Tips for a Great Start
Degree requirements in discrete mathematics are intentionally kept low to maximize the flexibility of the program. Contact your advisor to talk about your options and read these tips to help you prepare for your career
Use free electives wisely to get the strongest possible degree.
- Students are strongly encouraged to complete a minor in Computer Science.
- It is also a good idea to complete a minor in a collateral field that has discrete mathematics connections, such as electrical engineering, chemistry, or biology.
- Students hoping to go to graduate school should take MA 4450 Real Analysis.
- It may be also beneficial to acquire a knowledge of the basic concepts of statistics related to discrete mathematics. Students could take MA 3720 Probability and MA 4720 Design and Analysis of Experiments, for example.
Get summer research experience.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsors many Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs. Students participating in such a program work on research projects and typically receive free or greatly discounted room and board, along with a stipend of $2500–$4000.
Michigan Tech faculty members also mentor student recipients of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF), which also provides a stipend to work on a research project.
Participation in either REU or SURF is a great way to decide if you want to go to graduate school (and it looks great on a graduate school application)!
Do an internship.
If you are planning to enter the workforce upon graduation, you will be much more marketable if you do an internship. For information about internships, contact University Career Services or your advisor.
Join a professional organization.
- Institute for Combinatorics and its Applications
- Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)—sponsors an annual conference on discrete mathematics. Michigan Tech students can join SIAM for free.
- Mathematical Association of America (MAA)
- American Mathematical Society (AMS)
- Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia (CMSA)
- Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)
Some relevant online information about combinatorial mathematics, graph theory, and general discrete mathematics can be found at The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics and World Combinatorics Exchange.