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Saint Leo 360 Podcast

Episode 57: The BA in Math Degree Program at Saint Leo University

Posted by Greg Lindberg on April 14, 2022
Episode 57: The BA in Math Degree Program at Saint Leo University

Download Episode 57 Transcript

Speaker 1:
Saint Leo 360, a 360 degree overview of the Saint Leo University community.

Greg Lindberg:
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast. This is your host, Greg Lindberg here on this episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast. Our topic of discussion is our bachelor's program in mathematics here at Saint Leo University. And so I'd like to welcome to the podcast Dr. Monika Kiss, who is a professor of mathematics, as well as the interim chair of the math department here at Saint Leo University. Dr. Kiss, welcome.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Thank you so much, Greg, for having me on the show and I'm very excited to share some information.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Yeah. And I know this is the first time we've specifically touched on math here on the podcast, so really excited to have you on and excited to get into this. So first off Dr. Kiss, why don't you just introduce yourself in terms of your background, when it comes to education and your professional career,

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Some of your listeners may not know. I'm originally Hungarian, so if my accent sounds a little bizarre, it's probably because it's a Hungarian, New Jersey, Hawaii, Florida accent. And that tells you the journey of how I got here. I was born in Hungary, when I finished high school at the age of 17, my mother sent me off to the United States where my uncle, her oldest brother sponsored me to go to undergraduate school. I attended Kean College at the time. It is now a university, not unlike Saint Leo's journey from being a college to university. I earned my bachelor's of arts in mathematics at Kean College. And in my last year, I got married, then husband suggested that I continue my education in Hawaii because what better place to live and be broke as graduate students than Hawaii. And I proceeded to apply to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where I earned my masters and my PhD in mathematics. And so that's my professional journey to become the mathematician that I am today.

Greg Lindberg:
Wow. That is definitely quite a path. Very unique, I must say. And then, so in terms of teaching math, just talk to me about how you got into the teaching profession. Did you know you always wanted to teach?

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Well, that's a really good question, Greg. My mom doesn't seem to remember this. It's quite funny. But when I remember growing up, I had a younger sister, four years younger than me, as many of your listeners may relate to this. I used to have a little blackboard that I pretended to be a teacher to my sister. And so when I was growing up, I always thought, "Oh my gosh, how cool would it be if I could teach English and mathematics?" I was also very much interested in topics and politics, but as I was growing up, I always thought that teaching would be a really cool profession. And when I was attending high school in Hungary, I was informed that there's no way in the way that education system is in Hungary that I could pursue being a teacher in English and in mathematics.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
So that was heartbreaking. But as it turns out, I am now teaching mathematics and English. So you just never know what happens when you set out and pursue your dreams. And so I am living my [inaudible 00:03:59], I am doing what I love to do. Right? I love teaching at Saint Leo University. I love my students. I love providing information and the love of mathematics that I have and share it with students that maybe some of them can appreciate it as much as I do. So at the end of the day, I think it was in college when I realized that this is my life path. And so here I am doing what I always wanted do.

Greg Lindberg:
That's awesome. That's a great little story. So when it comes to math, I know a lot of subjects. In general in school kind of have certain stereotypes, whatnot, and just let's talk about the stereotypes of math. And I feel like a lot of people, they see numbers, they see formulas, equations, and it makes their head spin. So just from your standpoint, why do you think math maybe has a bit of a stereotype and what do you try to do as a professor to make students more comfortable with math?

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Well, Greg, that's very, very true. And I have another story for you, if I may. My father was an electrician and my mom was a hairdresser. And so when I came to the US, I came by, my family stayed back in Hungary. And so when I got my bachelor's degree in mathematics, both my parents were bewilder, what happened? Where did this come from? And my father literally, when I graduated for college is when he told me the story of how he was attending college, a technical college. He wanted to get a higher sort of an engineering degree with his electrician background. And he shared with me the story of how he quit his engineering program because of his math teacher. So both of my parents have been just wondering where this math interest, if you will, came from.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
So why I shared that story with you is because I think there are two of reasons why I feel that there's such disdain. I like to call disdain, not so much hate, but disdain and fear for mathematics. One of them is I think sadly the fault of some teachers. I hear very often when I meet people, when they ask me what I do for a living, the reaction 99% of the time is, "Ooh, I hate math. Why would you do something like that?" And I would always ask, "Why do you feel this way?" I do an informal survey when I meet people, what causes them to feel the way they feel about mathematics. And almost all the time it's about this particular math teacher and either middle school or high school who made them hate it.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
So to me, that's very sad. And of course that inspires me to do my job better. And so that's one reason why I think that we have a problem, which of course, we have to somehow address in the higher education because I'm making pauses as well, because we can't attract good teachers if we don't appreciate them. And not just financially, but as a society. I don't think that we give enough value to the professional of teaching, both in elementary, middle, and the high school levels. Maybe a little bit more in academia and a higher education level, but definitely not in the lower level, which brings me to the second reason why I think a lot of people do not like math, and that is as parents, we are role models for our children.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And I often hear parents say, "Well, I was never any good in math, so it's okay if my child is not also. What are you going to do with math?" There's just a very negative attitude, like, "What can you do with math? I don't want my children to be math teachers." Which is again, reinforcing this negative attitude towards the professional teaching. And probably is because I guess you probably are aware as the listeners are aware, we don't pay our team up. And so when we send our kids off to college, we want them to be able to support themselves. I'm sure many of you have heard that many teachers have to work second jobs just to make a living. So we have to have some kind of a... I always say we need a media relations people to help us to elevate math in a better light so that people will want to become teachers and will want to change the way our young people growing up will view mathematics.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And so if we can just change this cycle that comes from the parents, comes from the education system, that maybe we can change the way people feel about math. And we can hopefully do a better job of marketing what people can do with the math degree. Not only being amazing teachers that will change the lives of young people, but working in industry. So I think there's a lot of reasons, but those who primarily are the ones that in my mind come to light.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely, very well said. And I think like you said, it's a multifaceted arena, so to speak and a lot of factors. And I think a goal of this podcast is to spread the word about this program. And obviously, we'll certainly get into the many different, the diversity of career options and tracks and whatnot with a math degree. So let's dive into the bachelor's in math program. And let's speak about the history of the program here at Saint Leo. I know you've been with the university for many years now. And just talk to me about your perspective on the program and maybe perhaps some history behind the program.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Well, this is one of my favorite stories, Greg. As you said, I've been here for quite a bit. I was graduating with my PhD in 2003 in the University of Hawaii. And in my last year, of course, I was applying to different institutions. And I had the opportunity at a math conference in January of 2003, to meet Dr. Benor, who was in Maryland at this conference, recruiting a new faculty. And all my friends in Hawaii say, "Don't go to Hawaii, don't go to Florida, only retired people live there. You're not going to be happy living in Florida." But I didn't listen. When Dr. Bondari invited me to come and visit Saint Leo University Campus for an interview, I fell in love. I fell in love with the location.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And if you have seen any pictures of Saint Leo over the last 20 years or so, you would not believe the changes that we have come through. It's night and day. I mean, our campus was beautiful then, and it is way more beautiful now. But to answer your question, when I came to interview, Saint Leo did not have a bachelor's degree in mathematics. We were very small. Excuse me. We were a very small institution, and so there's some programs that were growing. And so when I interviewed with them [VPA 00:12:15], Dr. Doug Astolfi, he said, "Monika, I think our liberal arts institutions, such as ourselves, needs a bachelors in mathematics degree. What do you think about that?" And I said, "What? I just got my PhD in mathematics, freshly minted, and you want me to start a math major? Yes, please. Where do I sign the dotted line?"

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And so my first year with my colleagues, Dr. Bondari and Dr. White, we researched and submitted a proposal for our degree in mathematics, a bachelor's degree in mathematics. And so we've been offering the degree since 2005, and I'm just so delighted to be a part of that process. And we are small program, which has its positives and of course negatives, but the positive is that we have a small faculty and we care about our students. We are the faculty mentors of our students. So we don't have advisors that don't know anything about the degree. It is a wonderful environment where the students feel like they are important, they're not just one in 300 students. We have research opportunities for our students. We're constantly revisiting our major. We're trying to be as dynamic about the program that we offer so that our students will be gaining skills that are marketable. So that way, whether they decide to pursue graduate programs or they decide to find their careers right out of earning their bachelor's degree, they will be ready. So they will be successful and happy people.

Greg Lindberg:
Exactly, well said. And on that note, in terms of perspective students, how would you define or describe an ideal perspective student for this bachelor's in math program?

Dr. Monika Kiss:
I love that question, Greg. Thank you for asking that question. I think anybody who's interested in math, who is eager to problem solve, who wants to learn about data, who wants to learn about how things work, that's pretty much it. So anybody who's interested in learning mathematical ideas, ways of solving problems, those are the students that we want. So it's very open. We're here to teach you if you're willing to learn.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. That's awesome. I know that this major can be paired with a number of different minors and there are a lot of combinations out there that work well with the math major, and let's dive into some of those.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
That's another great question. You have done yourself Greg, with all the great questions. Over the years, we've had majors that have earned double degrees. We've had students who earned a math degree with a biology degree. We've had students who earned degrees in mathematics and accounting. We've had students that earn degrees in mathematics and psychology. So we've had students that double majored, which is quite doable. We've also had students that have decided that they wanted to learn more about computer science or cyber security. And so we've had lots of students who earned their bachelors in mathematics with a programming minor, information systems minor. We've also had students that earned minors in bio or psychology or accounting. But to be fair, Greg, anybody who likes mathematics and understands that problem solving, data analysis is something that people in almost all facets of life can use.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Think about somebody who's going to work for the police department. So somebody who wants to work as an investigator, maybe they want to get a math degree and get a criminal justice minor. If you want to... The psychology and the math majors may seem like an odd combination, but if you think about it, psychologists are studying how people behave. They're collecting data, they're trying to analyze cause and effect. They're trying to see relationships between things, and those are all mathematical ideas. So there's just the way math can pair with pretty much anything at all as amazing. We've had students that were interested in English and math at the same time, which may seem like the most bizarres of combination, because usually what you'll find is that most of our math majors do not wish to write. That's why they like math because it's just problem solving.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And a lot of times English majors may not be able that interested in doing mathematics, but this is actually a great combination as well. We've had students who were interested in this. And so we talk about... You could work for a publisher who does math textbooks. You could be a great asset to a company like that. So the combination with math, it's just great. And any minor that you can pick up to help you in terms of what you want to do, when you finish your degree is great economics, marketing, any of those degrees will pair well at a minor with a math degree. So it's up to what the student desires, what they're interested in, what do they want to do with the rest of their life. Mathematics provides a way of thinking, a way of looking at problems that no other major provides.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
It is really, truly a way for someone to communicate with the technology that we're able to use today, we're able to solve problems with the mathematical tools that we learn in the various classes that we have our students take in their program. And so no matter what area you are thinking about, a math major will be able to contribute because they understand numbers, they're not afraid of numbers. Like you said at the beginning Greg, math majors are not afraid of numbers. They will look at numbers and can make sense of them and they can make recommendations based on the data that they're provided. So we're good at problem solving. We are good at providing solutions to problems. So we're not just teachers, we're also great part of any company that needs someone to help analyze information.

Greg Lindberg:
So let's talk about some of the courses and specific topics covered in this bachelor's and math program.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
We do have some core courses. As we designed this program, we wanted to be of course, compatible with any other university's math major. So we have a set of core courses. We of course have our calculus series, calculus one, calculus two and calculus three, which is a multi-variable calculus. We also require students to know a little bit about differential equations, which is more applied mathematics, linear algebra, which is a great course for students that are interested in understanding how you can look at databases, students. I always encourage our computer science majors that want to do game design, linear algebra as a grade course, because it teaches about how you can manipulate points in not only on the plane, but also in space. So imagine students that want to do three dimensional game designs, that course would be a great course for them to learn about how you can move points in space and in the plane.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
We also require our students to take discreet mathematics, which is a course where we learn to go from your high school math ideas, right? Your basic algebra, your trigonometry and level up. I like to say it like that because most people believe, and you're going to laugh at this, probably. Most people believe when they find out that I have a PhD in mathematics that I've had calculus one through calculus 5,000, of course, aren't true. Mathematics, I like to think of mathematics as a tree. You can about it as above ground or below ground. If you think of it as above ground, mathematics has these very core areas, subject areas that people in graduate school focus on as well, analysis and algebra and geometry. But these core courses of course, span out, right?

Dr. Monika Kiss:
So you get these branches out, grown out of these three major areas of mathematics, probability and statistics, number theory, topology, graph theory. I mean, and the list goes on. And these are all little branches of mathematics that when you pursue a graduate degree in mathematics, you will start to narrow your interest among some of these branches. And then when you get your PhD, then you're like at the end of the branch on a little leaf where you're going to be focusing on something that's exactly the one area that you really want to study. And so we have applied. So our differential equations classes, more of like our applied math, our linear algebra is more of like your pure mathematics area. But all of these classes have some applications in real life. And discrete math is our course that introduces the students to some of these, not all of the branches of mathematics and the language of mathematics that we use in order to do what we do.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
In addition to these core courses. And as well as statistics, I wanted to mention statistics, of course, everybody who is a math major should know statistics. And in fact, I feel like all of our students should understand statistics. That's the language that we hear on a daily basis. So that's something our math majors do, which has of course incredible applications. Data science is a jazzy version of statistics. If anybody is always wondering [inaudible 00:23:34] data science, it's more in that study of statistics of data analysis and so on. In addition to these core courses, our students are also required to choose electives. And so that's what I meant by the flexibility of our program. Our electives are varied, you can have students take more applied courses or more math courses if they want to go to grad school. We also allow our students to choose some computing courses that are very mathematical based.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And some students choose to take an internship course that we created. It's a Math 425, where students either find an internship off campus, or we are trying to work on developing relationships within campus or students can earn an internship three credits for this one course where they learn some on the job skills. And that's a part of our degree program. So they can earn up to six credits of internships, which I think is a fantastic opportunity that could lead to all kinds of job offers and careers. So that's the curriculum in the nutshell, but if anybody is ever interested, they can always reach out and I can talk to them for more.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure, sure. Absolutely. I'm all for real world experience, practical experience putting that education to use in those internship opportunities, whatnot, that's fantastic. In terms of clubs, chapters, anything else you want to mention that students can get involved in on campus but outside the classroom?

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Yes. We actually have a math club that has been going very strong. Of course, during COVID we didn't get to do as much activities. And we also have for two years now, the Pi Mu Epsilon Saint Leo University chapter, it's a national honor society for math majors. So we're very excited about that. That's a recent addition.

Greg Lindberg:
In terms of career tracks opportunities, I know we have already covered this to some extent, but anything else you'd like to mention about what you can actually do with that bachelor's in math degree?

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Oh my gosh, I have such a long list, so at some point you have to cut me off. As I was preparing to have our chat today, I looked at some of alumni and what they do. And yes, of course we have lots of students that choose to be math teachers, which is wonderful. But we also have students that become actuaries, data scientists, mathematicians. Of course, they pursue graduate programs and math, software engineers, programmers, financial analysts, our project managers, risk management analysts. So just because you're a math major, it doesn't mean you're not qualified for some of these jobs that do not have the word map in them. So there are some great opportunities for the math degree. You just have to go after it.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely, no doubt. And then I know as far as graduate programs, I know you also did touch on this briefly, but let's speak a little more specifically about graduate programs, whether within Saint Leo University or potentially outside the university that graduates of this bachelor's program could pursue?

Dr. Monika Kiss:
I will share with you some of the schools that our students have gone on to and gotten graduate degrees. We have students, of course, who stay at Saint Leo. We've had students who earned their MBA from Saint Leo with computer science, masters, or cyber security. I do know that if students in the future, since we have now an education PhD degree. So if students wanted to pursue that, that would be something entirely in their realm of possibility. In addition, I just mentioned that we've had students who have gone on to getting master's degrees, as well as some PhDs from UCF in mathematics or math education. We've had students that went on to FSU to get math degrees. The University of South Florida has our current student who was in her second. No, first year in the math program. We've had students at Louisiana State University, one of our very own who returned, Ms. Augustus.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
She just became our instructor. As of January of this year. She went on to LSU where she earned her UCA master's in education with focus in mathematics. We also had a student that went on to FSU who earned a PhD in financial mathematics. We've had a student who went on to William & Mary and got his master's in computer science. University of Colorado statistics, saying that University of Nevada. Florida Poly, we had a student who went on to get a degree, a master's degree in nanotechnology, one who got a degree in data mining.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
We've had students that went on to [Ride 00:28:57] State University and got up psychology with math degree. I'm not entirely sure what that formal name was. I have a student who's attended University of North Florida for a PhD mathematics, and the list goes on. So yes, we have students that go on not just to pursue math, but different degrees that is just up to their interest. And I don't mind sharing this with you. I have a student who is now becoming a dentist with a math degree, so it just varies. Everybody has their own interest and the sky is the limit.

Greg Lindberg:
No question. Yep. Once again, just a perfect example of everything you can do all the potential possibilities with a math degree. And then as far as alumni, any other success stories you'd like to mention in terms of specific careers that our alumni have gone on to pursue?

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Well, I have a couple again, because I could go on, but with our time, I'm just going to highlight a couple. Ruth Cutler was one of our amazing alumni. And again, all of our alumni are amazing. I love all our students, but Ruth was an exceptional student because she came to Saint Leo from England. He was a soccer player. And of course, a math major. He is the one who got a minor in both computer programming and information systems. William & Mary actually flew him up to William & Mary and pursued him to get his master's degree in computer science from there. So it's a wonderful story. He was an all American, because he was an excellent top player. And of course topnotch math major. He's one of our proudest alumni. I'm super proud of him. He worked for...

Dr. Monika Kiss:
I think his first position was a software engineer up in Boston. I actually got a chance to visit him. It was wonderful potential in, I think the 14th floor, the Prudential building overlooking the river in Boston. It was fabulous. But now he's... I know you're jealous, it's okay. He's moved, I think in the last couple years, and he's not the senior delivery principle. Don't ask me what that is. I know North Carolina company, very proud of him. I have to repeat Maria Augustus who earned her bachelors in math from Saint Leo gone on to get a master's at LSU in education with emphasis in mathematics. And we're so lucky to have her back. She started as an instructor in January of this year, so she's another great story. When she graduated, she promised me she'll be back and she's here. So we're so lucky to have her.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Another one I wanted to just share is Megan De Mer. Again, I'm probably missing so many. And so I'm going to end here. Megan, just like all the other students now who are able to, created a handshake account. And she was actually pursued by a company to do an internship with them. So she didn't even have to do much work, she just put up her resume and this company reached out to her and said, "We'd like to have you on board as an intern." And so in her last semester in college, she interned with them. She earned credit for interning with this company. And once she completed her internship, they offered her a full-time job.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And so she is what they call an RPA developer at Net Synergy Virtual Solutions, which is just [inaudible 00:32:55] Lutz. And so I could not be prouder of all of our students, but again, unless you stop me, I'm going to keep going. So I'm going to go ahead and let you just ask your next question. But what I do want to tell you is that I'm super proud of all of our alumni, and what makes me happy is that they're living their best life.

Greg Lindberg:
That's wonderful such a testament to the program and the faculty here and everything. I mean, it's really something. I know one thing I meant to ask you about earlier was the faculty who do teach in the program and would love for you to provide just an overview of the faculty. I know just your background is amazing, very unique as it is. And I know several of our other faculty have really incredible backgrounds as well.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
I mentioned Maria, who is one of our newest colleagues. In addition to the two of us, we have four other professors who are full-time professors. I will share with you. Our first is Dr. Jacci White. She was here when I arrived. She has incredible background as well. She has been a wonderful mentor, and her interest is in data science statistics, and also just like myself teaching people to love mathematics. So there are three of us in the ladies department. And then we also have three gentlemen. The first one is Dr. Bondari. Then we have two newer faculty, Dr. Murphy in the order that he arrived, he's interested applied mathematics, operations research. So those are the areas that he's interested in.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And our last faculty before Maria is Dr. Jacob Aguilar, who is also a wonderful auditioned to our program. We're very proud of him because he's working with doctors on studying the pandemic. So his area of interest is also applied mathematics and data science, collecting data, which is what his efforts are based on right now. He's also involved in the Honors program. Dr. White was formerly the director of the Honors program. Dr. Aguilar now is assistant director of the Honors program. I hope that I'm saying that right. So all of our colleagues are very involved in the FA, in the teaching of the classes, but also in outside activities. Dr. White is the advisor for the Pi Mu Epsilon chapter at Saint Leo. I'm the math club president. I mean, advisor, not president. Sorry. And so we're all very involved with the students, classroom, career planning and advising as a whole. I love my colleagues. And of course we have some wonderful adjuncts that help us with the supporting courses for other degrees.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. That's fantastic. And that leads me into my final question here about what you think separates Saint Leo University in general, and specifically this bachelor's in math program from other programs out there. And I do know in all of our programs, we really focus on the small class sizes, the one-on-one support for our students. And I would imagine those same areas, same ideas, whatnot, apply to this program as well.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Oh, absolutely, Greg. So when I was thinking about getting ready for our conversation, that was one of the highlights that I would always share with students. Our math major classes are usually around 10 students in a class, which is great. You get to know not only your faculty, but your cohort of students that you're attending and graduating with together, your faculty knows everything relevant to your career, your program objectives, your goals for your life. You're not just a number in addition to, of course these benefits. I'd like to also highlight the fact that because of our math club and Pi Mu Epsilon, our honor society chapter, we're very involved with the students in that area as well. But we often take our students to local math conferences that we are very much involved with as well as national conferences.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
There are two big conferences that most of us attend one in August, which is called [Bassfest 00:38:03]. And then one in January, which we have taken many students to most of these conferences that are either local or national. And the students obtained amazing experiences from these travels. Their network, they meet other students, they meet other faculty from different institutions and they see what we provide here and what they can achieve if they continue their education. And the last thing that I wanted to mention, or last two things, I'm sorry, is that because we're small, our students have opportunities to become leaders versus if you attend a bigger university, you may not be able to get such leadership roles so easily and be supported at those.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
And the last thing that I wanted to mention that again makes us a little bit different than other institutions is that, as a part of the degree, our students actually take a research course, a senior project course where they pick a topic that they want to immerse themselves for at least one semester and dedicate themselves to learning about that topic. And they're going to work with a faculty. And so the beauty of that is twofold. Number one, they learn something that they're interested in. So we often encourage students do interdisciplinary work.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
We've had students to do research on music and math, the relationship between music and math. We've had students who realize that they like programming, so they picked up a problem and they wrote a program that solved that problem. We've had of course, students that wanted to learn about how we can improve math education. What can we do to improve math education? So they did research in that area. So it's a fantastic way to dig deep and see what you really like by the time they get to that semester. Most students have an idea of what areas or what branches of mathematics they're interested in. And especially they want to pursue a graduate degree. This will be for one step closer to writing that master's thesis. And then later on a PhD thesis.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely, very well said and great way to sum it up there. All right. So again, our guest on this episode of the podcast is Dr. Monika Kiss, professor of mathematics here at Saint Leo University. And Dr. Kiss, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate all the insight and thank you for everything that you've done now for the university.

Dr. Monika Kiss:
Well, thank you, Greg. And thank you for your listeners to listen to what I had to share. It means a lot.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. All righty.

Speaker 1:
To hear more or episodes of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, visit saintleo.edu/podcast. To learn more about St. Leo's programs and services. Call 877-622-2009 or saintleo.edu.

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, we chat with Dr. Monika Kiss about the BA in math degree program offered at Saint Leo University. Dr. Kiss, a professor in the program and current interim chair, discussed:

  • Her educational, professional, and personal backgrounds
  • How she got into teaching and her journey to Saint Leo University
  • Why math can have a negative stereotype to some students and what they can do to get more comfortable with math
  • A history of Saint Leo’s bachelor’s in math degree program
  • The types of students this math degree program is intended for
  • Relevant concentrations and minors that can be paired with a math major
  • An Overview of the courses and topics covered in the curriculum
  • An overview of the diverse faculty who teach in this program
  • Clubs, chapters, and internships in which Saint Leo math majors can get involved to gain real-world experience and find professional networking opportunities
  • The numerous career opportunities with a bachelor’s in math degree
  • Examples of graduate degree programs within and outside of Saint Leo University that graduates of this bachelor’s in math program may pursue
  • Examples of alumni success stories from this program
  • What sets this program--and Saint Leo University in general--apart from other math degree programs out there

Links & Resources

Learn More about the BA in Math Degree Program at Saint Leo University

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts in mathematics degree program offered at Saint Leo’s University Campus.

Check out the faculty bio for Dr. Kiss on her faculty page.

pursue math and science degree

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