Department of Mathematics

Abstract yet general, fact versus imagination. Our understanding of the world is built upon the fundamental properties of mathematics. The study of mathematics at Agnes Scott embodies more than numbers and equations. Students develop the skills of clear and logical thinking, the effective use of mathematical language and the ability to communicate mathematical ideas through writing and speaking. To study mathematics at Agnes Scott is to appreciate the broad power of mathematics and its capacity to describe phenomena in the real world.

Three separate mathematics majors are offered to Agnes Scott students: a major in mathematics; a mathematics-physics major specifically geared toward students with an interest in science; and a mathematics-economics major recommended for students anticipating graduate study in economics. A minor in mathematics is also available.

What will I study?
After a two-semester sequence in calculus, our program introduces the central building blocks for advanced topics, including three courses titled The Art of Mathematical Thinking, Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus. In addition to a variety of specialized courses (including Abstract Algebra), students learn to use mathematical software and to appreciate its role as a tool in the study and application of math. Courses are designed to develop each student’s ability to work with abstract ideas as she meets some of the major themes and profound ideas in modern mathematics.

Why should I study mathematics at Agnes Scott?

  • Hands-on Experience
    Mathematics students may supplement their on-campus education with internship and research opportunities in the Atlanta area or across the nation. Students seek internships at the Federal Reserve Bank, the Centers for Disease Control, or the National Security Agency, while others apply for summer research programs at Agnes Scott or on other college campuses. In recent years, mathematics students have participated in research programs at Rice University, the University of Nebraska, the University of Pittsburgh, and Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • Supportive Learning Environment 
    At some point in time, everybody needs a little help. The Math Research Center is available to help students with their mathematics questions and provides peer tutoring by a group of student learning assistants.

What can I do with with this degree?
The study of mathematics will develop your ability to analyze problems, as well as to understand and use the theory and techniques of mathematics. You will acquire the skills and mathematical tools needed in the application of mathematics as you prepare for professional employment or academic advancement. As a graduate you will have many options. For example, you can:

  • Continue your academic study in graduate, law or medical school
  • Teach math in secondary schools
  • Become a professional mathematician
  • Become a statistician or cryptologist for the United States government
  • Work as a systems analyst or actuary in the corporate world
  • Work in biostatistics, mathematical biology, public health and a wide variety of other research areas in the sciences that use mathematics

Mathematics Awards
The Wilson Asbury Higgs Scholarship was established in 1975 through a bequest from Kate Higgs Vaughan '24 in memory of her father. It is based on merit, and its recipient is selected by the mathematics department.