Mathematics & Statistics
The mathematical sciences are among the oldest learned disciplines and continue to be vital and developing areas of research. They are the basis for understanding much of the physical world, and have become essential for the study of modern developments in the social and biological sciences.
Students of the mathematical sciences learn to think critically about data and mathematical objects, which in turn equips them to be more engaged and responsible citizens of the world. The Mathematics and Statistics Department offers a flexible major, enabling students to tailor their course of study for a range of interests, as well as a correlate sequence for students concentrating in other disciplines. Our colloquium series, the annual Asprey and Henry Seely White Lectures, and participation in Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI) offer opportunities to get a glimpse of present-day mathematics and statistics.
Graduates with mathematics majors are in high demand in graduate programs in economics, business, and engineering, and in education, law, and computing. The demands of critical thinking, precise reasoning, and effective communication that mathematics requires are also central to the goal of a liberal arts education, and they apply in almost every activity in life.
The study of the mathematical sciences at Vassar develops a precision of thought and articulation that is valued both within mathematics and statistics, as well as in other disciplines. The curriculum ranges over a large portion of the landscape of mathematical and statistical ideas from symmetries to measures of randomness, from calculus to abstract vector spaces. Through the use of computing, students engage with real-world data to answer research questions and understand the world around them. Developing a student’s intuition about mathematical objects and data is a goal of our courses, accomplished through lectures, workshops, assignments, projects, and oral and written presentations.