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.
Dr. Jacob Schrum with Lauren Gillespie ’19, doing research on Human Evaluation of Interactively Evolved Art. (Photo credit: © Southwestern University)
Dr. Fumiko Futamura with Sarah Friday '20 and Jordan Smith '20 doing SCOPE 2019 research on lifting defective matrices for diagonalization to calculate matrix powers. (Photo credit: Carlos Barron)
Jake Gutierrez '21 doing SCOPE 2019 research with Dr. Jacob Schrum on generating Zelda dungeons through generative adversarial networks and graph grammar. (Photo credit: Carlos Barron)
Anna Krolikowski '20, Sarah Friday '20, and Dr. Jacob Schrum with their computer generated artwork from their paper “Quantum Zentanglement: Combining Picbreeder and Wave Function Collapse to Create Zentangles." (Photo credit: Southwestern University)
EQUIP 2019, with student coordinators Joel Martinez, EQUIP 2016 and Mercedes Gonzalez, EQUIP 2017, evening coordinator Jamar Keaton and professors Dr. Alison Marr and Dr. John Ross. (Photo credit: Southwestern University)
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.