Traditionally, mathematics has been one of the cornerstones upon which the physical sciences have been founded.  In modern times, the role of mathematics is ever expanding and extending into most of the areas affecting our daily lives.  

Today the increasingly complex problems encountered in such fields as engineering, cryptography, management science, economics, medical science, biology, agriculture, military science, insurance, transportation, and communications (just name a few!) all require the expertise of individuals possessing strong mathematical skills. The proliferation of high speed computers has led to a great demand for people educated in computational mathematics as well as in traditional mathematics.  Teachers of mathematics are in strong demand at all the elementary and secondary levels.

The mathematics program at Illinois Wesleyan is designed to equip  our graduates with the skills needed to succeed in this diverse job market.  Click here to learn how.

The book [of nature] is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.

Galileo Galilei


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Answers to the Big Questions


Student Learning Goals of the Mathematics Major

Goal 1 : Analytical Skills

◦  Learning the mathematical language and how to read mathematics.
◦  Understanding the importance of definitions and their use in proofs.
◦  Learning how to formulate mathematical statements (e.g., definition, theorem, axiom, conjecture) precisely.
◦  Learning how to construct and test hypotheses and conjectures.
◦  Developing the ability to create and evaluate mathematical proofs and arguments.

Goal 2 : Rigorous, Logical Thinking Skills

◦  Developing reasoning skills.
◦  Developing habits of clear and precise logical thinking.  
◦ Developing habits of clear and precise writing.
◦ Strengthening habits of rigorous logical thought.

Goal 3: Problem-Solving Skills

◦ Developing a knowledge base.
◦ Developing problem identification and problem solving skills.
◦ Learning how to apply and relate mathematics to practical problems.

Goal 4 : Communication Skills

◦  Learning how to read and write mathematical proofs.
◦  Learning how to communicate mathematics in verbal and written form.

Goal 5 : Computer Skills

◦  Learning how to use computers to solve complex problems. 
◦  Learning how to use computers to check and apply a theory.