Linfield College


Department of Mathematics

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While research in mathematics builds upon previously discovered results, making research at the undergraduate level difficult, Linfield students have done well. Professor Bricher has conducted summer research programs twice in recent years. Topics have included investigating oscillations in mechanical systems such as the vibration of air bubbles in an inkjet, and flame propagation in solid fuel combustion. Each program resulted in a paper written jointly by Professor Bricher and the student, with the results being presented at a national meeting of the Mathematical Association of America.

Mathematics students have been involved with the summer research programs offered through the Linfield Research Institute. Other mathematics students have become interested in actuarial science and taken the examinations sponsored by the Society of Actuaries. Internships are possible, for example, working as an intern in the actuarial department of a large Portland insurance company.


While much of Linfield’s mathematics curriculum takes a classical approach to the study of mathematics, technology is increasingly emphasized and included in courses. In introductory courses, graphing calculators are used as the computational tool of choice. In other courses, spreadsheets and computer algebra packages are included. Microsoft Excel and Mathematica from Wolfram Research are the programs most often utilized.

The department has a portable computer with a projection unit so that demonstrations can be given in any classroom. Computer projects are assigned in many classes and faculty offices are equipped with up-to-date computers and software so that instructors are able to offer help to students working on computer assignments. Most computer labs are equipped with both Excel and Mathematica software.