Mathematics

Mathematics

The department of mathematics helps students develop problem-solving skills based on mathematical reasoning and understanding. Future teachers, actuaries, and mathematicians will gain experience through small class sizes that promote communication and teamwork.

Fast Facts

1

There is a great, unfilled need for high school math teachers across the nation, including Adventist academies. Our program in math education is specially designed to prepare students to pass California's qualifying test to teach mathematics.

2

The B.S. in mathematics prepares students for graduate or certification studies in a variety of areas, including statistics, computer science, and operations research.

3

Our program has a very favorable student to teacher ratio in the upper division. These advanced courses usually have from 3 to 5 students. This makes it very convenient for students and teacher to work closely together; the teacher knows the students very well and there is abundant opportunity for individual help and student teamwork.

4

Our students also have almost automatic jobs working in the math department. The students are hired as tutors and readers. This provides great experience as well as solidifying the knowledge gained in coursework.

Careers

  • Teaching
  • Actuary
  • Medicine
  • Genetic research
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Insurance and Investment

Dr. Waters Solves Your Major Questions

Steve Waters s a professor of mathematics and chair of the departments of computer science, mathematics, and physics. He took a moment to answer some questions about the pluses (no minuses here!) of a math major.

Do you have to be a math whiz to be a math major?
Absolutely not! But you do have to have a curiosity about patterns (geometric, algebraic, numerical, verbal, thought) and a willingness to stay focused on a problem for more than a few minutes. It also helps to develop a joyful attitude over discovering problem-solving techniques that don’t work as you refine your skills in finding those that do.

“I feel fortunate to work in a learning community that is always willing and eager to engage in conversation on virtually any topic.”

Are math majors destined to wear pocket protectors?
I don’t know of any math majors who wear a pocket protector, but many purchase a supply of colored pens and pencils. Our majors blend in with other students and have incredibly wide-ranging interests. Just listen for people laughing and studying together at the departments of computer science, mathematics, and physics. But be warned: once you join the sociable group there, it will be hard to leave.

You are known to avoid shoes. Why?
I think that it’s important to clarify that I have nothing against shoes; I just don’t particularly like them on my own feet. Fortunately, the mathematics community at PUC believes in making people comfortable in their mathematical pursuits, so shoe-wearing is optional. Besides, what better place is there to go barefoot than here in God’s vacation home on Earth.

What does math teach you about faith?
It teaches me to be clear with myself about starting assumptions and reasoning structures; it helps me to understand that some topics can best be understood from new and different points of view; and it helps to give me a perspective on just how much I don’t know about God’s wonderful creation and the ways that we attempt to make sense of it through our reasoning. I feel fortunate to work in a learning community that is always willing and eager to engage in conversation on virtually any topic and just as willing to accept the Holy Spirit’s influence on those conversations.