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Math Instructor Marlene Naquin tutors a student at the Gulf Park campus.

Mathematics

Mathematics is called the language of science, because it provides universally applicable problem-solving techniques for everyone.

What Do Mathematics Majors Do?

Mathematics majors:

  • Analyze data
  • Create models for real life problems ranging from aircraft design to the spread of the Zika virus
  • Use logical analysis in professions ranging from law to medicine
  • Are active in any of a number of career paths
  • Pursue advanced degrees in a wide variety of fields, including all the sciences and engineering

Not having a specific employment target is actually a benefit: Mathematics majors are able to adapt to changing conditions more easily than majors with more specialized training.

Coursework

The curriculum starts with calculus, where you will study widely applicable exact methods that are similar to those from high school. Because we can tackle very complex problems with mathematics, for solutions, we rely on computer algorithms and, increasingly, on data analysis. You will also learn how proofs are used to assure correctness of approaches and techniques.

Degree Options

There is one Bachelor of Science (BS) degree available.

More about this Major

Outcomes

Recent graduates of the program have attended Vanderbilt University, Yale University and North Carolina State University, to name a few, pursuing PhDs in mathematics, genetics, or biomathematics, or master's degrees in mathematics, public health or software engineering with management studies.

Graduates have also gained employment with the Department of Defense or have joined the United States nuclear submarine force.

Our graduates are working in fields ranging from biomathematics to intelligence for employers ranging from universities to the U.S. nuclear submarine force.
Industry recruiters appreciate mathematics degrees. As one said, "If you have a mathematics degree, we know we can train you."

Courses You Might Take

MAT 167, 168, 169 and 280: Calculus I-IV

Graph: computing the area under a curve by approximating it with rectangles

Calculus is the key to modern science. There are two fundamental ideas: Computing a tangent to a curve by approximating it with secant lines, and computing the area under a curve by approximating it with rectangles (pictured). These ideas occur in many contexts and in many disguises, including, for example, heat transfer through a surface, but, fundamentally, they are always the same in all these contexts. Good command of these fundamentals carries you far.

MAT 320: Probability and Mathematical Statistics I

Graph of a predicted function surrounded by bands indicating confidence intervals. Graph of actual function falls within confidence intervals.

Many natural phenomena involve uncertainty, which makes prediction difficult. Probability and Statistics formally investigate this uncertainty to allow predictions that are not exact, but which will have a certain level of accuracy.

MAT 340: Discrete Mathematics

Circularly symmetric network of points joined by straight lines and one curve.

Many phenomena that are not accessible through the continuous models of calculus are accessible through discrete models.

Meet Some of Your Professors

Dr. Zhifu Xie

Professor

Favorite Courses: Calculus, differential equations and linear algebra

Expertise: Dynamical systems and nonlinear partial differential equations and their applications; Wright W. and Annie Rea Cross Endowed Chair in Mathematics Undergraduate Research

Dr. Anna Wan

Assistant Professor

Favorite Course: Mathematics for Middle Grades Teachers

Expertise: 3D printing, mathematics education

Dr. Bernd Schroeder

Professor and Chair

Favorite Course: Any mathematics that is beautiful or useful, ideally both

Expertise: Ordered sets, probability theory

Dr. James Lambers

Associate Professor

Favorite Course: Numerical Analysis, Differential Equations

Expertise: Scientific Computing

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Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.