### Welcome

Welcome to the first UAS Math Newsletter.

We hope to publish one newsletter at the start of each semester with news of what's to come and what's gone by in the UAS Math Program and the UAS Math Club.

If you are a past student with news to share, be sure to send us a note and we'll include it here.

### Why Math

What does a typical day for a graduate of the mathematical sciences involve? The answer to that question is probably broader than you’d expect. A recent survey conducted by the Mathematical Sciences

Career Information Project provides a wide range of answers to this question (see https://www.ams.org/profession/profession).

### Why Math at UAS?

UAS attracts excellent, dedicated faculty who are invested in the community and the success of their students. The excellent faculty-to-student ratio gives students ample individual time with professors, the UAS Math Club provides an excellent networking system for majors, and the Learning Center provides an excellent study area which facilitates a collaborative learning environment.

### The UAS BS Degree Program in Mathematics

The curriculum for the UAS Bachelor of Science in Mathematics is designed to enhance skills in critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, research and communication by incorporating the rigor of mathematics with the breadth of a Liberal Arts degree. This, combined with individually focused research projects, allows mathematics majors the opportunity to acquire strengths and skills of value in a wide range of careers and fields in higher education.

### The UAS Math Club

The Math Club at UAS is a student club with membership open to anyone who has an interest in mathematics. The club meets twice monthly on the second and fourth Friday of each month at 4:00 pm. The club activities typically range from hosting BBQ socials to designing club t-shirts to playing games to solving puzzles to sponsoring guest presentations. This year we have had presentations on such topics as using math software to solve problems, employment opportunities for math majors, internships that are available, and “Secrets Revealed: An Inside Look at our Professors.“

Mathematics Awareness Month is held every year in April. Its goal is to increase public understanding of and appreciation for mathematics. Mathematics Awareness Month began as Mathematics Awareness Week in 1986 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan. In 1999, Mathematics Awareness Week became Mathematics Awareness Month (MAM) (Click on the image to the right to go to the official MAM 2007 website).

MAM activities are usually planned by college and university mathematics departments, student groups, institutional public relations offices, and related associations.

The UAS Math Club is planning several activities in April in recognition of MAM. We will be sporting math t-shirts, providing “Smarties” and “Dum-dums” in the Learning Center, publicizing a formula-of-the-week, conducting a meet-and-greet with high school calculus students and sponsoring a public lecture about the significance of several well-known and important formulas.

Contact any Mathematics faculty member for more information.

### Featured Student

*James Bauman*

When I started here at UAS, I was considered a non-traditional student, but when I started looking around I noticed that I was far from being alone. I, like many others, didn’t know what I wanted out of my educational experience here at UAS, but I had to be enrolled in a degree-seeking program so that I could get the G.I. Bill. I started out here going for a B.L.A with an emphasis in general studies, and although this is not a bad program I was not enjoying my education. So after a few semesters, and a little encouragement from Professor Ron Seater, I changed my degree to a B.S. in mathematics.

Since changing my degree, I have found that I am enjoying myself more here at UAS. Now to get this straight, math is not easy for me, in fact I find it quite challenging. When I started here at UAS, I was at the 055 level and had a hard time understanding the material even at that level, but after each problem I solved, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I wasn’t able to get from any other subject I was taking at the time. This was rewarding, and it was because of this that I continued taking math classes.

A lot of people think that to be a math major you need to be good at math, and while this helps, it is not necessary - especially here at UAS. The math professors at UAS are top notch, they know the material they are teaching quite intimately, they know how to teach the material, and will take the time to ensure that you know the material. On a final note, my experiences have led me to believe that it takes discipline, dedication, and a willingness to follow through to be successful at math. This is why I decided to be a math major.

*James is a current student in the mathematics program and is close to completing his B.S. degree in mathematics*

### Featured Graduate

*Jon Bower - Graduated 2006*

I came to UAS in 2002 with the goal of achieving a degree in Environmental Sciences. Working toward that degree required taking through Calculus II. After only the first semester of Calculus, I knew that I had been hooked. After graduating in 2005 with my degree in Environmental Sciences, I stayed on an extra year to complete my degree in Mathematics.

The UAS Math program is exceptional for a number of reasons. For one thing, the small class size and great instructors make for a very interactive classroom setting. The faculty seem to love their subject, and are interested in enhancing the depth of understanding.

There is a close connection to fellow students, as well as the Math Club and events, such as the yearly barbecue, so that the UAS math program was very much a math-community. That’s why I found the program engaging and fun.

My education in mathematics has been of immeasurable benefit to my current position. In the atmospheric sciences, complex equations are required to describe atmospheric fluid motion, heat transfer, radiation, chemistry, etc. To derive and interpret these equations, I have relied on the tools I learned in the UAS math program. But even beyond that, my education in math has given me problem solving skills that I use every day.

*Jon is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. track graduate student in the Atmospheric Sciences Program at The University of California at Davis.*

### A Word About Advisors and Advising

If you ask a recent graduate about the benefits of interacting with your advisor you might hear some of the following:

- Advisors know about the UAS educational system, they can help you plan a realistic, effective and efficient program of study.

- Advisors know about the services that UAS offers to its students, they can direct you to people who might be in a position to help you with a wide range of difficulties.

- Advisors know about the opportunities available to mathematics graduates, they can provide useful advice, insight and guidance in matters ranging from choosing a graduate school to planning a career.

### Contact Information

For information about the Math Program, call Chris Hay-Jahans at 796-6408 or email jfcnh@uas.alaska.edu

For information about the Math Club call Jill Dumesnil at 796-6242 or email jfjad@uas.alaska.edu