The general mathematics major at Dordt will prepare you for a wealth of possible career outcomes by training you to think logically, critically, and abstractly. The program begins with introductory calculus, though appropriate credit is given for anyone who has successfully taken AP calculus in high school. As you transition out of calculus, you will begin to see the breadth and beauty of mathematics by taking a variety of courses, such as:
- Discrete Structures: an introduction to math beyond calculus, discrete mathematics is used by mathematicians in other areas of math, as well as in computer science and engineering.
- Modern Geometry: a survey of geometry that goes beyond high school geometry to study non-Euclidean geometries and the place of axiomatic systems in modern mathematics.
- Abstract Algebra: a survey of algebraic structures including groups, rings, and fields. Abstract algebra is used by physicists to understand quantum physics, and, in conjunction with number theory, by mathematicians and computer scientists to design secure computer encryption tools.
Students will also take special topics courses taught by experts in the field, as well as have the opportunity to take and design courses in an area of mathematics of their choosing.
Mathematics courses focus primarily on analytical and quantitative ideas, techniques, and applications, helping you develop competency in a variety of areas so you can use your mathematical gifts in service to others. Students will be challenged to consider mathematics' all-pervasive role in our world and explore its connections with dominant worldviews in order to help you develop a Christian philosophy of mathematics.
Mathematics continues to advance, and so does the way it is taught and learned. We use computer technology to reduce the time spent on tedious computations of complex realistic problems. Computer graphics help you visualize ideas in new ways. Courses such as calculus, linear algebra, statistics, and geometry have benefited from new teaching methods made possible by today's technology.
Furthermore, opportunities exist for motivated students to participate in undergraduate research, both on and off campus, as well as internships.
Secondary mathematics education majors combine the content of mathematics courses with the pedagogy and knowledge gained in education courses. The major licenses students to teach mathematics in grades 5 to 12. The employment demand for teachers who are passionate about teaching mathematics is high and continues to rise. The math education major is a great option for students who enjoy the challenge and beauty that God has designed in mathematics and want to share that beauty with others.
Dordt College’s teacher education program works students into the classroom gradually. In their first semester in the education program, students participate in a weekly practicum in a grade 5-12 classroom. Additional classroom experiences culminate in the student-teaching internship as seniors.
While the secondary mathematics education major is a high demand degree, many students choose to combine the major with an endorsement for coaching or middle school. The coaching endorsement licenses students to coach while the middle school endorsement certifies students in at least one additional area beyond mathematics including science, social studies, or language arts for grades 5 through 8.
Many students also gain experience with mathematics education through the student employment program. As teacher aids, students lead review sessions, help prepare for classes, and grade papers which gives additional experience along with spending money.
Dordt College also has a unique major option which combines both mathematics and computer science courses as a joint major. This is an ideal option for students who have a passion for both mathematics and computing. The joint mathematics/computer science major helps students enhance their programming skills with a deeper understanding of mathematics. Similarly, students' mathematical explorations are enhanced by the ability harness to computing technology to solve problems.
While some students opt for the joint mathematics/computer science major, others combine their interest in mathematics with their other interests by choosing mathematics as a double major. Popular choices for students to combine a double major with mathematics include business, computer science, engineering, physics, and actuarial science. A mathematics minor is a nice complement to many majors as well, as it helps students hone their analytical thinking and reasoning skills.