Discrete Mathematics

Discrete Mathematics: The Real Deal

If you are interested in the real-world applications of numbers, discrete mathematics may be the concentration for you. With a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences from Michigan Tech, you might contribute to advances in computing or make a career of preventing hackers from stealing valuable data. Fields that rely on discrete mathematics include computer science and cryptography.

Because discrete mathematics is the language of computing, it complements the study of computer science. The deep understanding of discrete mathematics that students gain in this program will provide a basis for applications in computing, especially in areas such as algorithms, programming languages, automated theorem proving, and software development.

Cryptography is the making and breaking of cryptosystems, with the goal of securing or unlocking data. Cryptographers create cryptosystems using algorithms to encrypt sensitive data, keeping it safe from hackers; cryptoanalysts unravel existing cryptosystems, decoding information. The National Security Agency, which is the largest single employer of mathematicians, and other intelligence agencies rely on cryptologists to protect national security, and financial institutions entrust these professionals with the safekeeping of vital data.

Another application of discrete mathematics is optimization, which industries employ to minimize their costs or maximize their profit. For instance, an airline could use optimization to determine how to schedule its flight crews in the most efficient manner.

Other applications include communication theory, especially the study of error-correcting codes, and information theory.