There has long been a demand in both industry and government for people with training in mathematics and statistics. The mathematics major who takes courses in computer science or statistics will enter an extremely favorable job market. There is also a need for secondary school teachers who are certified to teach mathematics or computer science. A major in mathematics provides a good foundation for further study in mathematics or for teaching on the secondary school level. With a degree in mathematics, it is also possible to gain admission to graduate school in other fields such as public policy, management and operations research.
Computer science students will enter a very favorable job market with opportunities in business, industry, government and private consulting. The study of fundamental principles of computer science and the strong mathematical component of this program fortify students with the lifelong learning skills essential for success in this rapidly changing field. Students with a mathematics major and a computer science minor will be prepared for graduate work in this or a related field.
The Mathematics and Computer Science Department annually awards approximately $30,000 in scholarships in honor of E. R. Sleight, a beloved mathematics professor who taught at Albion from 1908 to 1948. Prospective students with strong interests in mathematics are encouraged to contact the department to apply for these scholarships. Additional awards are made to outstanding upperclass students in mathematics and computer science.
Each year the Mathematics and Computer Science Department nominates five mathematics majors to membership in the Mathematical Association of America. The J. R. Lancaster Award is presented to the student who best exemplifies the liberally educated mathematics student. The E. R. Sleight Prize and the Ronald C. Fryxell Prize are awarded to the outstanding seniors in mathematics and computer science. Each summer several students receive stipends as Kresge Fellows and from other sources for independent research projects in the mathematical sciences. The Michigan Alpha chapter (established at Albion in 1937) of the mathematics honorary Kappa Mu Epsilon promotes mathematical lectures, films and social events. Students participate in the Michigan Autumn Take-Home Challenge, the Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition, and at the national level, in the William Lowell Putnam Competition and the Mathematical Contest in Modeling. Students are encouraged to attend and present papers at departmental colloquia and at regional conferences in undergraduate mathematics. Internships and the Oak Ridge Science Semester provide additional opportunities for intensive study in the mathematical sciences.
The Math/Stat Computing Laboratory is designed especially for students in mathematics, statistics and computer science courses. This computer laboratory features microcomputers running Windows and a laser printer for high-resolution graphics and typesetting. Statistics students routinely analyze data with the Minitab statistical analysis program; graphing calculators and the Mathematica computer algebra system are integrated into precalculus, calculus and higher-level mathematics courses. This lab is part of Albion's campus-wide computer network connecting faculty offices, classrooms, laboratories, public computer areas, printers, the library automation system and residence hall rooms. From computers on the network, students can access their files, run software on the campus network, interact with other computers, send electronic mail and browse the World Wide Web.
The E. R. Sleight Computing Laboratory contains a network of workstations dedicated for use by computer science students. These computers run individually or in parallel under the Linux operating system.
Departmental Policy on Advanced Placement Credit
Credit earned through the Advanced Placement (AP) exams in calculus, computer science, or statistics may be applied, as appropriate, toward any major or minor in the department. Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the Calculus AB exam receive credit for Mathematics 141. Students who earn a 4 on the Calculus BC exam receive credit for Mathematics 141, and those who earn a 5 on this exam receive credit for both Mathematics 141 and Mathematics 143. Students who earn a score of 4 or 5 on the Computer Science A or Computer Science AB exam will receive credit for Computer Science 171. Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the statistics exam will receive credit for Mathematics 109.