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Enhance Your Education

Distinctive Programs in Mathematics

There are ample opportunities to enhance your studies in mathematics through independent research, off-campus study, and internships. These programs are integral to a Knox education, teaching you how to apply your skills in real world situations.

Student Research and Creative Projects
There are ample opportunities to enhance your studies in mathematics through independent research, off-campus study, and internships.Knox is a leader in promoting top-notch undergraduate research. In fact, more than 90% of all Knox students complete an independent research or creative project by the time they graduate. Many students' projects are supported by an unusually rich array of Knox College funding programs that together provide students more than $200,000 each year in support of their work. These sources include: Richter Memorial Scholars Program, Ford Foundation Research Fellows Program, Ronald E. McNair Fellows Program and departmentally supported independent studies. In addition, there are also departmentally specific grants, offered through the Junod and Math Talks funds, to support students doing research projects during the summer or Winter Break. These opportunities make Knox a leader in promoting undergraduate research.

College Honors
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner. Examples of recent Honors projects include:

  • "Risk Management in Banking," Haining Wei '13.
  • "Szpiro's Result Showing that Local Complete Intersection Curves in Affine 3-Space are Set-Theoretic Complete Intersections," Michael John Kaminski, Jr. '12.
  • Mathematics of Evolution: "A Model of Multilevel Selection Theory in Sexually Reproducing Species," Kenneth Jordan McCallum '07.
  • "Distributions," Jordan Peter Watkins '07.
  • "An In-Depth Study of Distribution Theory," Nathan Totz '05.

Off-campus Study
Knox offers you plenty of opportunities to begin exploring the world while still a student. Almost 50% of Knox students participate in off-campus study and consider their studies abroad to be the highlight of their college experiences.

Knox students can attend the Budapest Semester in Mathematics, offered in Hungary, one of the leading countries for mathematical research. Also available, through Knox's membership in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, are the Argonne Science Semester in Chicago and the Oak Ridge Science Semester in Tennessee, where students work as contributing junior members of an interdisciplinary research team.

Opportunities for internships are widely available for students in mathematics. In actuarial mathematics, Knox students have recently interned with Cigna Corporation, CNA Insurance and Equicor; in engineering and marketing and in software development with AT&T; and in investment analysis with Chicago Corporation. Other recent internships have been conducted at Kemper Industries, Allstate Insurance, and Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Lab. Recent internships in mathematics were:

  • Summer Intern for the Statistical Research Department at Nielsen Media Research, Schaumburg, IL. Joseph Kerley '06.
  • Underwriting Intern for State Farm Insurance, Bloomington, IL. Blair Yu '14.

Beyond the Classroom
To further education and understanding of mathematics, the department and the Mathematics Club sponsor weekly seminar talks by faculty, visiting scholars and students doing research. Teams from Knox often compete in the Putnam Examination, a national mathematics contest.

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