Department of Mathematics and Statistics

The power of mathematics lies in its focus on precise and logical reasoning to draw conclusions and make discoveries in many domains, both abstract and concrete. The idea of mathematics as a process of carrying out procedures and following rules to produce a single right answer is a misconception. At the college level, the discipline is fully realized as a way of thinking, which can be applied in almost any context, wherever the basis for what is true or false can be understood while minimizing fuzziness or ambiguity.

The starting point in mathematics is not a large body of facts, but is instead a small number of ideas that are made precise and thoroughly understood. Mathematical knowledge is built from these in a way that gives us access to the steps that form the logical basis for why something makes sense.

Times have changed. We live in a world where decisions need to be justified with data and conclusions need to be quantified. To be effective, we must critically evaluate judgments based on data and quantifiable observations, and  present arguments in a logical fashion. Presenting conclusions alone is not enough; they must be explained in a way that convinces others, supported by sound logical reasoning. This kind of argument is the focus of mathematics.

Ultimately, mathematics builds our ability to create new knowledge, justify new conclusions, and make new discoveries in any realm where logical thought yields power — which is to say, just about everywhere.

Consequently, the study of mathematics will better enable you to succeed in other disciplines, from chemistry to political science to sociology, at a more advanced level. This is also why mathematics majors find careers doing advanced work in consulting, government, analytics, engineering, education and other fields.