Mathematics began with roots in the basic concepts of space and number and has flowered into many wonderful forms. The creation and discovery of new mathematics have never been more active or vital than they are today. Mathematics is sometimes called the science of pattern and order. It relies on logic as a standard of truth, but uses observation and even experimentation as means of discovering truth. Mathematicians think of their work as a blend of science and art, sometimes elegant and beautiful, describing deep and useful creations. In addition to theorems and theories, mathematics offers distinct modes of thought which are both versatile and powerful for understanding the world.
Courses serve those who wish to make mathematics a part of a liberal arts education, those who desire a mathematics background for other disciplines, such as Computer Science, Economics or the natural sciences, those who wish to minor in Mathematics, and those who wish to major in Mathematics.
Mathematics majors choose careers in education, industry, business, banking and insurance serving as teachers, statisticians, industrial mathematicians, computer programmers or analysts, actuaries and research workers in the biological, management or social sciences. Their training can also serve as a stepping stone to professional training or graduate work in a variety of fields.
News and Events
- The second session of the Willamette University Math Circle begins on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. The Math Circle is led by Associate Professors Peter Otto and Mark Janeba with mathematics majors Marla Williams and Katie Tucker as student assistants.
- Congatulations to Associate Professor Inga Johnson who was awarded the United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service on September 12, 2012.
- The paper titled "The Link Smoothing Game" by Associate Professor Inga Johnson and Allison Henrich at Seattle University has been accepted for publication in AKCE Int. J. Graphs Comb., 9, No. 2 (2012).
- On May 10, 2012, alumni Dominique Lomax ('10) shared with us through the alumni contact form that she is currenting "teaching AP Calculus AB to students in China who wish to attend a college or university in America. I teach only in English and develop the students English abilities through math." Thanks Dom for letting us know what you're doing. We always love hearing about our alumni so please contribute!
- On Saturday, May 12, the following mathematics majors were inducted to Phi Beta Kappa: Hanna Bliden (math/econ major), Stephanie Jones, and Taylor McKenzie.
- The following students were inducted into the Pi Mu Epsilon national mathematics honorary society on May 1, 2012: Marla Williams, Malika Onstad, Katie Tucker, Casey Jordan Husseman, Ian McGahan, Erik Reinhart, and Anna Zimmerman.
- Congratulations to senior majors Stephanie Jones and Taylor McKenzie who received this year's Chester F. Luther Mathematics Award for Graduating Seniors. Other department awards were the following: Luther Scholarship: Marla Williams, Ben Gardiner, and Paul Hoard; Jory-Hafferkam Prize: William Agnew-Svoboda, Andrew Bishop, and Yumi Li; Hall Scholarship: Katie Tucker
- On Saturday, April 28th, the math club held the Second Annual Pacific Northwest Intercollegiate Ginormous Blokus Tournament. Three schools, Willamette, Pacific University, and Linfield College, competed in a blokus competition with our own ginormous (20 feet by 20 feet) blokus game. Willamette won, taking the PNIGBT trophy back from Pacific, who won last year.
- On Thursday, April 26th, seniors Eric Knowles and Amanda Apple presented their senior seminar projects on Penny Auctions: Bidding Strategies in 2-Player Games and A Game Theory Analysis on Crime and Punishment, respectively.
- On Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, members of the department participated in the Pacific Northwest Section Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America held at the University of Portland. Associate Professor Josh Laison was the Invited Program Chair, coordinating two plenary talks given by Frank Morgan of Williams College and Bob Bosch of Oberlin College. Associate Professor Peter Otto gave a contributed talk, presenting a joint paper titled Polynomial representation for the expected length of minimal spanning trees co-authored with Associate Professor Colin Starr and Willamette University alumni Jared Nishikawa. Associate Professor Josh Laison served on a panel discussion on Publishing Undergraduate Research, and Associate Professor Erin McNicholas spoke on two panels, one on Small Group Discussions in Math Classes, and one on How to Get Tenure and Survive. Next year's meeting will be held at Willamette University on April 12-13, 2013!
- Congratulations to mathematics majors Ross Casebolt and Katie Tucker, both of whom earned positive scores on the 2011 Putnam Exam! Katie placed in the top 54% and Ross in the top 27%.
- Mathematics professors Inga Johnson and Erin McNicholas, along with faculty members in Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry and Physics, received a 2012-2013 Hewlett Grant Award for their proposal titled STEM Colloquium Series: Promoting Interdisciplinary Communication & Collaboration.