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NHTI’s Mathematics degree program offers you a rigorous and cost-effective education with small class sizes to form long-lasting connections with peers and professors. You’ll gain hands-on experience as a tutor of math and physics in ACE, by competing with our Math Team, and through investigations in our well-equipped physics lab. In your final semester, you’ll investigate a topic of your interest in math in collaboration with a faculty member. In your senior project presentation, you’ll share your newfound expertise with the academic community.
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In December 2017, two very different but equally brilliant students capped their careers in NHTI’s Mathematics program by delivering senior presentations to a rapt audience of professors, administrators and fellow students.
Jonathan Cooper of Hudson, NH, was a homeschooled student – one of six siblings! With so many children potentially going to college, finances were a consideration for the family, so Jonathan took a look at community colleges. “I live closer to some of the other schools,” he says, “but NHTI seemed exceptional so I decided to make the 40 minute drive, and it was worth it.”
Jonathan didn’t think he liked math or was particularly good at it; he started out as a Biology major. “But in my second semester I took statistics and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. So I decided to try a calculus class, because I knew calculus was really useful for science majors.”
While working on calculus Jonathan visited NHTI’s Math Lab, a free walk-in tutoring service available to all students. “The head of the Math Lab said, ‘Hey, you’re pretty good at this. Would you like to work here as a tutor?’ That really helped changed my mind set. I went on take Calc 2 and Physics, and I really enjoyed it. So I changed my major. It added an extra semester to my program, but my closest friends and favorite professors were in the math department. And by this time I’d decided that I wanted to go into engineering, and I knew math would be more useful than biology.
“Initially I thought NHTI would be just a stopping-over point, just a place to get my Gen Eds,” says Jonathan, “but it became a major focal point of my education. I met people here who I’ll be in touch with for the rest of my life. And more importantly, NHTI is where I learned how to learn.
“As a home-schooled student, I had never done school in a brick-and-mortar setting. NHTI is where I learned how to navigate the academic world and developed a good college work ethic. And I learned professionalism working in the Math Lab. This meant a lot, and I enjoyed all of it.”
With the help of his NHTI professors, Jonathan earned a scholarship to UNH, where he is working on a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering, the study of biological processes from an engineering standpoint. He plans to go on to graduate work in biomedical engineering, the design and development of medical devices.
Rebekah Kneuer, a home schooled student from Laconia, NH, was always into mathematics. “I could write too,” she says, “but that was a drag. I could happily do eight hours of math a day. I really enjoy problem-solving, and I like things that are black-and-white.”
Rebekah came to NHTI – following in the footsteps of an older brother – knowing it was “an awesome way to save money!” But she soon discovered it was also an awesome way to learn.
“I came in with a fairly high level of math,” she says, “and went directly into upper-level classes. The professors I worked with were really smart, and the small class sizes made things very personal. I’d taken Calc I online and gotten an ‘A’, but didn’t really understand it. Having that 1-on-1 experience in the classroom made all the difference.”
Rebekah gave her senior capstone presentation on orthogonal functions with a focus on the Fourier Series, which she describes as “a way to represent any generic function as a sum of trigonometric functions.” She showed how Fourier analysis could be used to model the motions of simple, everyday things like vibrating guitar strings and drum heads.
Though she has completed her associate degree, Rebekah is taking four more courses at NHTI this spring, knowing they will transfer to the bachelor’s program in Mathematics that she is starting at UNH this fall, “saving more money!” As for the future …? “I love school, so maybe a master’s degree? Who knows?”
NHTI’s Associate in Science in Mathematics program provides students with the first two years of study required for a bachelor’s degree in many STEM disciplines, including applied mathematics, mathematics education, physics, statistics, and engineering. The program also prepares students for employment in STEM positions and, for students currently working in STEM fields, the degree can advance their careers.