Mathematics is a rigorous and demanding intellectual pursuit. It is also interesting, exciting and challenging. Students like its clarity and the satisfaction of knowing when you have the right answer to a problem. If you choose math then the Department of Mathematics will strive to provide a rich environment and supportive community in which you can flourish and grow - and achieve your goals.
Our faculty are internationally renowned experts covering the full spectrum of mathematical areas, from abstract algebra, geometry and topology, through analysis, scientific computing, to mathematical finance and mathematical biology. Our faculty bring that cutting edge knowledge to every math class, every research project you undertake, and to your job search. Advising of math majors is done by faculty. Alumni are valued by the Department, and in turn many contribute enthusiastically to mentoring and supporting current math majors.
My most valuable mentoring experience with Lecturer Jeffrey Wheeler was pursuing research in additive combinatorics as an independent study with another student Steven Reich. Jeff was an invaluable source of guidance, particularly attuned to issues that arise in student research such as efficiently reading mathematical papers, identifying which tools to attack a problem, overcoming frustration that naturally arises during research, and properly writing up results. Jeff helped put us in correspondence with a mathematics researcher, Dr. Gyula Károlyi, who was an expert on such problems. This whole process showed Jeff’s ability to introduce undergraduate students to the world of mathematics research in a non-trivial way. We eventually wrote up some of our results and submitted the paper to a mathematical journal and posted it on ArXiv. This was one of the highlights of my undergraduate career, and led me to apply to graduate school to pursue more research. Suren Jayasuriya (A&S '13)
The Department of Mathematics offers programs leading to a BS in math, applied math, actuarial math and math-biology, as well as joint degrees in math-economics and math-philosophy. A degree in mathematics provides an excellent base on which to build a career in virtually any high technology field and provides a particularly strong foundation for advanced study in science, engineering, and finance.
Math courses cover topics such as cryptography, differential geometry and mathematical neuroscience. The `BIG Problems' course is seminar style, with representatives from business, industry and government bringing genuinely `real world' problems which teams of students work on over the semester. Many upper level math courses include project work, and there are numerous opportunities for math majors to participate in research projects with faculty. Research from these collaborations have been presented by students at mathematical conferences, and at `Math Fest', the Math Department's own celebration of all things mathematical - in particular student work.
Our approach, of building a community—math majors, graduate students and faculty—and a math-rich environment, works. Math majors report high levels of satisfaction with the program, and our most recent group of graduating students are going on to opportunities ranging from high powered jobs with PNC Bank (the eight largest US bank, headquartered here in Pittsburgh) to starting a PhD in algebraic geometry at the University of Oxford, UK (with full support from a prestigious Simons Foundation scholarship).
For more information about our department, or to schedule a visit or tour, please contact the Dietrich School's Manager of Undergraduate Recruitment, Nicole Horvath, at firstname.lastname@example.org.