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Mathematics

The curriculum delves deeply into a wide range of the many and varied branches of mathematics. Your courses will focus on developing deductive reasoning and persuasive writing abilities, as well as analytical and quantitative, problem-solving skills. You will explore both the abstract, theoretical aspects of math and applications to a variety of topics. Math students routinely attend conferences to present the results of work they completed with guidance and supervision by a faculty member.

math
Professor of Mathematics Debra Boutin hands out cookies to Michael De Percin '15 and Osvaldo Adames '15 in the math dept. study area in Christian A. Johnson Hall.

A math student’s discovery: a knack for writing

Osvaldo Adames ’15 knew he would major in math. He wanted a small college, where professors would know his name, and he fell for the Hamilton College campus. Now, if he wanted to prove he made the right choice he could point to his functional analysis class. All of its 17 or so students had had Professor Robert Kantrowitz before. The class was really hard and really fun. “The thing is, not only did we know each other really well, but everybody was interested in what we were talking about,” Adames says.

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His math studies led him to a discovery ­– his writing ability. He never considered himself much of a writer, until Kantrowitz pointed out his skill based on the proofs he wrote. Adames didn’t quite believe it until he took a seriously writing­intensive course and did very well. “It built my confidence,” he says.

Another discovery ­– Chinese. Adames, who speaks English and Spanish, wanted to study a third language but never considered Chinese until he heard students talking about how hard it was. He wanted hard, so he took a course and found the language to be beautiful. He minors in Chinese and is spending a summer studying in Beijing.

Mark Kasdorf ’06
“Serial entrepreneur” Mark Kasdorf ’06, shown here at the Intrepid headquarters, has launched four companies since he graduated from Hamilton.

A graduate’s progress: an entrepreneur in motion

As a math major at Hamilton College, Mark Kasdorf ’06 studied theorems and wrote proofs aplenty. He doesn’t crunch the hard numbers anymore, but he solves problems daily as CEO and founder of the iOS application development consulting firm Intrepid Pursuits. He was named Emerging Executive of the Year by the Mass Technology Leadership Council. In 2011, he launched Hamilton’s first business pitch competition to introduce entrepreneurship to students.

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As for his learning curve, Kasdorff went straight from Hamilton into law school and about halfway through, he started his first company, Burning Hollow Technologies. The company ran out of money in 2010 and to generate enough cash flow to pay two software developers Kasdorf had hired, he started Intrepid Pursuits.

He majored in math because he loved math.

“I don’t live and breathe what I majored in,” Kasdorf says. “However, there’s no doubt in my mind that my Hamilton education was integral in preparing me to do all of the types of things I do today…Hamilton prepared me in so much as it taught me to think.”