By the Numbers

Math classes

What counts most to 14 current Scripps seniors? Academically, it all adds up to mathematics — their major of choice. This is the most majors the subject has drawn in College history.

What’s the attraction?

“When you major in math, you can take so many other subjects as well,” says Karli Orr ’10, who finds math “exciting and fun.” While any major at Scripps provides an excellent, well-rounded education, Karli explains, “You notice the variety more as a math or science major because the distinction [between math and other subjects] is clear.”

When Karli applied to Scripps in 2006 as a high school senior, she was drawn to an article on the Scripps website that featured a record number of math majors, then seven. She chose Scripps because she “fell in love with the campus” and was relieved she wouldn’t be alone in her academic pursuits. She was getting tired of people saying, “What, math?”

Karli wants to be a leader in changing attitudes about the subject, especially young women’s, and may pursue teaching in middle school, where girls often start feeling scared of math.

She’s off to a good start as a tutor in the Math Spot, a drop-in center on campus, run by Charlotte Lee ’10. Seniors Rachel Karpman and Jen Townsend, who head off to graduate school in math next fall, are cofounders. On an average night, the Math Spot draws 20 students from the 5C’s, and “it’s packed before finals,” Karli says. And on a campus known for students helping one another, camaraderie and cooperation seem especially true among this year’s crop of 14 majors.

It’s a great equation for success.


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