Math - From Classroom to Career Junior Year
Options After Fairfield
How can you best use your remaining courses and free electives to both round out your education and prepare for a career? How about graduate work? The majority of Fairfield graduates take their interest in mathematics to a higher level. Graduates of recent years have earned advanced degrees from such institutions as Cornell, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and New York University. Mathematics majors are not limited in their choice of postgraduate careers. Their studies prepare them to be analytical, reflective, and understanding of the fundamental values in any enterprise.
Mathematics Center and Tutoring Opportunities
The Mathematics Center hires some of our stronger mathematics students as tutors. In addition, the department keeps a list of students who are interested in doing private tutoring, often outside of the University. If you are interested in either opportunity, contact the department chair.
The department runs a very successful colloquium series, offering about three talks each semester. Mathematics majors are required to attend at least five of these talks over the span of their last two years at Fairfield.
Talk to favorite professors about possible supervised research projects you might do in an area of interest to you, in the summer or during the school year. On-campus summer housing may be available. Students have the opportunity to present their results in various venues. See the department chair, or ask your faculty research advisor, for more information.
The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs are opportunities for undergraduate students nationwide to participate in original research, working together in small student cohorts in close consultation with faculty mentors. Available at a select number of educational institutions around the country, these summer programs are funded in part by the National Science Foundation. Grants include housing and a stipend. Although students generally wait until the summer between junior and senior years to take part in an REU, talented sophomores should consider applying.
We encourage interested Fairfield students to apply to a number of REUs in order to gain experience and form contacts at other institutions, but Fairfield's Mathematics and Computer Science REU Program brings together talented undergraduates from both inside and outside the University, and several Fairfield students have done original research work with Fairfield faculty mentors in our REU. Our program has run each summer since 2011, and we are applying to renew our current grant through 2018. Contact Dr. Shawn Rafalski for more information.
Interested in a research area but there is no course offered in the catalog? Talk to a faculty member or department chair about a possible independent study.
Mathematics has department awards for outstanding students every spring; they are honored at the College of Arts and Sciences Award Night in April. Attend the event and look for projects that might earn you this honor. With your faculty advisor, gain experience in entering such a competition and learn how to effectively package and present your work - and yourself. Non-seniors are often singled out for their great work.
In senior year, mathematics majors have access to a developing range of internships with public and private agencies available to all Fairfield students in good academic standing. As a senior you may have an opportunity to serve an internship in apublic or private agency where you will get career-related experience under supervision. You can earn credit for these experiences during the academic year or during the summer, provided that you complete an academic component specified by your academic advisor. Insurance companies are particularly interested in summer interns. Think about "trying out" a career, gaining work experience, marketable skills, potential mentors and a competitive edge. Look for potential matches between an internship with your career. Remember that summer jobs, not for credit, can be just as useful in gaining experience and building a resume.
Look for three professors, in and out of the department, who can speak about your successes in an informed way.
Join Sigma XI
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, was founded in 1886 as an honor society for scientists and engineers. Headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., it is an international research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. There are more than 80,000 Sigma Xi members in about 500 chapters at colleges and universities, industrial research centers, and government laboratories. Attend the annual Sigma Xi poster session, held in the Campus Center every spring.
That's just the start. Take a look at this career information from
other University offices that we think is also valuable to majors.