Majors & Minors

Math and Computer Science

From developing interactive Web applications for nonprofit organizations to creating a mathematical model of the optimal free throw in basketball, you’ll learn to apply theory to real-world issues in creative and interdisciplinary ways.


Jacob Schrum

Jacob Schrum

Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Chair


Jacob Schrum

Jacob Schrum

Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Chair

Fulfilling Southwestern’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning, the Math and Computer Science Department provides an integrated approach to solving complex, open-ended problems—a skill necessary for succeeding in the digital age and beyond. Math students discover new ways of seeing and engaging with the world around them, from predicting national healthcare expenditures or timing cancer treatments to analyzing traffic accidents and visitations to a national park. More than just learning how to code, computer science students theorize about systems while developing algorithms and gaining hands-on experiences with database management.

Whether you major in computer science, mathematics, or computational mathematics, you will be empowered to make a positive impact on the world. You will hone your critical and creative thinking through such courses as Operations Research, Artificial Intelligence, Graph Theory, and Topology. But you will also have opportunities to combine your interests in math and computer science with your passion for the arts or community service. Our recent students have

  • Used hyperbolic geometry to crochet models of Texas coral reefs
  • Analyzed the structure of the Choose Your Own Adventure series using graph theory
  • Created computer systems that generated artistic animations
  • Composed a musical performance modeling how the HIV virus proliferates through the body
  • Partnered with Upward Bound and GirlStart to improve their websites and databases

Collaborating one on one with our award-winning faculty to advance the frontiers of knowledge is just one advantage of the SU experience. As mentors and advisors, our faculty encourage student engagement with the broader mathematics community. Current students and alumni have participated in faculty-supervised research, but they have also initiated projects that have resulted in presentations and posters at regional, national, or international conferences. Our majors have garnered awards with faculty and coauthored publications in peer-reviewed journals. Students also participate in national competitions such as the Putnam Competition, the COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling, the Binance Dexathon, and the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Real-time Career Exploration

Southwestern Looking Glass

Southwestern University's Looking Glass™ is an aggregation of millions of job postings from more than 40,000 online sources providing current marketplace insights into your degree and career direction.

Many of the occupations featured below are open to new graduates, while others imply additional experience or an advanced degree building on undergraduate work in this field.

* Salary estimates do not represent entry-level earning potential.
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Featured Alumni Stories

Mike May ’20

With Energy to Spare

Recent physics graduate Mike May ’20 demonstrates how taking risks by learning outside your major is crucial to becoming a leader in innovation.

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Ben and Michael Patterson ’17

“The Best of Both Worlds”

For student–athletes Ben Patterson ’17 and Michael Patterson ’17, the Southwestern Experience included a foray into entrepreneurship.

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Michael Nguyen ’03

The Many Colors of Michael Nguyen

A Southwestern alum turned patent attorney serves the community as an advocate of LGBTQ rights and livable cities.

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Math and Computer Science News

Southwestern University

Changing Course

Five transfer students explain why—and how—they made the switch to Southwestern.

When viewed through an electron microscope, the spikes that adorn the outer surface of a coronavirus suggest the appearance of a corona, or crown. A novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Scholarly Perspectives on COVID-19, Part 2: Forecasting a Pandemic

Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics, discusses the process, value, and difficulty of modeling a pandemic like COVID-19.

Guy Greathouse '20

Computer Science Major Interns at Major Telecom Provider

Guy Greathouse ’20 reflects on his summer internship with Apogee.