Academics | Math & Computer Science
Math & Computer Science
Ripon College offers majors and minors in both mathematics and in computer science.
Some students focus the greater part of their intellectual energy in one of these areas, others choose to acquire broad knowledge in both, and still others combine mathematics or computer science with another field, such as business administration, chemistry, biology, physics, or economics.
Every senior student engages in a project that culminates in public talks, individual papers, and often publication in Summation, Ripon College’s journal of mathematics and computer science scholarship. Among recent projects: Game Theory, Female Whale Population Model, Evolutionary Programming, Artificial Intelligence: Implementing 3D Tic-Tac-Toe in C++, APOS Theory as a Conceptualization for Understanding Mathematical Learning, and Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory in Mathematics Education.
- Math Courses & Requirements
- C.S. Courses & Requirements
- Unique Opportunities
- Career Tracks
Mathematics Courses & Requirements
Ripon’s mathematics program serves two kinds of students: those abstract thinkers who are drawn to mathematics’ structural beauty, and those who desire to use mathematics to solve real-world problems. We supplement our regularly scheduled courses, both theoretical and applied, with independent study options tailored to students’ individual interests.
Some of our students have pursued graduate studies in mathematics. Others have become engineers, many have gone into business , and our program fulfills state requirements for certification in secondary school teaching. Actuarial science offers excellent opportunities for employment, and our students can begin the actuarial examinations while at Ripon. Through our 3-2 engineering programs, students spend three years at Ripon and two years at an engineering school, receiving degrees from both institutions.
Computer Science Requirements
Our computer science program offers “hands-on” experiences as well as theoretical study. Learning-by-doing is stressed at all levels of the curriculum.
We encourage our students to pursue individual interests through independent studies and internships. Recently, students have studied fractals, graphics, parallel processing, artificial intelligence, compiler design, and neural networks, and they have consulted in automating scheduling for a printing firm. Every year, our students compete in the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming contest.
Our computer science and mathematics students often study at the University of Wales in Swansea, on the Oak Ridge Science Semester in Tennessee, and on the Budapest Semester. These off-campus programs allow undergraduates to study and do research at the frontiers of current knowledge in mathematics and computer science.
The department’s monthly colloquium is open to all students. Programs include films and talks by speakers on a large range of topics, including applications of computer science and mathematics and careers in related areas.
The department’s two computer laboratories feature current-generation computer systems and computational resources. Computer systems are connected to the campus computing facilities and the Internet by way of a DS3 connection. More computer systems are accessible in five laboratories at other campus locations. Software for symbolic computer algebra, statistical analysis, word processing, software development, spreadsheets, and a variety of other productivity and analysis tools are available on all computer systems in our laboratories.
What can I do with a Math and/or Computer Science degree?
Recent graduates of our program work for…
- Abbott Laboratories
- Agnesian Health Care
- Capital One
- Creative Commons
- Direct Supply
- Epic Systems
- Farmers & Merchants Bank
- Graef Anhalt Schloemer & Associates
- Icarus Studios
- Kana Software
- Loos Machine & Automation
- Mercy College
- Midwest Manufacturing
- Oshkosh Corporation
- Signicast Corporation
Job titles of recent graduates include…
- Unix Systems Administrator
- Math Teacher
- Business Analyst
- Data Analyst
- Operator Engineer
- Software Engineer
- Structural Engineer
- Problem Manager Analyst
- Loan Specialist
- iPhone Game Developer
- Programmer Analyst
- Tech Consultant
- Business Process Developer
- Automation Programmer
- Director of Information Technology
- IS Programmer
- IT Service Management Lead
Ross Lewis ’11 started at Ripon with an appreciation for math, but not knowing exactly what he wanted to do or where he wanted to go. He says, “I had a great experience joining a fraternity, speaking up during student senate meetings, broadcasting a radio show, and working on campus in the math and computer science departments, and much more.”
“I finally settled on a double major in computer science and business administration, with a minor in mathematics. This led to a summer research program at the University of Arizona as a computational biology researcher.”
With all this experience and hard work—and with the help of a Ripon alumnus—he landed a job just a few months after graduation. He is now working at Indura Systems, a home health care software company in California.