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Mathematics

Mathematics seeks to understand patterns and develop abstractions.It is the science of number, structure, shape and change.Practitioners learn to think analytically and critically, and to formulate and solve problems. The role of mathematics is vital and growing, providing solutions to problems in a wide range of disciplines including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, computer science, and economics. As a result, employment opportunities in the mathematical sciences are expected to continue to expand.

The options in either General Mathematics or Applied Mathematics prepare students to assume attractive and challenging positions in industry and government, or to pursue graduate work in pure or applied mathematics. People with degrees in mathematics solve problems in mathematics, science, engineering, business, finance, and health care.

The option in Statistics provides a ​modern program balanced between theoretical and applied statistics. Students are especially well prepared to pursue a graduate degree in Statistics or Data Science. Statisticians offer essential insight in determining which data and conclusions are trustworthy. They can find many career opportunities in cutting-edge research in such fields as medicine, pharmaceuticals, business, quality control, and the social sciences. The department also offers a joint Certificate in Data Science with the Department of Computer Science. Students obtaining the certificate will have the technical skills needed to solve complex data problems to aid in data driven decision making.

The options in Mathematics Education fulfill all requirements for the Single Subject Preparation Program in Mathematics for those students wishing to pursue a California Single Subject Credential in Mathematics. They also prepare students to pursue graduate degrees in mathematics education. Students wishing to obtain a degree and a high school teaching credential from CSU, Chico should follow the option in Mathematics Education - Credential Path that allows students to earn both a degree and credential in four years. Students wishing to obtain a degree and a middle school teaching credential from CSU, Chico should follow the Foundational option.

Faculty and Facilities

The faculty have expertise in a wide variety of fields of mathematics plus a commitment to excellence in teaching. Individual members are involved in a number of exciting and creative efforts: computer applications of math, applications of math in business and economics, statistical research in biology and medicine, research in various areas of pure mathematics, and innovative approaches to teaching at the collegiate, secondary, and elementary levels. Students have the opportunity to participate in these challenging programs.

Many classes make use of graphing calculators and/or computers. The department maintains a collection of laptops available open to all mathematics students. In addition, the department sponsors a Math Learning Lab on the 4th floor of the Meriam Library where student can receive personalized tutoring.

Academic Activities

The department sponsors an active colloquium series which provides weekly talks on a variety of mathematical topics that are not typically included in the undergraduate curriculum. Past speakers have included well-known mathematicians and scientists, faculty members from many universities, as well as undergraduate students.

The CSU, Chico Mathematics Club is open to any interested student. The organization sponsors lectures, field trips, and a variety of social activities. Mathematics majors are encouraged to become involved.

During the summer, the department provides in-service classes and workshops for K12 teachers in our service area. We also have a history of providing undergraduate research opportunities in the summer.

Career Outlook

Mathematicians today are involved in a variety of activities, ranging from the creation of new theories to the analysis of scientific and managerial models. Beginning jobs as mathematicians are likely to be competitive in the near future; both demand and supply are expected to increase. There is a need for more mathematicians to solve complex research and development problems in engineering, the natural and social sciences, military sciences, operations research, and business management. There is also a high need for secondary mathematics teachers and computational statisticians.

Financial Support

In addition to university-wide scholarships, mathematics and statistics majors are eligible for several department and college awards and scholarships. To be considered for these scholarships, submit a University scholarship application to the Scholarship Office by the February deadline.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics hires 10-15 students each semester as graders or tutors. Students with good grades who have completed at least one upper-division mathematics course are encouraged to apply at the department office.

Catalog Cycle:19