Accolades continue to pour in for BYU’s College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, as both the statistics and math departments have recently received national awards recognizing their programs as some of the best in the country. The accolades highlight the exceptional quality of programs offered by the college and affirm the college’s status as among the best in the country in preparing students for future careers.
BYU ACME takes home the 2024 Exemplary Program Award from the American Mathematical Society
The American Mathematical Society, the largest professional society in the field of mathematics, announced BYU as their 2024 Exemplary Program Award recipient in late October.
Most universities are teaching the same math curriculum that was developed 40 to 60 years ago, but not BYU. Professors at BYU realized the math that students were learning in school didn’t line up with the math being used in the professional world, so they created the applied and computational mathematics emphasis (ACME) in the math major.
“There aren’t any other programs in the country that are doing what we are doing,” said Tyler Jarvis, BYU ACME director and mathematics professor. “We integrate math and computing in a way that helps our students become very good at converting sophisticated and powerful mathematical ideas into useful, efficient working code. That skill and depth of understanding makes our students stand out.”
In ACME courses students learn both theory and practical skills in mathematics, statistics and computing that they need to solve real-world problems.
Jarvis credits ACME’s success to a rigorous curriculum, a balance of theory with computing labs, a concentration on interdisciplinary learning and lockstep cohorts of junior and senior students.
The award, which is given to one university a year, will be presented to BYU at the 2024 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco, along with $5,000.
BYU actuarial science achieves the highest recognition from leading actuarial societies
The BYU actuarial science program within the statistics department received the highest university recognitions from both the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries, making BYU one of only five universities in the world with this distinction.
Actuarial science is the study of statistics that makes insurance possible. There are two main subfields: property casualty (home and auto), and life and health insurance. BYU was recognized for both areas of emphasis, leading the industry with sister schools like Penn State, UConn and UT Austin.
“We won these awards because of the quality of our curriculum, the quality of our graduates and the quality of our connections to industry,” said Brian Hartman, BYU actuarial program coordinator and associate professor of statistics. “Both organizations were impressed with our focus on undergraduate research and mentoring.”
Along with the awards, BYU recently qualified for university-earned credit recognition, which means that if students perform well enough in certain classes, they will receive credit for the corresponding professional actuarial exams.
Hartman said numerous employers recognize BYU as a top actuarial school and are regularly coming to campus to recruit students to fill jobs around the country.