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    American University
   
    Feb 23, 2024  
American University Catalog 2023-2024 
    
American University Catalog 2023-2024

Mathematics and Statistics


Administration

Chair  Michael Baron
Associate Chair  Jaime Miller
Graduate Program Director in Statistics  Jun Lu
Graduate Program Director in Mathematics of Information and Security  Michael Robinson
Director of Data Science Programs  Elizabeth Malloy
Graduate Program Director of Online Data Science Program  Maria Barouti
Director of Quantitative Support  Behzad Jalali

Full-Time Faculty

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

Emeriti Faculty

Professor Emeritus/a  D. Crosby, A. Enayat, R. Holzsager, D. Kalman, B. Korin, J. Nolan, 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 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 have a minor or a double major in the application area.

The Data Science (BS)  develops undergraduate data scientists able to design and implement creative solutions to real-world problems by integrating domain knowledge with state-of-the-art methods and tools from statistics and computer science. Upon completion of this program, students are able to create data science enabled solutions using critical thinking to integrate domain knowledge with best practices to design and develop useful models and relevant code-based analyses applicable to needs in government, industry, academia, and non-profits. Students learn to develop solutions, collaborate with modern tools, apply ethical thinking, and engage in their professional community. All students build a portfolio of work and projects as evidence of their capabilities for future employment or academic pursuits.

The Department offers Master of Science degrees in Statistics (MS) , Data Science (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. 

The Data Science (MS)  program is offered jointly with the School of Public Affairs . Students from any undergraduate background that includes introductory statistics learn to design and implement creative solutions to real-world problems by integrating domain knowledge with state-of-the-art methods and tools from statistics and computer science. Students in the MS program choose an application area track to build subject area knowledge needed to enhance their data science skills. Tracks include Applied Public Affairs, Business Analytics, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Environmental Science, Finance, International Economic Relations, Investigative Journalism, Microeconomic Analysis, and Specialized Methods in Data Science. The Online Data Science (MS)  program offers tracks in Business Analytics and Specialized Methods. All students build a portfolio of work and projects as evidence of their capabilities for future employment or academic pursuits.

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 are able to create and test the validity of mathematical models for leading problems in the security field, protecting sensitive data throughout its life cycle. 

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

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 MS 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 offers an array of scholarships and research opportunities for talented students in mathematics and statistics. Many graduate and undergraduate students are employed as teaching assistants and graders as well as tutors in the Mathematics and Statistics tutoring lab.

Honors in Mathematical Sciences

The Honors in Mathematical Sciences  program is open to undergraduate students who are majoring in any of the undergraduate programs. Students should apply no later than their junior year.

Programs

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