College Faith

College Faith

#44: A Guide to Majoring in Mathematics

May 01, 2024

This episode continues my sporadic series on the various fields students may choose to study while in college, today discussing a major in mathematics. My guest is Dr. Francis Su, a professor of Mathematics at the prestigious Harvey Mudd College. Francis is a past president of the Mathematical Association of America, has been featured in Wired and The New York Times, and is the author of the award-winning Mathematics for Human Flourishing.


In this podcast we discuss:

  • How Francis first got interested in studying mathematics
  • The distinction between mathematics and arithmetic
  • How math helps us shape a set of virtues and flourish (vs. approaching math as simply skills)
  • Career opportunities for those with a degree in mathematics
  • Which character traits indicate you may do well as a math major
  • The similarities between mathematics and philosophy
  • The similarities between mathematics and music
  • Different emphases in the field of mathematics
  • How studying mathematics has helped Francis in his spiritual life
  • Challenges mathematics has posed to Francis’ faith
  • Where he sees ideas in mathematics as consistent with a Christian worldview
  • Areas in mathematics Christian students may want to consider pursuing
  • Francis’ general advice for all college students


Resources mentioned during our conversation: