Interest in Amherst math courses has increased by 28 percent in the past decade.
Math at Amherst is having a renaissance—started by students, facilitated by professors and supported by alumni. Interest in math courses has increased by 28 percent in the past 10 years. What’s more, nearly half of the class of 2015 took two or more math courses during their time at Amherst. In 2014 the faculty approved statistics as a new major—making it the 38th— and the department was renamed as the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
The increase in student interest in math and statistics comes as no surprise to David Rosen- blum ’92; the field has fascinated him since his time at Amherst. Rosenblum majored in mathematics at the College and graduated summa cum laude. Since then, he’s focused his career on finance and capital asset management.
Rosenblum was excited to learn that the College had created the new statistics major
in direct response to student demand. In only two years, the major has attracted 15 students. Faculty have developed several new courses for the major and created a fellows program for students eager to test their skills outside the classroom.
Statistical understanding is needed in a variety of fields; as a result, many departments have incorporated math and statistics into their teaching and research. The student fel- lows assist faculty and offer peer tutoring. Projects range from biology to sports analysis, but all offer the fellows vital experience and a deeper understanding of their discipline.
Last fall, through the support of the Rosen- blums, this student program was permanently endowed as the David and Jeanette Rosenblum Fund for Statistics Fellows. Once fully funded, it will support six to 12 student fellows each year.
David and Jeanette Rosenblum are happy to support the initiative. “Helping students who are motivated to learn both in and out of the classroom was an easy choice,” said Jeanette.
Adds David, “The mathematics education that I received at Amherst was top-notch and a clear prerequisite to a very successful career after graduation. The phenomenal growth of the mathematics and statistics department at Amherst in recent years is only further testa- ment to the ever-increasing importance of these fields to our society today. Data perme- ates all aspects of our lives, and it’s important to know how to assess and draw conclusions from it. I want current Amherst students to have the opportunity to sharpen their skills, and, through the newly established fellows program, learn how to explain and present math and statistics to others.”