About the Department
In the Mathematics Department at Washington and Lee, dedicated professors help all math students develop the perseverance they need to move beyond numbers and formulas to the underlying ideas they express. Students are taught to identify, describe and understand patterns, and to recognize, admit and correct their mistakes.
During their four years at W&L, mathematics majors and minors gain a mastery of fundamental areas of mathematics including single and multi-variable calculus, linear algebra, abstract algebra and real analysis. In addition, students complete a number of electives.
The Math Center
Math Department faculty want all students to succeed in their mathematics classes. You can always see your professor during office hours. In addition, the Math Center is open five evenings each week; this is a place where students can seek help on material in 100-level courses, with no appointment necessary.
“The Math Center is staffed by some of our best math majors who can really help these students,” said Professor Gregory Dresden. “But they won’t just present the student with the solution to a math problem. They’ll have students work out the problem on their own and guide them toward finding the right answer.”
Opportunities for Students
Collaborative research with faculty: Every year, we have a number of students conducting research with mathematics faculty at W&L during the academic year or during the summer. Students may earn one to three credits for this work, and the Summer Research Scholars program provides funding for summer research. Some research students give talks at regional mathematics conferences or publish articles in mathematics journals. Some mathematics majors extend their research project and write an honors thesis in mathematics.
Study abroad: Mathematics majors have completed some mathematics coursework while studying abroad at the London School of Economics, the University of St. Andrews and Oxford University. In addition, there are study abroad programs in mathematics in Budapest and Moscow.
Careers and Graduate Studies
Here are a few careers that use mathematics: actuarial mathematics, data science, applied mathematics, biomathematics, biostatistics, computer science, financial mathematics, economics law, medicine, music, technical writing, operations research, public heath and epidemiology, public policy research mathematics, statistics and education
In addition to mathematics and related fields, recent mathematics majors at W&L have pursued graduate studies in analytics, operations research, business, economics, computer science, engineering, law and medicine.