The Department of Mathematical Sciences at E-town offers a wide variety of opportunities to customize your educational experience. A foundation in mathematics prepares you for a multitude of different career paths, designed according to your interests. Our department will meet your needs every step of the way, no matter where in the world your plans take you.

Why Major in Math at E-town?

Long recognized locally for having a leading math degree program in Pennsylvania, we are now also listed as a National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News and World Report in its annual list of best colleges.

Large enough to support the advanced coursework you need, yet small enough to allow for lots of individual attention, we are a community of learners fully dedicated to helping students succeed. We learn in different ways: traditional lectures, interactive seminars, individual guided research, and career-oriented internships. We challenge ourselves to reach high levels of academic achievement, while maintaining a spirit of helpful cooperation among faculty members and students. Our graduates are well-prepared to tackle the problems of the modern world, whether they are in big data interpretation, actuarial science, education, pure mathematics, applied mathematics, or mathematical business.

Become a math major

Students in our department can choose to major in Actuarial Science, Mathematics, or Mathematical Business. Within the Mathematics major, there are three optional concentrations: Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, and Secondary Education. In the first two years, there is a lot of overlap in coursework for the various majors, which adds flexibility for our students, and helps foster a sense of departmental unity amid widely varying career plans.

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Department of Interest

Actuarial Science students learn to manage corporate financial risk. Well known for low stress, high pay, and job security, actuarial science is always at or near the top of lists of “best careers” published in the popular press. Entry to, and advancement in, the actuarial field is through professional credentialing exams. Our AS program includes preparation for several such exams, and all AS majors pass at least one prior to graduation. Most take on professional summer internships as well, and it is not unusual for successful AS majors to have full-time professional employment secured well before graduation.

Mathematics is a versatile major that can lead to many different careers. The concentration in Secondary Education includes, in addition to a fully-fledged mathematics major, all coursework and fieldwork necessary to obtain certification to teach math in Pennsylvania public schools. The concentration in pure mathematics prepares students for graduate study of pure mathematics, and the applied mathematics concentration prepares students either for graduate work in applied mathematics, or immediate employment in one of the many fields that make daily use of mathematics. It’s also possible to be a Mathematics major with no concentration.

Mathematical Business is a relatively new interdisciplinary major intended for students who are interested in using their mathematical talent and training in the business world.

From the Department of Mathematical Sciences

Emily Overfield

Emily Overfield ’18 uses classic boardgame to test Markov chain

Monopoly assists in research of probability

The board game Monopoly might seem like just a good way to ruffle up your friends’ and family’s feathers, but for Emily Overfield ’18 it proved an excellent way to test the Markov chain equation. The math major’s senior research project unearthed articles that discussed how the probability of landing on certain spaces can be predicted using the Markov chain, a type of a financial model describing a sequence of possible events that are influenced by the result of the previous action. It was through her classes in the Department of Mathematics at Elizabethtown College that Overfield knew of the equation and was able to evaluate the board game by using the Microsoft Excel program.

“I didn’t have to ask any of my friends to play Monopoly, I was able to use Excel to test the chains.”

Interdisciplinary Program

SAS logo

E-town announces SAS-data analytics joint certificate program

Offers real-world learning with regional firms

Elizabethtown College has partnered with analytics company SAS to offer a joint certificate for students in the College’s data analytics minor. SAS is a data analytics powerhouse with customers in 149 countries. The certificate is specifically for students in the data analytics minor with a capstone course, providing in-demand skills for the digital age and real-world learning opportunities. Upon completion, students receive the SAS certificate along with their diploma, allowing them to compete at a higher level compared to other programs, opening opportunities to jobs they might not have been prepared for without the SAS certificate.

“None of our peer institutions have a data analytics minor with a project-based capstone that is tied directly to a competency certificate program with the largest data analytics software firm in the United States.” -- Sylvester Williams, co-director of E-town’s Data Analytics Center.

From the Department of Mathematics

Gabriela Sanchis

Using actuarial skills to prepare students

Gabriela Sanchis, professor of mathematical sciences, taps into experience as an actuary.

Becoming a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries can be quite a challenge. It requires passing six national credentialing exams to become an associate and, then, an additional three exams once you have picked a specialty track. Gabriela Sanchis is an associate of the Society of Actuaries and the director of the College’s Actuarial Science program. Prior to teaching, she worked as an actuary for an insurance company, where she assessed and managed risk. She began to miss the fun of doing math for its own sake so, in 1991, she began teaching at Elizabethtown College, specializing in courses geared toward preparing students for an actuarial profession as well as other mathematical topics.

“When I interviewed for this job, I was impressed both by the members of the faculty, who were friendly and welcoming, and by the students that I met, who were all very enthusiastic about talking to ‘a real actuary’.”

From the Department of Mathematics

Nicolette Siermine

Nicolette Siermine ’17 majored in applied mathematics; minored in data analytics

Sees need for more data science majors in the work world.

“Data science is very hands-on in relating to real-world problems. You utilize your problem-solving skills.”

Although she had a job already lined up at Clark Associates for when she graduated, Nicolette Siermine immediately realized the wide array of career possibilities open to her thanks to her background in applied mathematics and data analytics. Depending on which minor a student takes, data science is applicable in business, computer science and statistics, she said, noting that, with her knowledge base, she could help her manager with decisions on price and inventory at Clark, a food supply service company.