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    Northern Kentucky University
  Jan 22, 2018
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

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Location: Mathematics-Education-Psychology Center 401
Telephone: 859-572-5377
Fax: 859-572-6097
Email Address:
Web Address:
Department Chair (Interim): Brooke Buckley
Other Key Personnel:

Department Coordinator: Suzanne Ritchie

Full-Time Faculty: David Agard, Chris Christensen, Paulette Ebert, Mary Lee Glore, Theodore Hodgson, Lisa Holden, Dhanuja Kasturiratna, Aimee Krug, Mark Lancaster, Andrew Long, Gail Mackin, Philip McCartney, Carl Miller, Teri Murphy, Stephen Newman, Bethany Noblitt, Joseph Nolan, Mel Peterson, John Rankin, Michael Waters, Steven Wilkinson, Jacqueline Wroughton, Roger Zarnowski

Thinking about the discipline: Mathematics and statistics involve finding patterns in quantitative information and using those patterns to solve problems and predict future trends. A good understanding of mathematics and statistics prepares students for careers in a variety of fields where good problem-solving skills are required. In lists of the best jobs, publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Forbes routinely rank mathematician, statistician, actuary, and related occupations among the top 10.

A major in mathematics can lead to a variety of careers including mathematical and scientific research in areas as different as national security and petroleum exploration; in several business fields such as insurance, banking, and finance; and in professions such as law, teaching, and medicine. The study of mathematics builds a way of thinking that is used to solve a variety of problems that arise in different contexts. That ability to solve problems makes mathematicians a valuable commodity in many occupations.

Statistics is the science of learning from data, whether those data come from biology, economics, engineering, medicine, public health, psychology, marketing, sports, or education. The major in statistics offers students the breadth and depth of knowledge necessary to attain various career objectives in many different fields.

Special opportunities for our students: Mathematics and statistics students have a variety of opportunities, both curricular and extracurricular, to explore and practice their chosen discipline.

  • All students take a 1-credit-hour mathematical sciences seminar course early in their major to discover the possibilities in the disciplines, both while at NKU and after graduating.
  • A number of students participate in annual national and international competitions such as the Virginia Tech exam and the Putnam exam, which are timed exams of challenging mathematical problems, or the COMAP competition where over one weekend teams of students tackle a large problem that requires them to synthesize and use a number of the mathematical and statistical tools along with the problem-solving skills they have learned.
  • The Mathematics and Statistics Club is a student organization that provides both social and informational opportunities for the majors.
  • Students can work in the department’s Burkardt Consulting Center where they analyze real-world problems for clients from both the university and the community.
  • Students have opportunities to engage in research with members of the faculty and may attend regional and national meetings to present the results of their research.
  • There are a number of merit-based scholarships available to mathematics and statistics students.

Special admission requirements: Students who plan to undertake studies in mathematics or statistics will need a background in mathematics equivalent to four years of high school that includes algebra I and II, geometry, and trigonometry. An ACT mathematics score of 27 or an SAT mathematics score of at least 610 indicates mastery at a level ready to begin the core courses in the department majors, beginning with calculus. It is recommended that students be at this level before declaring a mathematics or statistics major. Deficiencies in a student’s background can be remedied in courses taught at NKU. Placement into the appropriate course is based on the student’s ACT mathematics score or SAT mathematics score and in some cases a placement exam administered at NKU. 



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