Department of Mathematics and Statistics Hunter College of CUNY

Why Study Mathematics?
Many people think that a degree in mathematics only prepares one for a career in teaching or in the actuarial field, and nothing else. This is not true.

A major in mathematics is excellent preparation for work in the world of finance, economics, or business. Almost every bureau and branch of the federal government employs mathematicians. Many fields that require applied science and technology, such as medicine, DNA forensics, weather forecasting, environmental science, and computer programming, to name just a few, need people with a strong mathematics background.

Here are two quotes from prominent mathematicians on the nature and significance of mathematics.

“A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns.”
G.H. Hardy

“Applied mathematics is mathematics for which I happen to know an application. This, I think, includes almost everything in mathematics.”
Henry O. Pollack

Many prospective employers are looking for individuals with critical thinking skills combined with a willingness to tackle difficult problems. A degree in mathematics offers evidence of these characteristics.

Why Study Statistics?
Two quotes from leading statisticians give a good summary of the answer to the above question.

“I like to think of statistics as the science of learning from data… It presents exciting opportunities for those who work as professional statisticians. Statistics is essential for the proper running of government, central to decision making in industry, and a core component of modern educational curricula at all levels.”
Jon Kettenring
ASA President, 1997

“The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone else’s backyard.”
John Tukey
Bell Labs, Princeton University

Statisticians are needed in government, education, science, social science, medicine, engineering, and finance. Our program gives students the basics that they need to become statisticians in any field.

Graduates of the Hunter College statistics program hold positions in universities, pharmaceutical firms, insurance companies, and financial institutions.