Despite his three majors—math, chemistry and biology–health professions—Steven still finds time to run cross country and track. He’s also involved in the Honors Program, student government and campus ministry. His goals are to get accepted into medical school and to become a doctor.
I chose Northwestern because I believed it was the best college for me to succeed academically. I knew professors wouldn’t try to weed me out, but instead, would help me succeed. I also chose Northwestern because of its values. I wanted peers and friends in the dorm who I could grow in faith with and who would have a positive influence on me.
It’s the logic behind math that makes it so fascinating. Logic uses a few axioms and deductive reasoning to prove or disprove a claim. I didn’t realize the brilliance of the method until I took Abstract Algebra, where I learned how to think like a logistician, identifying sound reasoning and false assumptions.
Northwestern’s math professors strike the perfect balance between professional and personal. They teach at a pace that will push you but not break you. They also structure their classes to maximize student learning and minimize busywork. And just as each person’s faith is unique, my math professors integrate faith in their own way. Dr. Huffman highlights moments in history when math influenced faith, whereas Dr. Jongerius utilizes the storyline of Flatland to help students consider the nature of God. Others share personal stories or require students to write a paper that integrates faith with math.
Mindful of God
Studying mathematics has strengthened my faith. If God is the ultimate source of wisdom and we bear his image, it follows that we have a finite portion of his wisdom. Thus, we can think abstractly about calculus, geometry and algebra. I believe these abstractions have applications in the real world only because the God who created our minds also created the universe.
Learning to lead
Northwestern is a great choice if you’re interested in having a leadership role. Residence life, sports teams, clubs, student government and campus ministry all provide opportunities for leadership development. As a discipleship group coordinator, I organized small groups in the dorm; as a dorm rep, I advocated for the guys in my residence hall; and as a lab assistant, I helped set up labs and answered students’ questions.