Welcome to the Grace College Mathematics Program. We are dedicated to developing concepts and applications as well as sharpening skills in mathematics. Math is the language of creation, and we welcome you to join us in its exploration.
This major fits students who like math and are good problem solvers. Students are prepared for careers in business, computer technology, science and related areas. A strong foundation is also provided for graduate studies. Surveys show increasing opportunities for math majors during the next 10 to 20 years.
Course Requirements for a B.A. or B.S. in Mathematics
Course Requirements for a Mathematics Minor
Examples of courses in this major:
MAT 3130 Linear Algebra
This class is an introductory course in matrices and vector spaces. We will study the arithmetic of matrices and how to utilize matrices to solve systems of linear equations. Our study of matrices will give us a natural entry point into the theory of vector spaces. We will study the vector space axioms and their consequences and finish the class by investigating the major theorems involving linear transformations and bases of vector spaces.
MAT 3200 Probability and Statistics
This is an introductory course in probability and statistics. Topics covered include probability theorems and models, statistical techniques, and practices for applying statistical techniques in the world around us.
MAT 3280 Modern Geometry
This course is a thorough investigation of the axioms and theorems of Euclidean geometry. Throughout this course, we will also cover several topics in non-Euclidean geometry, symbolic logic and axiomatic systems in general. This course is designed to thoroughly equip a future high school teacher with the content knowledge needed to successfully teach geometry.
MAT 4140 Abstract Algebra
Standard algebra is a study of the arithmetic structure of numbers and of functions of numbers. There are other objects that we study in mathematics besides numbers and, consequently, other arithmetic structures: for example, matrices, functions and permutations. Modern algebra is the study of general arithmetic structures and of functions of these general structures. In this course, we study the axioms of group theory and develop the body of theorems associated with these axioms. If time permits, we will also investigate the axioms and theorems of ring theory and field theory.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
Kristin Farwell, B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics; Mathematics Program Director
B.A. in Mathematics, Houghton College; M.S. in Mathematics, South Dakota State University; Ph.D. in Mathematics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Kristin Farwell joined the Grace College family in 2011. His passion is working with undergraduates on research topics and getting them prepared to give presentations at conferences. He has worked with many students on independent studies. Kris and his wife, Megan, have one daughter, Eden, and attend Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church.
Ryan Johnson, B.A., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
B.A. in Mathematics, Hope College; Ph.D. in Mathematics, Iowa State University
Ryan Johnson joined the Grace College family in 2014 as assistant professor of mathematics. He teaches a variety of courses including probability and statistics, abstract algebra, discrete math and calculus. In his spare time, he enjoys a variety of sports, especially running, volleyball and basketball. Ryan and his wife, Heidi, recently had a baby boy named Gideon. They attend Christ Covenant Church in Winona Lake.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
- Financial Planner
- Financial planners help individuals and groups plan the use of their savings, income and investments. Some are self-employed consultants who offer workshops that teach people how to analyze their own financial situations. Other financial planners operate financial planning businesses or are employed by insurance companies and financial institutions—savings and loan companies, investment services companies and banks—to sell their company's financial products. Such products might include family budgeting schemes, mutual funds, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), insurance, real estate or tax-sheltered investment plans. Financial planners help individuals examine their immediate and long-term financial situations. The job of the financial planner is to help each investor decide what kinds of investments are best. They advise people on what types of investments to put their money in as well as the timing of major expenditures such as buying a house or starting retirement.
- An underwriter is a person who, as a disinterested third party, reviews potential clients to assess their fitness for the services provided by a health insurance company, creditor or investment house. Underwriters have specific training that helps them to effectively evaluate the financial risks a potential client could pose to the company and whether the company can offer effective services to the client.
- Financial Analyst
- Financial analysts, also called securities or investment analysts, examine financial information in order to make sound suggestions to businesses on how to invest money. Financial analysts often use statistical software and spreadsheets to analyze the facts they gather. Financial analysts then make reports to their employers on the results of their research. They work in banks, corporations, stock brokerages, insurance companies and government agencies. Some analysts study worldwide and national money matters. Others advise corporations on ways to invest their pension funds. Many financial analysts specialize in determining the value of securities such as stocks and bonds.
- Demographers study the makeup, distribution and trends of populations. They also make observations about the causes and effects of population changes such as increases in birth rates or immigration. Demographers collect statistical data, analyze the data to identify any trends, and then predict future trends. These predictions can help governments, social service agencies and private companies to plan ahead. Demographers are sometimes called population sociologists. Sociology is a broader field than demography and is concerned with the characteristics of social groups.
- Cartographers are part of a larger occupational group called mapping scientists. They collect geographic information from aerial photographs and survey data and use this information to prepare maps, charts and drawings of large areas of the earth's surface. Cartographers must be skillful in reading and understanding detailed photographs and drawings. They must also know how to use manual and computerized drafting instruments, photogrammetric techniques, mathematical formulas and precision stereoplotting equipment. Above all, cartographers must be able to render accurate representations of the data they have collected.
- Claims Adjuster
- Claims adjusters ascertain how much money people are entitled to receive on their insurance claims. Most claims adjusters work for property-liability insurance companies. Property-liability insurance covers such losses as fires, thefts and accidents. People who buy this insurance protect themselves and their property against these events. The claims adjuster goes to the scene of the accident or fire to see that the claim is valid and that it is settled as quickly as possible. This work requires a thorough knowledge of insurance policies and practices. As soon as a loss is reported, an adjuster investigates the claim by talking to witnesses and studying police reports before determining the amount that should be paid to the policy-holder. Part of the adjuster's job is to determine whether the amount of the claim has been inflated and whether fraud has been committed. The claims adjuster may prepare written reports of the findings.