Mathematical Sciences

Office: 211 Fenton Hall

(716) 673-3243


Joseph Straight, Chairperson

Keary Howard, Mathematics Education Coordinator


The goal of the programs in mathematics is to prepare students for the lifelong study and use of mathematics. The application of mathematics has made possible many of the technological advances now taken for granted. Conversely, problems in business, science and engineering, when formulated mathematically, often spur advances in mathematics. This interplay between mathematics and other disciplines has been growing and now includes many more areas than would have been thought possible only a few years ago.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers several undergraduate program options within mathematics. The Mathematics major is recommended for those who plan to pursue graduate study in mathematics or seek general employment following graduation. Students who plan a mathematics-related career in business, industry, or science may wish to major in Applied Mathematics. For students planning a career in teaching, the department offers two majors: Mathematics Adolescence Education, to prepare high school mathematics teachers (grades 7 through 12), and Middle Childhood Education – Mathematics Specialist, to prepare mathematics teachers for middle school (grades 5 through 9). Both teacher preparation programs lead to recommendation for Initial Certification in New York State.

The department offers a Master of Science in Education degree program to provide middle and high school mathematics teachers the opportunity to work towards Professional Certification. The department also offers minors in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics and, in collaboration with the Department of Physics, a degree program in Mathematics-Physics. It also participates in the Cooperative Engineering program.

Upon recommendation of the faculty, qualified students are invited to join the Honors Program in Mathematics. The objectives of the program are to: (1) deepen a student's understanding and appreciation of mathematics; (2) provide the student with the opportunity to conduct research on a selected topic with guidance from a faculty member; and (3) enhance the student's preparation for graduate study in mathematics. The program consists of three special courses: MATH 290 Sophomore Honors Mathematics; MATH 390 Honors Special Topics; and MATH 490 Honors Thesis.

Generally, MATH 290 and MATH 390 are taken in the spring semester of the student's sophomore and junior years, respectively, while MATH 490 is taken in the senior year. The department also offers MATH 190 Honors Problem Solving each spring to a select group of freshmen who have been recommended by their calculus instructors. Although not a formal part of the Honors Program, MATH 190 is a good course for freshmen who like working on non-trivial problems and wish to further develop their analytical thinking skills.

Many mathematics students participate in the activities of the Mathematics Club (Chi Tau Omega). The club holds academic and social activities, and helps sponsor trips to professional meetings. In addition, Fredonia has a chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, a national honorary society devoted to the promotion of scholarly activity in mathematics by students.

Several scholarships are awarded annually to mathematics majors based on academic performance and faculty recommendations: the Frank R. Olson Scholarship, the Earl G. Mathewson Memorial Scholarship, the Santa A. B. DiPasquale Memorial Scholarship, the Mark Buckenmeyer Scholarship, the Dr. Nelson C. & Louise A. Wood Memorial Fund Scholarship, and the Myron T. Dana Scholarship.

For further details about the programs in mathematics, contact the chairperson of the Department of Mathematical Sciences.  Interested persons should also examine the programs offered in Computer and Information Sciences.