Mathematics Overview

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers three majors:

Program Flexibility
All students intending to major in the mathematical sciences (mathematics, computer science, or actuarial science) begin their mathematics education at Lebanon Valley College by taking the following courses.

MAS 111, 112 Analysis (Calculus)
MAS 113, 114 Mathematical Thinking

Being in these classes with the other students interested in the mathematical sciences at the beginning of your college mathematics career is a unique and vital ingredient in the special character of your mathematics education at LVC.

During the sophomore year, potential mathematics majors (Math) take the following courses whereas computer science (CSC) majors take two of these courses and actuarial science majors (ASC) take three.

MAS 261 Calculus III (ASC and Math)
MAS 251 Discrete Math (CSC and Math)
MAS 222 Linear Algebra (CSC and Math)
MAS 202 Foundations of Mathematics (ASC and Math)

These common courses allow students time to choose among majors in the mathematical sciences while staying on track for graduation in four years. This flexibility is built into the program because we understand that many students who enjoy mathematics are not ready to make a final choice as to a major among the mathematical sciences when they enter college.

Personal Attention
Class size in the first-year courses has been between 25 and 35 during the past few years. Sophomore-level courses typically involve 10 to 25 students. Upper division courses will contain five to 15 students. These relatively small courses allow for regular personal contact between students and faculty. With our Independent Study opportunities, a student can study, under the guidance of a professor, in an area of special interest. If several students wish to have a course on a particular subject that is not regularly offered, a Special Topics course is often arranged.

Faculty

  • J. Patrick Brewer, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1997
  • Sean V. Droms, Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2013   
  • Michael Fry, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana, 1980
  • Samuel Kolins, Ph.D., Cornell University, 2011
  • David Lyons, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1996
  • Barry Smith, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2007
  • Ken Yarnall, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1992

This faculty has many years of undergraduate teaching experience and all faculty members are committed to the proposition that undergraduate teaching matters. That is why they are at Lebanon Valley College. The faculty includes winners of various graduate school and LVC teaching awards. According to their interests, they are members of a variety of professional organizations including the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, the Association of Computing Machinery, the IEEE Computer Society, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Society of Actuaries.

Professors Yarnall and Fry are responsible for the Computer Science Program. Professor Brewer directs the Actuarial Science Program. The entire faculty participates in teaching athematics major courses.

Students
Generally, there are 80 to 100 students pursuing a major in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. The average mathematical science major has SAT scores above 1100 and high school class standing at about the 90th percentile. About half of the mathematics majors plan careers in secondary education teaching mathematics and computer science. The other half of the mathematics majors have a variety of career goals, including business and academia. Actuarial science majors plan to pursue careers in health, life, and property/casualty insurance, or benefit consulting. Computer science majors frequently establish careers as programmers/analysts, systems and network designers and administrators, or in application implementation.

More than 90 percent of the students in the Department of Mathematical Sciences have won scholarships as part of the Lebanon Valley College merit scholarship program. The large size of the department allows students to establish friendships with others of similar interests. Mathematical science majors are leaders in all aspects of LVC life. They are found on many athletic teams, in drama productions, musical organizations, and student government.

Actuarial science, computer science, and mathematics majors can accommodate a semester of study abroad and many students in the Department of Mathematical Sciences take advantage of the variety of study abroad programs offered by the College. Though there are fewer study abroad options for secondary education majors due to state-required course requirements, several short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs are available.

Job Placement
Over the past 28 years, approximately 90 percent of LVC Mathematical Sciences graduates have immediately entered the work force with approximately ten percent continuing with graduate or professional school. Of those entering the work force, more than 30 percent have gone into actuarial positions, 25 percent into computer related positions, roughly 13 percent have taken positions in business and government, and another 13 percent have taken positions in the teaching profession. The other eight percent have assumed a variety of other positions, some related to mathematics and some related to other interests. Whatever their ultimate career, study in the mathematical sciences provides students with mental discipline and confidence; characteristics that are in great demand.