Central College Academics

The skills gained by studying mathematics, such as problem-solving, technical communication skills and reasoning with quantitative information, open doors to many careers in industry, government, business, computer programming and education. Students have used their mathematics degree in combination with their liberal arts education to become engineers, lawyers, AmeriCorps volunteers, human resources specialists and graduate students pursuing doctorates in diverse areas such as molecular bioscience, aerospace engineering and education.

Central offers a flexible course schedule that allows you to gain comprehensive mathematics experience and pursue teacher licensure, internships and study abroad, all while graduating in four years. If you appreciate logical thinking and enjoy the challenge of solving problems, pursuing a degree in mathematics at Central College can provide a path to future success.

of current math majors have an additional major, are pursuing teaching licensure or both
Three of Central’s mathematics faculty have won college-wide teaching awards

The Central Difference

Research Opportunities

Students of mathematics at Central participate in numerous research opportunities both on campus, such as working on a senior thesis or Bosch Summer Undergraduate Student Research Fellowships, as well as off campus through Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) at a variety of larger universities. These opportunities deepen students’ knowledge of applied or abstract mathematics and prepare them for future careers or further study in graduate school.

The Instigator

The Silicon Valley of the Midwest can be partially attributed to Tej Dhawan ’91. This self-designated “instigator” has built multiple startups in the tech world and wants to inspire entrepreneurship.


Central’s Vermeer Science Center was awarded the silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the United States Green Building Council, the first LEED-rated building in the state. Students have direct access to classrooms and laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and presentation technology.

Study Abroad

All Central students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City. Mathematics secondary education majors are encouraged to apply for the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education (BSME) program. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Shannon Coulson ’15, research associate in tumor immunology, NewLink Genetics, Ames
  • Ricky Boyle ’14, technical services engineer, Epic Systems Corp., Madison, Wis.
  • Renee Art ’14, math teacher, Hogan Preparatory Academy, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Tim Wilson ’14, software developer, Alliance Technologies, Des Moines
  • Jacob Stein ’14, financial analyst, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines
  • Alan Grau ’91, president and owner, Icon Labs, Des Moines
  • Brian Reece ’95, Presidential Award-winning math teacher, Central Academy, Des Moines
  • Kathie Flood ‘86, video game designer and CEO, Cascade Game Foundry, Seattle, Wash.
Central College student


  • Math Club
  • Kappa Mu Epsilon (mathematics honor society)

No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Graduate Placement

  • University of Iowa, mathematics
  • University of Notre Dame, aerospace engineering
  • University of Colorado-Boulder, aerospace engineering sciences
  • Iowa State University, architecture
  • Montana State University, molecular biosciences


  • University of Hawaii at Hilo, Research Experiences for Undergraduates
  • Pella Regional Health Center, Data analyst intern
  • Vision Financial Group, Des Moines
  • Allied Technologies, Des Moines
  • The Bridge, Ottumwa
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

The mathematics major at Central allows students to develop core mathematical skills (pattern recognition, generalization, abstraction, logical reasoning, modeling, analyzing and solving problems, reading and analyzing mathematical content), as well as the ability to communicate mathematics clearly and concisely in both oral and written forms. The ability to reason with quantitative information, solve intricate problems, and communicate the results to others are highly valued skills in any field.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Russ Goodman, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics
  • Mark Johnson, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Ruth & Marvin Denekas Endowed Chair in Science and Humanities and Professor of Mathematics/Computer Science
  • Thomas Linton, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Mark Mills, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics
  • Wendy Weber, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Calculus I and II
  • Introduction to Computer Science

Sophomore Year

  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Foundations of Mathematics
  • Linear Algebra

Junior Year

  • Mathematics Seminar
  • Abstract Algebra I
  • Differential Equations
  • Numerical Analysis

Senior Year

  • Real Analysis I
  • Geometry
  • Probability


Learn More

Want to find out more about Mathematics at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.

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