### Justification of service to other departments

No one who teaches undergraduate mathematics doubts that most of our students
are headed for careers other than mathematics. A conservative way to measure
our service function is to consider the percentage of course credits in mathematics
taken by bachelor's degree recipients with other majors. Of course, this ignores
all the mathematics taught to students who never complete a bachelor's degree,
including many in two-year colleges. Our back-of-the-envelope calculation is
based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Table
255 and Table
312.

From Table 255, we learn that 1.3% of the bachelor's degrees in 1992-93 were
awarded to mathematics majors. (More recent data show that this figure has slipped
below 1.1%, but '92-93 is the most recent year in the other table.) Table 312
asserts that the mean number of semester credits in mathematics taken by all
degree recipients in the same year is 8.3, out of a total of 132.2. If we assume
(generously, I think) that the average mathematics major takes 50 semester credits
in mathematics, and the average for everyone else remains at 8.3, then about
92% of the course credits go to students whose major is not mathematics.

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