The Department of Mathematics

Warren Wilson offers a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Mathematics. There is also the opportunity to minor in mathematics while pursuing a major in another discipline. The mission of the Department of Mathematics at Warren Wilson College is to serve every student on campus by providing courses that satisfy triad education requirements, by furnishing course content in support of several majors, and by offering a comprehensive program for mathematics majors and minors. The major requirements guide the majors in progressing from procedural/computational understanding of mathematics to a broad understanding encompassing logical reasoning, generalization, abstraction, and formal proof, in accordance with the national standards published by the Mathematical Association of America. The faculty seeks to instill in all students an appreciation of the beauty and utility of mathematics, to facilitate improved confidence and ability in their mathematical skills and quantitative literacy, and, most of all, to foster in them a life-long love of learning.

Most people think of mathematics as arithmetic and algebra, and maybe geometry also. In fact mathematics is far more diverse than this. Mathematicians employ disciplined critical thinking and logical structures to solve problems and explore theory. Mathematicians are not number crunchers, they are truth crunchers.

We are an encouraging and supportive department whose goal is to help all students discover mathematics.


Philip Jamison, MA
Holly Rosson, PhD.
Gretchen Whipple, Ph.D. (Department Chair)

Student Research

Students majoring in Mathematics must complete a Capstone Project. This independent work in mathematics may consist of teaching oneself about a topic or branch of mathematics, employing mathematics in research in another discipline, or developing an original proof or result. In this way, a thesis may be an original synthesis of knowledge culled from a number of sources in the published literature or it could contain substantive, original mathematics. Some previous capstone titles are:

  • Musical Representations of the Dihedral Group
  • Exploration of Dynamical Systems: period 3 implications to Chaos
  • Computational Modeling of Photochemical Smog
  • Dynamic Tunneling in a Quantum Mechanical System
  • A Class of Elliptic Curves with Rank at Least Three
  • An Upper Bound on Graph Pebbling with graphs of diameter d
  • Game Theory in Game of Thrones: How bias negatively affects strategy
  • A Proof of the Fixed Point Theorem
  • A Topology-Based Method for Automating Analysis of Sea-Ice Distribution
  • A Brief Foray into Knot Theory