As a student at Furman, you'll have opportunities to move beyond your textbooks and put your learning into practice. A number of our students conduct original research and find real-world internship opportunities that pave the way for good jobs after graduation.
Student research projects
Many of our students have the opportunity to explore a variety of real-world and theoretical applications of advanced mathematics through student research experiences. Students work closely with professors on a creative research endeavor, enhancing their problem solving and presentation skills throughout the process. Often this leads to opportunities for students to present their work at conferences and publish findings in a research journal. Areas of recent research interest include optimization, analytics, and graph theory. Furman students interested in doing research with mathematics faculty in summer 2018 should attend the research information meeting on Tuesday, November 14th at 3:30pm in Riley 206 (the Pigeonhole). Applications are due on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 and decisions will be communicated to students by late January.
Examples of Student Research Projects
- "Disney in a Day: Time Dependent Traveling Salesman Problem Applied to Theme Parks," Rahul Isaac, Danny Rivers, Dr. Liz Bouzarth, and Dr. Kevin Hutson, Summer 2014.
- "Optimizing Socioeconomic Balances in Schools: An Assignment Problem in Greenville, SC," Lattie Reddoch, Dr. Liz Bouzarth, and Dr. Kevin Hutson, Summer 2015.
- "Modeling Pulmonary Fluid Flow Created by Metachronal Waves in Cilia," Zack Miller, Mary Lib Saine, Dr. Liz Bouzarth, and Dr. Kevin Hutson, Summer 2017.
- "Building the Academic Pathways Planner," Alyssa Ciurlik, Danny Rivers, Dr. Liz Bouzarth, Dr. Kevin Hutson, and Dr. Mark Woodard, Summer 2017.
- "Small Data Sets in Medical Research: Pituitary Adenomas at the Greenville Health System," Jordan Brown, Kate Causey, Danny Rivers, Dr. Liz Bouzarth, Dr. Kevin Hutson, and Dr. Tom Lewis, Summer 2015.
- "Using Social Media Analytics to Find Upsets in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament," Courtney Gale, Molly Petersen, Tucker Smith, Dr. Liz Bouzarth, Dr. John Harris, and Dr. Kevin Hutson, Summer 2017.
- "Analyzing College Basketball Tournament Upsets with Neural Networks," Andrew Lull, Drew Mostoller, Rachel Shah, Dr. Liz Bouzarth, and Dr. Kevin Hutson, Summer 2017.
Combinatorics and Graph Theory
- "Snakes on the Plane: Determining the Depletion Number of a Graph," Jerez Chen, Dante Durrman, Dr. Sarah Frick, and Dr. Tom Lewis, Summer 2014.
- "The Phony Express: A Problem in Dynamic Programming," Carol Lewis and Dr. Tom Lewis, Summer 2016.
- "Analysis of Flow Free," Jamie Fravel, Liam Simkins-Walker, Dr. John Harris, and Dr. Tom Lewis, Summer 2017.
- "Investigating the Use of Rehearsals to Help Teachers with Algebraic Generalization," Alex Doxey and Dr. Casey Hawthorne, Summer 2017.
Students can apply for Summer Research Fellowships, which provides paid research fellowships to successful applicants. Our professors can also help you apply for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs hosted by universities throughout the United States.
The internship office at Furman helps students find the kinds of real-world experiences they'll never get in the classroom. Quantitative skills come into play in a wide variety of disciplines, so you will be marketable when looking for an internship that will put your knowledge to work. Be sure to check out Summer Internship Fellowship program, which provides paid fellowships to successful internship applicants. You can even develop your own internship if there isn't one that matches your desired career.
The combination of research and internship experiences along with our liberal arts approach to learning provides you with a desirable combination of theoretical understanding, critical-thinking skills, and hands-on experience that employers seek.
Examples of Recent Student Internships
- Department of Defense, Fort Meade, Maryland, Lattie Reddoch, Summer 2016.
- CURE International, Dominican Republic, Kate Causey, Summer 2016.
- Competitive Sports Analytics, Atlanta, Georgia, Eli Stutzman, Fall 2015.
- Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, Kelly Cercy, Summer 2014.
- Coastal Futbol Alliance, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Hart Zwingelberg, Summer 2014.
Study Away & Independent Study Experiences
In addition to research and internship experiences, the Furman Mathematics Department offers students opportunities to extend their classroom beyond the traditional setting and engage the community.
Math and the Mouse: Explorations of Mathematics and Science in Walt Disney World (MXP-205)This course is a three-week immersive study away May Experience giving students the opportunity to explore areas of mathematics that support the operations of Walt Disney World. The course is project-driven; students often work in groups, give presentations, and explore topics of their own interest while interacting with industry professionals and alumni. Learn more about the most recent offering of Math and the Mouse on the course's blog.
Math in the City (MTH-504)
In this independent study, students work closely with the City of Greenville to examine mathematical issues of interest to the local community. Past projects have included helping the city analyze current and future monthly parking allotments in downtown garages and analyzing the socioeconomic breakdown of high schools in Greenville County.
Other opportunities to study areas of mathematics outside of the traditional curriculum exist in the form of independent studies. These small classes offer students the ability to work with a faculty member to explore topics of their own interests.