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    American University
    Jun 20, 2024  
American University Catalog 2015-2016 
American University Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mathematics and Statistics

Chair Joshua Lansky

Full-time Faculty

Professor Emeritus D. Crosby, A. Enayat, R. Holzsager, B. Korin, S. Schot

Professor J. Adler, S. Casey, M. Gray, J. Hakim, R. Jernigan, D. Kalman, J. Lansky, J. Nolan

David Carroll Professor M. Baron

Associate Professor Emeritus A. Barron, L. Crone, I.L. Chang, F. Van Dyke

Associate Professor A. Elezi, M. Jackson, J. Lu, E. Malloy, V. Stallings

Assistant Professor Emerita C. Machlin

Assistant Professor U. Alparslan, I. Maslova, R. Mitchell, M. Robinson

Professorial Lecturer L. Bernhofen, A. Bourla, S. Carver, D. Dietz, K. Duke, A. Kapatou, M. Keynes, A. Knapp, M. Limarzi, J. Miller, M. Pospieszelska

Instructor E. Addo, M. Burke, P. Okoth

Director of Undergraduate Studies R.C. Mitchell

Director of Educational Services B. Jalali

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 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 offers training in mathematical problem-solving techniques with a reduced emphasis on abstract theory. This program is not as firm a foundation for graduate work as the mathematics major, but is tailored to the student who will need to apply mathematical, statistical, and computer methods to practical problems. Undergraduates majoring in mathematics may choose to take a second major in secondary school teaching.

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 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.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics combines the resources and knowledge of these related disciplines. This enables the department to offer unusually varied and flexible programs. A student with an interest in the mathematical sciences may choose a program within the department and later change his or her emphasis without a great loss of time because the programs share a common core.

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.

Special Opportunities

  • The department employs undergraduates in its tutoring lab and the computer labs.
  • The department offers a limited number of undergraduate book scholarships.



    MajorMinorUndergraduate CertificateMaster’s ProgramGraduate Certificate