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    American University
    Jun 24, 2024  
American University Catalog 2020-2021 
American University Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mathematics and Statistics


Chair  Artur Elezi
Director of Undergraduate Studies  R.C. Mitchell
Graduate Program Director in Statistics and Quantitative Analysis  M. Baron
Graduate Program Director in Mathematics of Information and Security  M. Robinson
Director of Data Science Programs  J. Wall
Director of Quantitative Support  B. Jalali

Full-Time Faculty

University Distinguished Professor  M. Gray
Professor  J. Adler, S. Casey, J. Gill, J. Hakim, M. Jackson, J. Lansky, J. Nolan
David Carroll Professor  M. Baron
Associate Professor  K. Crona, A. Elezi, J. Lu, E. Malloy, M. Robinson
Assistant Professor  Z. Boukouvalas, J. Chifman, D. Gerard
Senior Professorial Lecturer  L. Bernhofen, D. Dietz, K. Duke, A. Kapatou, M. Limarzi, J. Miller, R.C. Mitchell, M. Pospieszelska, R. Ressler, H. Van Dyke, J. Wall
Professorial Lecturer  M. Barouti, R. Conboye, O. Cordero-Brana, E. Curran, J. Dickens, M. Keynes, A. Knapp, N. Mehta, H. Semiyari, W. Wicker
Instructor  A. Quick

Emeriti Faculty

Professor Emeritus/a  D. Crosby, A. Enayat, R. Holzsager, D. Kalman, B. Korin, S. Schot
Associate Professor Emeritus/a  A. Barron, I.L. Chang, L. Crone, V. Stallings, F. Van Dyke
Assistant Professor Emeritus/a  C. Machlin

Department Overview

Mathematics is one of the oldest branches of knowledge. It involves the logical study of structures, including numbers, shapes, spaces, and other systems, identifying patterns in these structures and analyzing how they change. Mathematics may be studied as an intellectual discipline for its own sake or as a professional tool for application to the problems of other disciplines. Majors in Mathematics (BS)  receive firm grounding in the theory and techniques of algebra, analysis, and other fields as a basis for further work in pure or applied mathematics and for graduate studies. The major in Applied Mathematics (BS)  offers training in mathematical problem-solving techniques. The program has a solid theoretical base, but emphasizes applications across the sciences to practical problems. Undergraduates majoring in mathematics may also choose to take Secondary Education (Second Major Only) .

Statistics is the science of making decisions based on data. Data and decisions can come from business, law, medicine, politics, science, sociology, and every other field of study, but may be based on incomplete observations or incorrect measurements. To mitigate such uncertainties, students studying statistics build and apply quantitative tools and techniques for the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. They then utilize statistical techniques to discover and investigate patterns, build predictive models, and control variability to improve decision making.

Undergraduate students majoring in Statistics (BS)  have two tracks available. Those who intend to continue with graduate work in statistics or those with an interest in the theory of statistical methods should follow the sequence for mathematical statistics, which requires a strong background in mathematics. Students wishing an emphasis in the use of statistical techniques should follow the sequence for applied statistics. This track is especially appropriate as a secondary emphasis for students who have a strong interest in a field of application. Students interested in the combination of statistical, mathematical, and computational tools that arise in the large-scale collection and analysis of data in industry should consider the data science track.

Computational Science (BS)  is an emerging field in which computational simulation and modeling of systems are used to solve problems in engineering, physical, natural and social sciences. Students in this program will take foundational courses in mathematics and computer science and choose application areas based on their aspirations. The application areas include physics, chemistry, biology, environmental studies, psychology, economics, and finance. Although not required, many students will have a minor or a double major in the application area.

The Data Science (BS)  provides undergraduate students with a strong foundation in data science skills including statistics, programming, data analysis, and statistical machine learning. Students choose an application track which comprises approximately half of their required coursework. Students in the Business track will get a foundation in management, finance, marketing, accounting, economics, and information technology along with their data skills. Students in the computational science and statistics tracks will take additional courses in mathematics, programming and statistics that will prepare them to be data scientists in a broad range of fields.

The Department offers Masters of Science degrees in Statistics (MS) , Data Science (MS) Quantitative Analysis (MS) , and Mathematics of Information and Security (MS) , as well as graduate certificates in Data Science (Graduate Certificate)  and in Applied Statistics (Graduate Certificate) 

The Statistics (MS)  offers a combination of theory, methods, and applications that prepares graduate students for competitive job markets as well as doctoral programs. Statistics graduate students study probability, statistical inference, regression, statistical machine learning, survey sampling, and other subjects and get experience in statistical software packages, statistical consulting, and internship. The program has two tracks - Theory and Methods and Biostatistics. 

Data Science combines skills in statistics, programming, mathematics, communication, and subject area knowledge to analyze and visualize data. Data Scientists are in great demand because almost all organizations gather and store huge amounts of data and need to be able to analyze the data expeditiously. Our students learn to manipulate large and small data sets to predict and classify the behavior of many real-world scenarios.

The Data Science (MS) [SPA/GOVT]  is a program that is offered jointly with the School of Public Affairs  and teaches students with any undergraduate background that includes introductory statistics strong technical skills in data analysis using R and statistical machine learning.  Students in the MS program choose an application area track to provide the subject area knowledge needed to apply their data science skills in an informed manner. Current tracks include Applied Public Affairs, Business Analytics, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Environmental Science, Finance, International Economic Relations, Investigative Journalism, and Microeconomic Analysis.

Our Data Science (Graduate Certificate)  offers graduate students the core technical foundation in Data Science. Students who have previously earned a degree but find they need additional technical skills can earn the certificate to add to their credentials. Students in other graduate degree programs can add the graduate certificate to their graduate course of study.

The Quantitative Analysis (MS)  offers a set of courses and skills in applied statistics areas, preparing graduate students for broad range of positions in statistics, data analytics, quantitative analysis, and related fields. The program contains a variety of courses in statistical methods and offers a choice of electives in statistics, management, information technology, and computer science.

The expansion of computational tools and methods has resulted in an acute need for deep mathematical insight within both government and industry. The Mathematics of Information and Security (MS)  has been developed to fill this need, combining courses in applied mathematics, data science, and information technology for a unique educational experience. Students also get the opportunity to take courses in cyber intelligence, national security, or counterterrorism, and can take advantage of our internship component, which allows students to gain job experience while earning graduate credit. After finishing the program, students will be able to create and test the validity of mathematical models for leading problems in the security field, protecting sensitive data throughout its life cycle.

The Applied Statistics (Graduate Certificate)  program consists of four graduate courses in statistical methodology, including regression, survey sampling, and two electives. Students can pursue the Certificate program to improve their quantitative skills and broaden job opportunities. Courses taken for the certificate can often be also counted toward an M.S. program.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics combines the resources and knowledge of these related disciplines enabling the department to offer unusually varied and flexible programs.

The university’s Washington, DC location affords the student access to many governmental, cultural, scientific, and historical institutions. These institutions serve as an important research resource. In addition, they are a source of full-time and part-time employment opportunities for students with a firm grounding in the mathematical sciences. Students who develop strong analytical and computational skills have career options in a wide variety of fields: government, industry, finance, consulting, teaching, and any area in which big data plays a role.

Special Opportunities

  • The department employs undergraduates in its tutoring lab and the computer labs.
  • The department offers an array of scholarships and research opportunities for talented students in mathematics and statistics.

Honors in Mathematical Sciences

The Honors in Mathematical Sciences  program is open to students who are majoring in Applied Mathematics (BS) , Mathematics (BS) , Statistics (BS) , Computational Science (BS) , and Mathematics and Economics (BS) .     


    Major Program (UG)Minor (UG)Certificate (UG)Master’s Program (GR)Certificate (GR)