Mission Statement / Learning Goals

Mission Statement:

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics provides high-quality, innovative instruction while advancing knowledge within our disciplines.  Our goal is to equip Villanova students with those quantitative skills that will serve as a foundation for future study, as well as give them a competitive edge in the marketplace.  In addition to preparing our graduates for a broad range of career opportunities, we aspire, in a spirit of community, to help them become creative, analytic problem solvers who will contribute to the betterment of society as a whole.

Learning Goals for Undergraduate Mathematics Majors:

  1. Students will demonstrate familiarity with the principal definitions and theorems of primary areas of mathematics.  (i) Students will demonstrate an appreciation of the role of precise definitions and formal mathematical structures in mathematical argument. (ii) Students will understand the basic nature of proof in mathematics, by a) being able to recognize a valid mathematical proof and b) being able to construct valid mathematical proofs and arguments.
  2. Students will develop quantitative problem-solving skills and cultivate facility with and appreciation for mathematical and statistical thinking and expression. (i) Students will demonstrate understanding of and facility with mathematical computations, algorithms, and problem-solving strategies. (ii) Students will develop and demonstrate the ability to communicate mathematical material, both a) in written form and b) orally.
  3. Students will be able to utilize the power of mathematical vocabulary, abstract tools, and computational techniques in the formulation and analysis of appropriate problems across subdisciplinary boundaries within mathematics, in other portions of the curriculum, and in real-world situations. (i) Students will be able to complete a) basic problems as well as b) longer, connected problems requiring synthesis. (ii) Students will be able to solve “word problems” by applying mathematical thought to various contexts and recognizing connections between mathematics/statistics and the outside world.  (iii) Students will be able to apply technology appropriately to quantitative problems. (iv) Students will develop an appreciation for mathematical utility, beauty, and elegance.
Lillian Lieber (1886-1986) was a Ukrainian born Russian-American woman mathematician who wrote many popular books on mathematics in order to show people they could think for themselves in a logical way and resist blind acceptance of dogma running counter to positive human values. See for example, Maria Popova's essay (and another!).

Why a Career in Mathematics?

Leonhard Euler

College graduates with a bachelor's in mathematics qualify for a broad range of positions in business, industry, government and education.

Companies in the computer and communications industries employ many mathematicians, as do oil companies, banks, insurance companies, and consulting firms.

Almost every bureau and branch of the federal government employ mathematicians in various capacities.