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The School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences (SMNS) offers several degrees that position students to take advantage of the growing importance of data science, cybersecurity, mathematical modeling and information technologies (please see here for the natural sciences). Whether in industry or in academia, a degree in Statistics, Applied Mathematics and Applied Computing with SMNS faculty prepares students with a technical skill set that signals they are prepared to solve real world problems, while their experience in Barrett guarantees they will have the critical and cultural knowledge to wield their technical proficiency responsibly. To graduate programs ranging in everything from economics, to psychology, to computer science, a quantitative degree distinguishes a student as prepared for the theoretical, mathematical and computational rigor of a Ph.D. While in industry, these degrees are highly prized and open doors into in-demand and well-compensated careers.
Barrett students in these majors benefit from the opportunity to work closely with their professors on original research projects. These research projects have resulted in previous Barrett students publishing their research in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Any Barrett student who is considering majoring or minoring in Statistics, Applied Mathematics and/or Applied Computing should contact the lead FHA.
In the Mathematical Sciences in SMNS, thesis work is done in close collaboration with faculty and typically involves either the analysis of data, the development of new mathematics or algorithms, the implementation and programming of methods and/or numerical simulations performed on a computer. A successful thesis document should contain enough supporting information to be able to communicate the motivation and the technical details of the work/project to any faculty member in the mathematical sciences. Our unit abides by Barrett's requirements for a thesis committee and encourages the participation and inclusion of trans-disciplinary faculty on appropriate theses and/or creative projects. The student should meet with a potential thesis chair early in their planning process in order to find the "best fit" for their desired thesis or project.
A well prepared student will be able to both utilize a wide range of technical, mathematical and computational tools, and communicate the use and purpose of those tools in writing and in oral presentation. As the exact appropriate academic preparation varies, depending on the thesis subject, students should coordinate with their potential thesis chairs on how to prepare. Students interested in going to graduate school are highly encouraged to pursue Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)’s during their summers, while students interested in industry should pursue internships.
Students are encouraged to contact a potential thesis committee chair at least one semester PRIOR to starting their 492 class. Students waiting until the semester in which they are to take their 492 class may not get to work on a thesis topic of their own choosing or design. Contact your FHA early in the year BEFORE you start your thesis to brainstorm ideas, faculty research mentors, and potential collaborations. If the focus of the thesis will be original research, students should begin a conversation with potential chairs around their second year or earlier. Indeed, new researchers require time to develop and research breakthroughs are inherently unpredictable.
Once a faculty chair and committee member have been chosen, the student is encouraged to begin a very rough draft of what will become their prospectus. This early start will ensure any major wrinkles in the project can be ironed out without a large amount of time taken away from the planned protect.
Students will generally work on their research or creative project design and implementation, to include data collection if required, during the semester they are enrolled in the 492 course. The 493 course time should be used to put together the material from the previous semester in a cogent, meaningful manner in written form. This time is critical for both the student and thesis chair. The student must communicate with his/her thesis chair and share their written work for feedback. This "edit and re-edit" process is just as important as the work performed in the 492 semester to produce a successful thesis.
Honors enrichment contracts are available in classes in the School of Math and Natural Sciences on a case-by-case basis. Interested students should contact their faculty member/instructor directly regarding completing an honors enrichment contract for their class.
The New College also has several opportunities for undergraduate research to include the New College Undergraduate Inquiry and Research Experiences (NCUIRE) program, as well as Individualized Instruction (499) opportunities, and Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences offered each semester. Contact your FHA for more information.