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Become a Leader in the Growing Field of Information Security

The expansion of computational tools and methods has resulted in an acute need for deep mathematical insight within both government and industry. MA in Mathematics, Information and Security has been developed to fill this need, combining courses in applied mathematics, data science, and information technology for a unique education experience. No other program in the Washington, DC area encapsulates all three areas of study.

With core courses in topics like Cryptography, Bayesian Statistics, and Numerical Analysis, students are exposed to both the theory behind data problems as well as solutions strategies, computer algorithms, and the cutting-edge research where these methods can be applied.

Students also get the opportunity to take course in cyber intelligence, national security, or counterterrorism, and can take advantage of our internship component, which allows students to gain job experience while earning graduate credit. After finishing the program, students willl be able to create and test the validity of mathematical models for leading problems in the security field, protecting sensitive data throughout its life cycle.

Why get an MA in Mathematics, Information Security?

Information Science involves the processing, storage, and communication of information. Information theory answers two fundamental questions in the communication and storage of information: (1) what are the limits on information compression (the entropy) and (2) what is the best rate of information (the channel capacity). The theory, initially developed to answer fundamental questions in communication theory, has now expanded to be an integral component of many other subjects, including computational science, signal processing, and information security.

The field is at a crossroads. Although mathematical theory has been instrumental in catalyzing the advances in collecting and analyzing the quickly-growing, vast amounts of complex data, the practitioners need to be taught both how to directly manipulate data themselves and the underlying theory that is its genesis. Moreover, the data needs to be analyzed rigorously and securely.

Most data science and information technology programs tend to provide only a weak theoretical grounding before presenting the tools of the day.  Students in those programs are essentially tracked into a trade, with no path for technical growth beyond what they’ve been taught. Our program remedies this issue: student’s learn solid theory, cutting-edge research, and how to apply these to actual data problems so they can continue to grow in their career. Graduates of the program are uniquely qualified to for positions including information research scientist, data scientist, data analyst, computer systems analyst, information security analysts, operation research analyst, and more.

World Class Opportunities

Consistently ranked as one of the best cities for job seekers, Washington, DC, is the ideal city for graduates with quantitative skills. With job opportunities in the federal government and the private sector, a master's degree in mathematics will open doors for you in the DC area. AU's relationships with governmental, cultural, scientific, and historical institutions serve as an important resource for research. In this program, you can receive credit for an internship, where you will gain real-world experience in the field, learn first-hand about employment as a mathematician, and get a head start on your career.

Diverse Faculty Dedicated to Your Success

The MA in Mathematics program prides itself on dedicated, individual attention to each student throughout the program. Our experienced faculty members have diverse mathematical backgrounds and are ideally equipped to help cultivate your mathematical interests. From Professors Adler and Lansky's work in representation theory to Professor Chifman's application of dynamical systems to molecular biology, our professors' wide range of interests offers students many research options. Whether your mathematical passion is purely theoretical or highly applied, there is an AU professor willing and able to work with you.

Student Spotlight

Grad school helped me understand the math behind the models.

Jen Dumiak (BS 2015, MA 2016) works in strategy and operations at Deloitte Consulting. Over the past year, she has worked on a variety of tasks, including data visualization in Tableau, constructing interactive dashboards, creating an activity-based costing model, and optimizing workforce allocation.