Why study mathematics?
The study of mathematics enhances our appreciation of the beauty of life and prepares us to excel in modern society. It does this by developing the ability to find patterns and analyze data, to construct and clearly present logical arguments, and to navigate highly abstract concepts. Students of mathematics learn to break down complex problems into simpler pieces, to read carefully, and to write unambiguously.
Why mathematics at Sweet Briar?
Our mathematical sciences department fosters a community of faculty and students centered around an appreciation of the usefulness and beauty of mathematics and its importance for modern science and the liberal arts. We offer a rigorous program that gives our majors a solid foundation for graduate study or careers in mathematics, statistics, education, economics, finance and the natural sciences.
The intellectual rigor and discipline fostered by mathematics prepares students for a wide spectrum of careers including medicine, architecture, business, government and law. Students work closely with faculty mentors toward achieving their personal post-graduation goals.
Two of our professors have been presented the Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the highest award any faculty member in Virginia can receive.
What can you do with a mathematics major?
Today’s mathematics has expanded beyond its purely-theoretical stronghold and is increasingly integral and fundamental to research investigations in biology, economics, medicine, ecology, business, social science, finance and computing. Mathematics plays a crucial role in confronting the challenges of climate change, global economics and national security. Because general methods and principles are part of mathematical sciences, mathematicians can apply their skills and expertise in any of those fields, qualifying them for a wide range of careers.
The post-graduation paths of our alumnae reflect the fact that both theoretical and applied mathematics have become increasingly important to society. They are successful in a wide spectrum of professional fields including the natural and life sciences, finance, education, engineering and operations research, government, defense research and actuarial sciences. Many continue their education to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees in those fields. Recent Sweet Briar alumnae have received degrees or are current degree candidates in graduate programs at Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, London School of Economics, Boston University, UC Irvine, UC Merced, Duke, Purdue, Dartmouth and Georgetown.