# Prospective Math Majors

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Why Major in Math?

- Mathematics is fun, challenging, and rewarding.
- This subject is logical, creative, important for applications and enjoyable in its own right.
- As you learn more about mathematics, you will see that the logical structure of theorems, proofs, and classifications has a certain aesthetic appeal.

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Educational Value

- The adventure of mathematics is thrilling, yet it can be difficult to find the starting place on your own.
- Please see the
**Math Placement**page and**Introductory Math Courses**page for more information and resources. - Our
**Sample Course Plans**will show you a variety of courses you can take depending on your interests.

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As a mathematics major, you will develop skills in:

- conceptual thinking and problem solving
- oral and written communication
- analyzing and interpreting data
- working in groups

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Many majors follow career paths which do not fall under the title of "mathematician" or "math teacher." Common Options include:

- data scientist
- quantitative finance
- actuary
- engineer
- physicist
- consultant

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Keep in mind that mathematics is a way of thinking, not a single career.

**Various Organizations**

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Putnam Competition

Stanford students may participate in the** Putnam Competition**, an annual math contest for college students, each December. Students can choose to receive credit for participating by enrolling in the 1-unit course Math 193, Polya Problem Solving Seminar, in Autumn quarter; however, enrollment is not required to participate. If you are interested in participating or want to learn more, be sure to attend the first class. See ExploreCourses for course schedule information.

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Stanford University Mathematical Organization (SUMO)

The** **Stanford University Mathematical Organization (SUMO) is the **by-students-for-students math club** on campus. They host various events that are **open to everyone**: math majors and non-math majors, graduate and undergraduate.

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Directed Reading Program

Students interested in independent reading with a graduate student mentor may wish to participate in the Directed Reading Program.

The Directed Reading Program is a program of Stanford's Graduate Mathematics Outreach Organization in which undergraduate students (of any major) interested in independently reading some mathematics outside of their official coursework are paired for a quarter with math graduate students for weekly guidance and discussions. At the end of the quarter, participants gather for a colloquium in which each participant gives a short talk about their reading. The program began in winter quarter 2017.

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Stanford Undergraduate Research Institute in Mathematics (SURIM)

During the summer, the department offers the Stanford Undergraduate Research Institute in Mathematics (SURIM)** **where students can work on a research project either one-on-one with a faculty member or in a group mentored by a graduate student.

**Eligibility:**

- Current Stanford undergraduate students.
- Students receiving support during the Summer must be enrolled in undergraduate studies for both the preceding Spring quarter and the following Fall quarter.