Yes, I do! Math has always been one of those things that just came naturally to me, and when I got to college, it became especially enjoyable for me–so much so that I decided to minor in it. After taking my only required math classes, I decided to take another one to better prepare myself for my upper-level chemistry courses. Then, one day, while I was browsing through the latest edition of the LMU course catalog, I realized that I could receive a math minor on my degree if I took just three more classes. That didn’t seem like too demanding of a course load, and I definitely had enough space for elective courses in any subject. So I decided to go for it!
A full mathematics major requires students to take a total of 41 credit hours of specialized math classes, including probability and statistics, a three-part fundamental calculus series, and two-part sequences of differential equations, linear algebra, modern algebra, and advanced calculus. (Yeah, that’s ALL you have to do 🙂 ) A mathematics minor, on the other hand, is only 26 credit hours, and the only classes required for it are the calculus series, statistics, and any one of the upper-level sequences of the student’s choosing. I had to take statistics and the first calculus class anyway as part of the requirements for pharmacy school, and I opted to take the second calculus class because one of my classes for my chemistry major, Math Methods in Chemistry, relies pretty heavily on calculus. In order to finish my math minor, I just need the third calculus class and one of those upper-level sequences, which will probably be linear algebra for me.
I’m not exactly sure what it is I like about math other than the fact that I just “get” it. With all of my other classes, I tend to study a lot harder and stay up a lot later trying to get everything done. But math takes almost no time for me, and it makes an otherwise busy semester so much easier to deal with. My math classes are the only ones that I’ve consistently made all A’s in, and usually pretty high A’s, too. I rarely have to ask for help in these classes, and final exams are usually a piece of cake. The pictures below are classic examples of homework in one of my current math classes, Multivariate Calculus (also sometimes called “calculus 3”). Each problem usually requires its own sheet of paper, which can make for some pretty thick homework packets once I’m finally finished. But once I get started on them, I find myself flying down the lines of the page, with all the letters and symbols just flowing out from my brain and onto the paper. As crazy as it might sound to some people, math is fun for me.
You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just make math my major program of study, or at the very least part of a double major. Well, in all fairness, the skills I’ll obtain from a chemistry major will actually be much more beneficial to me for a career in pharmacy. And it’s not that I prefer math over chemistry, it’s just that chemistry sometimes takes a little more work than math. But having a minor will still immerse me in plenty of special topics, and it will most certainly make me a more competitive candidate for pharmacy school. Being able to quickly calculate dosages and divvy out the correct prescription will be vital skills once I become a full-fledged pharmacist! Taking math classes also gives me a little bit of downtime when Inorganic Chemistry or Quantitative Analysis start to feel overwhelming.
Another thing I hope to do with my math minor is use it to help other people who might be struggling in math. I know it’s one of those subjects that is notorious for tripping up even the best of students, and since it comes so easily to me, I’d like to become a peer tutor so that I can share some tricks and tips with my peers that can make things much simpler. That’s on my list of things to do for next year, so hopefully you’ll be able to come and talk calculus or trigonometry with me in the Tagge Center! 🙂
What kinds of classes do you find most enjoyable or exciting? Are you pursuing a minor in addition to your major program of study? I’d love to hear about your experiences! Feel free to email me leave a comment below with your story, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for more!