## Department Talks

# Department of Mathematics

## Mission

The mission of the Mathematics Department is to prepare midshipmen for the technical training they need and to open their minds to the power, beauty, and utility of mathematics. We:

- Strive to produce Navy and Marine Corps Officers who are well grounded in critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving.
- Give our majors the opportunity to develop the mathematical foundation required to pursue advanced technical degrees.
- Provide an active learning environment (with appropriate use of technology).
- Are committed to excellence in teaching and scholarship.

## Brief Overview

The United States Naval Academy was founded 1845. The Mathematics Department has offered a B.S. degree in Mathematics since the 1960's. We graduate about 165 Midshipmen mathematics majors each year among the various mathematics degrees (35 Pure and Applied Mathematics majors, 100 Operations Research majors and 30 Mathematics with Economics majors).

The Naval Academy Mathematics Department consists of about 70 faculty members, who, as a whole, are actively engaged in state-of-the-art research in mathematics and its applications. About 25 members of the faculty are active duty Naval or Marine Corps officers (7 with PhDs and 18 with master's degrees); they bring first-hand experience in applying mathematics and mathematical thinking to specific naval problems. The civilian faculty (all with doctorates) devotes a substantial portion of time to current research in various specialty fields in pure and applied mathematics, as well as in operations research. Read more information about the Math Department.

## About the Math Major (Pure and Applied)

The Mathematics Major teaches midshipmen to think logically and critically; these fundamental abilities are valuable to the naval officer. Mathematics plays a central role in virtually every technical and scientific field and is crucial in modern, accurate models of the environment. Mathematics provides training in analyzing problems, formulating methods of attack, and expressing results in a clear and logical manner. These same skills are applied aboard a ship or submarine, inside a fighter jet, and in all military communities. Please read more about the math major.

## About the Operations Research Major

Operations Research is a modern, interdisciplinary subject that uses mathematical techniques to solve large-scale optimization problems in the real world. The field grew out of urgent problems faced by the Allies during World War II and helped guide military planners in their decision-making. For example, operations research showed that to minimize the losses of trans-Atlantic shipping to German U-Boats it was better to use a small number of large convoys rather than a large number of small convoys. After the war, operations research extended its influence to all logistical and scheduling problems in the military. Civilian applications also proliferated. For instance, the synchronization of stop-lights for smooth traffic flow throughout a city is an important type of problem in operations research. Also, Major League Baseball and other professional sports leagues hire consultants specializing in operations research to construct the schedule for each season.

In addition to traditional operations research courses, such as linear programming and simulation, Midshipmen majoring in Operations Research (SMO) will also take traditional mathematics courses in probability, statistics, and matrix theory as well as operations research courses applied to military problems.

Read more about the Operations Research Major.

## About the Mathematics with Economics Major

The mathematics with economics (SME) major, formerly called the quantitative economics (SQE) major, is an interdisciplinary mathematics

Read more about the Mathematics with Economics major.