Why Mathematics 
or Science Now?
There is a growing concern about a potential shortage of educated men and women in mathematics and the sciences.  Statistics indicate that the problem is real.  National commissions have been established to examine the problem and devise solutions.   The shortage does have a positive side effect for those still in high school - scholarships for mathematics and science students are becoming more readily available.  For example, some of our Elmhurst College students are taking advantage of the Math/Science Traineeship Grants from the Illinois State Board of Education. Furthermore, the level of difficulty of mathematics and the sciences is an advantage for those with talent.  Individuals with good mathematical and scientific ability have always been a small proportion of the population.  The number of positions available will be increasing due to demographic changes and greater demand (See "Impending Teacher Shortage Might Hit Mathematics Hard,"  NCTM  News Bulletin, December 1997, Vol. 34 (5) ).  This makes the timing right for mathematics and science majors.

You may soon face the decision of where to go for your post secondary education.  We encourage you to consider a small private college. In fact, more of the current Ph.D.s in the sciences came from small colleges than from state universities.  The reason may be the personal attention students receive at small colleges or the encouragement by the faculty of the undergraduate students (not just the graduate students) to explore mathematical and scientific research with projects and papers.

At Elmhurst College your prior education can be put to good use in our curriculum.  We offer courses that will prepare you for graduate school, medical and dental schools, teaching, actuarial sciences, and industry.  An unusual aspect of our curriculum is our senior paper/project.  In your senior year at Elmhurst College you would take two special courses to help you write your senior paper/project.  Some of our student papers have included such diverse topics as "Walking in the Rain" (a mathematical analysis of whether it is better to walk or run), "A Scheduling Problem" (the development and implementation of an algorithm to assist in scheduling classes), and "The Determination of an Angle-dependent Function to be used to Approximate Cellular Cross-sectional Area" (the mathematical analysis of a student-developed concept involving evaluation of data from the College's electron microscopes).  A complete list of our student papers in mathematics can be found at  Student Papers .

You have the talent and, we hope, the inclination to continue your studies in mathematics and the sciences.  A degree in mathematics or the natural sciences is not an easy degree.  Mathematics and science are challenging and beautiful.  It is only by meeting the challenge that the beauty may be appreciated and understood to its depths.

 Elmhurst College would like to challenge you!
Talk with us and come for a visit!

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Last modified: June 1998 by Jon L. Johnson