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Math Main Page for Dr. Stephen Finbow

Mathematics at St. F. X.

With the rapid proliferation of the use of computers and information technology, the application of mathematics to different areas has become much easier, and so the use of mathematics has become much more widespread. Thus, the members of the Department believe that a working knowledge of mathematics is an important part of the education of every citizen.

Students in our Mathematics Programs will encounter a range of continuous mathematics, discrete mathematics and statistics, both in the solution of applied problems and in theoretical settings. Several courses in the Program involve projects where students will have the opportunity to synthesize a number of mathematical or statistical ideas and to use appropriate computer tools in completing these projects. Mathematics assists students in examining the logical relations between abstract ideas. More specifically, students should become skilled at recognizing a particular problem as an application of a general theory (thus, reasoning from the general to the specific), and recognizing that there is a common structure in several different problems (thus reasoning from the specific to the general).

A graduate of the Program should:

  1. Understand and be able to communicate the techniques and general directions of the disciplines of mathematics and statistics.
  2. Be able to reformulate problems in a mathematical or statistical setting and to understand the nature of the solutions.
  3. Be able to study and understand new mathematical or statistical ideas… in particular should be ready to pursue further studies in mathematics or statistics, or in other disciplines closely related to mathematics.

Graduates of the Program have many options. These range from gaining employment in the private sector or in government in a position that requires use of their quantitative and analytical skills, to going on to further study in Graduate School

What is Mathematics?

Mathematics is a vast subject. It is the natural language of the physical and life sciences and, increasingly, is becoming a vital tool in business administration and the social sciences. But, in itself mathematics is not a science! (it does not use the scientific method, but rather relies on inductive and deductive reasoning) As a start, one can define mathematics to be the study of structure, and how one can use knowledge of structure in solving problems


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