically, students complete the first three years at Arcadia University in programs in Mathematics, Computer Science, or Chemistry with an optional minor in Physics. Upon recommendation of the program adviser, students then apply to the University of Pittsburgh and/or Washington University for two years of advanced engineering study.
Math Modeling/Applied Math
Applied mathematicians use mathematics to solve real-world problems. These problems may be similar to the problems engineers attack and may require knowledge of science and computer science as well as mathematics. A good general link on applied mathematics careers is www.siam.org/careers/thinking.php. Other applied mathematicians use statistics and other mathematics and apply their techniques in business and government. One such area is called Operations Research. See www.informs.org and then click on Career for information about operations research careers.
Boeing Airlines (applied mathematics)
Towers Perrin (operations research and risk assessment)
Aberdeen Proving Grounds (operations research)
Actuaries use mathematics to asses and quantify risk in insurance. We have a separate page on our actuarial scienceprogram. For information on actuarial careers, see www.beanactuary.org. Recent graduates have been employed by:
PMA Group (Insurance Company)
Milliman and Robertson (consulting)
Penn Mutual Insurance Company
Arcadia mathematics graduates have been accepted at some major universities, including:
Columbia University - Statistics
University of Wisconsin- Madison- Mathematics
George Mason University- Statistics
Temple University- Math/Ed
University of Michigan - Civil Engineering
Villanova University - Statistics
Villanova University - Computer Science
Arcadia University - Math/Ed
Students rarely think of mathematics as a preparation for law school, but the reasoning and problem solving skills you deveop as a mathematics major provide a strong background for law.
SAS (statistics) Programming
SAS is a statistical programming language. This is a wonderful career for students who are interested in both statistics and programming. We offer specialized courses and, as a result, our students have been successful in finding job placements on graduation.
Statisticians collect and analyze data, drawing conclusions from that data. Detailed information on careers in statistics is available online at www.amstat.org/careers.
Some of our students have used their mathematics and business background to enter the financial consulting area.
Want to Teach Mathematics?
Arcadia offers a minor in Elementary Mathematics Education for students majoring in Elementary Education who want to enhance their understanding of mathematics.
Students who want to teach secondary school mathematics must satisfy state requirements which include the equivalent of a major in mathematics (including several specific courses) and education courses.
All students interested in secondary certification should meet with Dr. Augusto Macalalag, director of the Seconday School Teaching Certification programs. Undergraduate students should also meet with their Mathematics Department advisor.
Our department works closely with local school districts, often providing professional development workshops. Below, Dr. Louis Friedler working with local high school teachers.
Meet Our Faculty
The Computer Science and Mathematics Department faculty are dedicated, active scholars with backgrounds in applications and industry.