Letter to Prospective Students

Dear Prospective Student:

Congratulations on your admission to Georgia Tech! I understand that you are interested in majoring in mathematics. I wanted to reach out and see if there's any information I can provide about Georgia Tech's School of Mathematics which might help you make a decision on which university to attend. I’d also like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit more about the School of Math and some of the exciting opportunities here.

Undergraduate education is a core mission for us, and we are committed to seeing our math majors succeed both at Georgia Tech and afterward. We try to provide a challenging curriculum in which motivated students can achieve great things. Some of our undergraduate majors go on to successful careers at companies like Google, some go to work for government agencies like the NSA, and some get admitted to graduate school at places like Princeton, MIT, and Stanford.

The School of Mathematics counts about 60 faculty members, and according to the 2014 QS World University rankings, we are among the top 30 universities in the world for mathematics, ranking ahead of Ivy League schools like Brown and Cornell. Our world-class research faculty have won numerous awards, including those listed here:

http://www.math.gatech.edu/external-awards

 

See our most recent Proofreader newsletter for a more detailed look at our outstanding faculty, students, and staff:

http://www.math.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/proof-reader16.pdf

 

We have a brand-new degree in Mathematics with four optional Concentrations in Applied Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics, Probability and Statistics, and Pure Mathematics. We instituted the new degree because we listened to our students and we think it offers a more flexible and exciting set of curricular options than did the previously separate degrees in Applied Mathematics and Discrete Mathematics. For a detailed description of the new Mathematics degree as well as the optional Concentrations, please see

http://www.math.gatech.edu/undergraduate/bs-mathematics

 

We offer honors versions of a number of courses, and some of our exceptional students attend graduate classes in their junior or senior years. We also offer a number of opportunities for undergraduates to gain research experience: either during the summer for pay or during the school year for academic credit, students can team up with a faculty member to work on challenging and cutting-edge research problems. We have 60 full-time faculty and around 180 undergraduate majors, so if you "do the math" you'll see that our student/faculty ratio lends itself very well to individualized research experiences. I myself have co-authored two papers with undergraduate students that have been published in prestigious journals within the last five years.

Job prospects for someone with a math degree, especially from a prestigious place like Georgia Tech, are very strong. In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently named ‘Mathematician’ the #1 job in America in 2014:

http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2014/04/15/best-jobs-of-2014-congratulations-mathematicians/

 

In addition to traditional career trajectories such as high school teacher, actuary, or college professor, mathematicians are now routinely employed for large-scale data analysis, scientific computing, finance, biotechnology, biostatistics, and cryptography, to name just a few career opportunities.

Each year about 15 to 20 percent of the students in the School of Mathematics participate in a co-op program or internship program, for example working at software or energy companies. We also offer many opportunities for undergraduate students to gain experience (and get paid) as teaching assistants or graders for undergraduate courses.

We have an active Club Math which meets every Tuesday afternoon, and each December between 30 and 40 Georgia Tech undergraduates take the prestigious (and notoriously difficult) international Putnam Examination. There are numerous seminars taking place each week in the School of Math, many aimed at research mathematicians but some appropriate for undergraduate students. We also sponsor public lectures and other events. For more details see

http://www.math.gatech.edu/undergraduate/student-activities

 

Please let me know if you have any questions about the Mathematics program here at Georgia Tech. In any case, I wish you the best of luck making the important decisions which you're now facing!

 

Best regards,

 

Matt Baker

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Georgia Tech School of Mathematics

mbaker@math.gatech.edu