2020-21 University Catalog 
    Apr 22, 2024  
2020-21 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Mathematics Department

Tiernan Fogarty, Department Chair
Randall Paul, Scheduling Coordinator
Cristina Negoita, Advising Coordinator and Program Director
Dibyajyoti Deb, Curriculum Coordinator
Professors: J. Fischer, T. Fogarty, C. Negoita, R. Paul, T. Torres
Associate Professors: D. Deb, D. Hammond, J. Reid
Assistant Professors: K. Davis, P. Overholser, R. Overholser

General Education

Courses offered by the Department of Applied Mathematics are designed to satisfy the needs of majors and non-majors interested in mathematics primarily as part of a broad technical education. A major emphasis is on development of skills required to solve applied problems.

Success in mathematics requires that entering students begin their study in the course which best matches their ability and background. Accordingly, all entering students must pass a placement examination at the appropriate level before being allowed to register for their initial mathematics course.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Data Science

Minors Offered

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Statistics

Applied Mathematics

Program Objectives

Coursework for the bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics is intended to provide a solid foundation of mathematical theory and a broad selection of applied work both in and outside mathematics. The prospective major will complete coursework in calculus, differential equations and numerical methods. Students also take a sequence of introductory physics courses and a further sequence in a technical field outside mathematics.

Career Opportunities

Upon completing the requirements for the Applied Mathematics degree students will be prepared for a variety of jobs in industry including numerical modeling, signal processing, data analysis, and many others. The degree also provides students a sufficient background to further their education by entering a Masters or Ph.D. program in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

Student Preparation

Students entering the Applied Mathematics Program from high school should have a minimum of two years of algebra, one year of pre-calculus, one year of geometry, and two years of physical science (physics or chemistry preferred). Additional courses in mathematics, science, English and computer programming will be very helpful. Students entering the Applied Mathematics Program by transfer are requested to contact the Mathematics Department concerning transfer of technical course work.

Data Science

Data scientists use computation and applied mathematics to extract insights from data. In addition to technical duties, they work as part of a team, must communicate effectively, and account for ethical and context-specific considerations.  The B.S. in Data Science degree at Oregon Tech prepares students for these roles by combining coursework from five departments: Applied Mathematics (the program host), Computer Systems Engineering Technology, Communication, Management and Geomatics.

A key element of the program is extensive hands-on experience. In their junior year, students work in small teams to design or implement applications of material from previous classes. In their senior year, each student completes a capstone project to develop a data driven solution for an outside group, such as a local business or national organization. 

The mathematical and programming skills gained in the program enable students to go beyond off-the-shelf solutions for machine learning and data processing. Students are introduced to advanced methods for large and/or complex data, such as time-series, geospatial or text. A special emphasis is placed on using transparent statistical methods, in which assumptions for mathematical models can be clearly communicated to and understood by a non-technical audience who are then better equipped to rate the value of conclusions draw from such models.

After graduation, students are ready for immediate employment as data scientists or for advanced coursework.

Program Objectives

Graduates will have the technical skills necessary to gain actionable insights from data, the ability to effectively communicate these insights as a member of an interdisciplinary team, and the necessary foundation in ethics, mathematics, and computer science to thrive in the evolving field of data science.

Graduates will

  1. be prepared for the professional practice of data science or acceptance into a graduate program,
  2. have an appropriate foundation in mathematics, statistics, and computer science in order to thrive in an evolving field,
  3. be able to identify and incorporate ethical considerations in their work,
  4. be able to identify, collect and analyze the data necessary for actionable insights, and
  5. be able to effectively communicate findings.

Career Opportunities

Data scientists work in a wide variety of contexts. For example, a data scientist might help design a survey to inform the marketing strategy for a new product, analyze data from electronic health records or gather large amounts of data from websites or government databases. 

Graduates may obtain employment under a variety of job titles, which may include data scientist, data analyst, business intelligence analyst, research analyst, and statistician.

Many people currently working as data scientists hold advanced degrees but this trend may change as undergraduate programs begin to produce graduates with appropriate skill sets.

Student Preparation and Admissions

Students must meet the standard Oregon Tech admissions requirements. Transfer students must arrange for official transcripts from each college and university attended to be sent to Oregon Tech and are requested to contact the Applied Mathematics Department concerning transfer of technical course work.

Program Curriculum

Students looking to work within a specific context or apply for a specific graduate program should work closely with their advisor to choose a relevant application for their senior year project and to pursue an appropriate minor or other additional coursework.