Mathematics Class

Why Choose Math

Enjoy mathematics? We have a place for you in the mathematics department at AU. Your degree here will open doors to countless career opportunities.

Mathematics majors at AU enjoy:

  • Courses taught by Ph.D. faculty (not teaching assistants)
  • A mathematics learning lab adjacent to faculty offices
  • Engaging advisors who get to know you by the first day of classes
  • Opportunities for student research projects during the academic year and in the summer
  • The ability to tailor your course of study

We have courses to develop basic competence in mathematical reasoning and intermediate courses that provide the necessary support for a variety of majors. We also have a full course of study for students intending to become teachers, actuaries, researchers or engineers — and for those who are preparing for graduate study in mathematics or related areas.

Math majors choose from various upper-level courses in topics as diverse as abstract algebra, topology, real analysis and complex analysis. Courses in computer science and physics are required, and students can select other advanced courses based upon your interests, choosing from classes such as probability and statistics, discrete structures and the history of mathematics. We can also help to design a faculty-guided independent study for a unique learning experience.

Graduates with a mathematics major from AU have seen:

  • Acceptance to graduate programs in mathematics and statistics
  • Graduate assistantships and enhanced aid packages for professional graduate programs
  • Paths to top-rated professions including actuaries, statisticians and mathematicians
  • Access to a wide variety of careers

Course Descriptions and Requirements

Video - Mathematics double major

Math: Double Major

Math skills are complementary to a lot of second majors and our students take advantage of those opportunities to expand their knowledge base.

Course descriptions and requirements for the Mathematics major and minor are available in the Undergraduate Catalog.

    Actuarial Science Minor

    Actuaries have earned top rankings by U.S. News & World Report in Best Business Jobs, Best STEM Jobs, Best Paying Jobs, and Best Jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this profession will grow at a rate of 18 percent between 2014 and 2024. Actuaries in the U.S. earn an average salary of $107,740.

    What is Actuarial Science?

    Actuarial science uses mathematical and statistical methods to manage and assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions. It takes most people between six to 10 years to pass all required exams, but you can start your career as an actuary after passing the first two exams. 

    About Augustana's Actuarial Science Minor (25 Credit Hours)

    This interdisciplinary minor is designed for students seeking certification from the Society of Actuaries (SOA), who need to fulfill Validation of Educational Experience (VEE) credit. Augustana requires students to take two of the three VEEs in the process of completing the minor and works with actuarial science students to help secure an internship experience before graduation.

    Required Courses

    The SOA has approved the courses listed below to fulfill VEE credit in the three indicated areas:


    • ECON 120 – Principles of Economics I
    • ECON 121 – Principles of Economics II

    Applied Statistical Methods

    • MATH 315 – Probability & Statistics
    • ECON 373 – Econometrics


    • BSAD 330 – Principles of Finance -OR- Bsad 431 – Advanced Finance

    To complete the minor, students must complete courses satisfying at least two of the three VEE areas and their pre-requisites which total between 13 and 16 credits outside their major. 

    Certification and Exams

    There are three different certifications through the SOA:

    1. Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA)
    2. Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA)
    3. Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA)

    All three of these have 10 distinct requirements in order to receive the certification. The CERA requires successful completion of six exams, two VEEs and two courses. The ASA and FSA require successful completion of five exams, two courses and three VEEs. Candidates who do not complete their VEEs as part of their undergraduate studies must take additional coursework or exams to prove competence in these areas.

      Studying Off Campus

      Math: Sioux Falls

      Numerous opportunities exist in mathematics for study off-campus. The National Science Foundation supports a large number of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) that enable students to spend their summer months engaged in mathematical research in a wide variety of fields.  Most programs pay students a stipend, as well as covering travel and living expenses. Acceptance to the programs is highly competitive; interested students should speak with their advisor in the mathematics department. It is advisable to undertake an on-campus project in the summer of your freshman and/or sophomore years and apply to an REU in the summer following your sophomore or junior year. Comprehensive information about REUs can be found on the NSF website as well as on the AMS website, or available upon request in the math department in FSC. Application deadlines for REU programs are generally in the early spring between January 15th and March 30th.

      What can you do with a mathematics major when you graduate?

        Careers and Graduate Success in Mathematics

        Math: Employment

        Careers for our graduates are quite varied because the practical knowledge and critical thinking skills developed through the mathematics major can be applied in unlimited ways. We have graduates who are teachers, actuaries, researchers, engineers, professors, and even pastors!

        Our alumni have earned advanced degrees at Iowa State University, University of Houston, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago, Minnesota State University-Mankato, University of Kansas.

        Alumni include:

        • Lydia Hanson '16, Business Analyst for Patterson Companies Inc. in Eagan, Minnesota
        • Laura Tinker '16, Programmer at Securian Financial, Minneapolis
        • Anna Tims '16, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago
        • Travis Miller '16, Teacher at Chino Valley High School in Yavapai County in Arizona
        • Brad Ostendorf '16, Teacher at Mayer High School at Yavapai County in Arizona
        • Bryce Christopherson '15, Graduate Student at University of Wyoming
        • Jimmy Duffy '15, U.S. Navy, Nuclear Tech Program
        • Daniel Elmer '15, South Dakota Investment Council
        • Joe B. '14, Graduate Student in Mathematics, North Dakota State University
        • Katie J. '14, support tech analyst at Temp Works Software
        • Luke B. '13, Graduate Student in Mathematics, University of South Dakota
        • Andrew D. '12, Commercial Banking Analyst, U.S. Bank
        • Kaleb S. '12, Graduate Student in Economics, University of Minnesota
        • Michael R. '11, Medical Student, Sanford School of Medicine at University of South Dakota
        • Nicole W. '11, Actuary, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
        • Peder T. '10, Graduate Student in Mathematics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
        • Lucas K. '07, Assistant Professor at Carroll College in Montana
        • Kira C. ’04, Math Teacher, Sioux Falls School District
        • Aaraon M. '03, Engineering Center Supervisor, North Dakota Department of Transportation
        • Jonathon R. '98, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Minnesota
        • Peter K. '96, Director of Applications Development, Hy-Vee Corporate Headquarters
        • Royce K. ’94, Director Science and Research, PROS Revenue Management
        • Dave E. ’92, Senior Systems Analyst, Great River Energy


          Mathematics Class

          Why Choose Math

          Enjoy mathematics? We have a place for you in the mathematics department at AU. Your degree here will open doors to countless career opportunities.

          The math faculty at Augustana each specialize in a unique field, making their combined expertise invaluable to students.

          Lindsay Erickson

          Lindsay Erickson
          Associate Professor
          Froiland Science Complex #383

          Dr. Erickson received her B.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from North Dakota State University where she completed her dissertation titled “The Game of Nim on Graphs.” She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships including three from the National Science Foundation — one of which placed her at the Alfred Renyi Institute in Budapest, Hungary, as a Mathematics Research Fellow studying combinatorics in 2010. Prior to coming to Augustana, Erickson served as a visiting assistant professor in mathematics at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Dr. Erickson was awarded the 2015-2016 Granskou Award for Professional Development.

          Martha Gregg

          Martha Gregg
          Associate Professor
          Froiland Science Complex #385

          Dr. Gregg teaches a wide variety of mathematics courses. Her research interests are in the area of functional analysis; specifically she studies a class of completely positive maps on C*-algebras. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Dr. Gregg was the recipient of the Jane & Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowhship in 2010.

          Carl OlimbCarl Olimb
          Department Chair and Associate Professor
          Froiland Science Complex #382

          After receiving his Ph.D. from Montana State University, Dr. Olimb served as an Assistant Professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. While there, he taught a wide array of courses while focusing  on math education. His primary research interest regards content knowledge for preservice teachers. Secondary interests include topological data analysis and cohomology of tiling spaces. While not teaching or working on his research, Dr. Olimb enjoys a game of chess.

          Daniel PerryDaniel Perry
          Assistant Professor
          Froiland Science Complex #384

          Daniel Perry, assistant professor of mathematics, has a B.A. in mathematics from Stonehill College, and received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Montana State University. He comes to Augustana University from Montana State University where he was a graduate teaching assistant.



          Emil Knapp

          Emil Knapp
          Professor Emeritus

          Over his forty year tenure at Augustana, Dr. Knapp taught virtually all of the courses offered in the department. In recent years he often taught "Quantitative Reasoning," "Foundations of Mathematics," "Calculus III," "Probability and Statistics," and "Senior Seminar." He received his Bachelor’s degree from Concordia College - Moorhead and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. His thesis developed a generalized theory of distributions, and his latest research interest is three-body stable orbits. Dr. Knapp is also a triathlete, and finished this summer's Hy-Vee triathlon in under four hours — a personal best!

          Jay SmithJay Smith '67
          Assistant Professor Emeritus

          An Augustana faculty member for over 30 years, Jay Smith frequently taught "Calculus I" and "Calculus II" as well as required math courses for elementary education majors. He is an Augustana alumnus, and did his graduate work at University of South Dakota and Montana State University. Jay can frequently be found at Zorbas at Otter Tail Lake in the summer, or at Old Chicago in the winter.

            Contact Information

            Augustana University Mathematics Department
            2001 South Summit Avenue
            Sioux Falls, SD 57197


            Martha Gregg, Department Chair and Associate Professor
            Froiland Science Complex

              Highlights, Special Features and Opportunities

              Math: Clubs and Organizations

              Get involved in math club for outside opportunities and volunteer work!

              Calculus at Augustana

              High school students who have already completed Calculus I and wish to continue their mathematical education by taking Calculus II can enroll at Augustana. Interested students should contact Thomas Elness to register. Learn more.

              Augustana is a part of the South Dakota Delta Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, national honor society in mathematics. Seventeen new student were inducted into the chapter in May 2016.

              During the summer of 2012, Dr. Tim Sorenson flew with Blue Angels. Read about his thrilling experience.

              Augustana’s Math Club meets every other Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in FSC #373 during the school year for social events and math-related fun.

              Augustana alumna Kira Christenson (Math/Secondary Education,2004) was a recipient of the prestigious 2009 Milken Educator Award.

              Dr. Jonathan Rogness (Math/German/Computer Science, 1998) collaborated with Dr. Douglas Arnold to create the video Moebius Transformations Revealed

                Mathematics Colloquium

                Additional information on upcoming and previous colloquia coming soon!