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Mathematics has always been one of the core subjects of a liberal arts education because it promotes rigorous thinking and problem-solving ability. Many students who major in mathematics go on to graduate school or to work in related professions. For other students, mathematics is popular as a second major or as a minor in combination with another major from any of the Colleges’ academic divisions.
To meet the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities encountered after graduation, mathematics majors are encouraged to obtain a broad but firm foundation in the discipline. Majors acquire skill in the use of mathematical methods for dealing with problems from a variety of disciplines, and complement these tools with some training in computer science.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers two disciplinary majors in mathematics (B.A. and B.S.) and a disciplinary minor in mathematics. In addition to the specific courses listed below, other courses may be approved by the department for credit toward a major. To be counted toward the major or minor, all courses must be passed with a grade of C- or better; the department strongly recommends courses be taken on a graded, rather than a credit/ no credit, basis.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (B.A.)
disciplinary, 11 courses
MATH 135, MATH 204, and MATH 232; CPSC 124; either MATH 331 or MATH 375; two additional Mathematics courses at the 200-level or above; two additional Mathematics courses at the 300-level or above; and two additional courses chosen from Mathematics (MATH 131 and above) and Computer Science (CPSC 220 and above).
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (B.S.)
disciplinary, 15 courses
MATH 135, MATH 204, MATH 232, MATH 331, and MATH 375; CPSC 124; three additional Mathematics courses at the 200-level or above; two additional Mathematics courses at the 300-level or above; one additional Computer Science course (CPSC 220 and above); and three additional courses in the Natural Science division that count towards the major in their respective departments.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
disciplinary, 5 courses
MATH 135 and four additional MATH courses at the 130 level or above.
100 Precalculus: Elementary Functions Intended for students who plan to continue in the calculus sequence, this course involves the study of basic functions: polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric. Topics include a review of the real number system, equations and inequalities, graphing techniques, and applications of functions. A problem-solving lab is an integral part of the course. Permission of instructor is required. This course does not count toward the major or minor in mathematics. (Offered annually)
110 Discovering in Mathematics A study of selected topics dealing with the nature of mathematics, this course has an emphasis on the origins of mathematics, and a focus on mathematics as a creative endeavor. This course does not count toward the major or minor in mathematics. (Offered each semester)
115 Foundations & Problem Solving in Elementary Mathematics Students will study the mathematical foundations of elementary school mathematics. This course will develop a student's abilities to reason mathematically, to solve mathematical problems, and to communicate mathematical ideas effectively. Primary attention will be devoted to mathematical reasoning in areas drawn from number systems and algebraic structures, number theory, algebra and geometry, probability and statistics, and discrete mathematics. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the nature and structure of mathematics and more specifically of how elementary school mathematics is embedded within the broader discipline of mathematics. ( Prerequisite: must be in the Teacher Education Program pursuing certification to teach in an elementary school setting.)
130 Calculus I This course offers a standard introduction to the concepts and techniques of the differential calculus of functions of one variable. A problem-solving lab is an integral part of the course. This course does not count towards the major in mathematics. Prerequisite: Satisfactory performance on the department's placement exam, or MATH 100. (Offered each semester)
131 Calculus II This course is a continuation of the topics covered in MATH 130 with an emphasis on integral calculus, sequences, and series. A problem-solving lab is an integral part of the course. Prerequisite: MATH 130 or permission of the instructor. (Offered each semester)
135 First Steps into Advanced Mathematics This course emphasizes the process of mathematical reasoning, discovery, and argument. It aims to acquaint students with the nature of mathematics as a creative endeavor, demonstrates the methods and structure of mathematical proof, and focuses on the development of problem-solving skills. Specific topics covered vary from year to year. MATH 135 is required for the major and minor in mathematics. Prerequisite: MATH 131 or permission of the instructor. (Offered each semester)
204 Linear Algebra This course is an introduction to the concepts and methods of linear algebra. Among the most important topics are general vector spaces and their subspaces, linear independence, spanning and basis sets, solution space for systems of linear equations, and linear transformations and their matrix representations. It is designed to develop an appreciation for the process of mathematical abstraction and the creation of a mathematical theory. Prerequisites: MATH 131, and MATH 135 strongly suggested, or permission of the instructor. Required for the major in mathematics. (Offered annually)
214 Applied Linear Algebra A continuation of linear algebra with an emphasis on applications. Among the important topics are eigenvalues and eigenvectors, diagonalization, and linear programming theory. The course explores how the concepts of linear algebra are applied in various areas, such as, graph theory, game theory, differential equations, Markov chains, and least squares approximation. Prerequisite: MATH 204. (Offered every third year)
232 Multivariable Calculus A study of the concepts and techniques of the calculus of functions of several variables, this course is required for the major in mathematics. Prerequisite: MATH 131. (Offered annually)
237 Differential Equations This course offers an introduction to the theory, solution techniques, and applications of ordinary differential equations. Models illustrating applications in the physical and social sciences are investigated. The mathematical theory of linear differential equations is explored in depth. Prerequisites: MATH 131 and 204, or permission of the instructor. MATH 204 may be taken concurrently. (Offered annually)
278 Number Theory This course couples reason and imagination to consider a number of theoretical problems, some solved and some unsolved. Topics include divisibility, primes, congruences, number theoretic functions, primitive roots, quadratic residues, and quadratic reciprocity, with additional topics selected from perfect numbers, Fermat’s Theorem, sums of squares, and Fibonacci numbers. Prerequisites: MATH 135 and MATH 204, or permission of the instructor. (Offered every third year)
313 Graph Theory A graph is an ordered pair (V, E) where V is a set of elements called vertices and E is a set of unordered pairs of elements of V called edges. This simple definition can be used to model many ideas and applications. While many of the earliest records of graph theory relate to the studies of strategies of games such as chess, mathematicians realized that graph theory is powerful well beyond the realm of recreational activity. In this class, we will begin by exploring the basic structures of graphs including connectivity, subgraphs, isomorphisms and trees. Then we will investigate some of the major results in areas of graph theory such as traversability, coloring and planarity. Course projects may also research other areas such as independence, domination, and matching. Prerequisites: MATH 135 and MATH 204. (Offered every third year)
331 Foundations of Analysis I This course offers a careful treatment of the definitions and major theorems regarding limits, continuity, differentiability, integrability, sequences, and series for functions of a single variable. Prerequisites: MATH 135 and MATH 204. (Offered annually)
350 Probability This is an introductory course in probability with an emphasis on the development of the student’s ability to solve problems and build models. Topics include discrete and continuous probability, random variables, density functions, distributions, the Law of Large Numbers, and the Central Limit Theorem. Prerequisite: MATH 232 or permission of instructor. (Offered alternate years)
351 Mathematical Statistics This is a course in the basic mathematical theory of statistics. It includes the theory of estimation, hypothesis testing, and linear models, and, if time permits, a brief introduction to one or more further topics in statistics (e.g., nonparametric statistics, decision theory, experimental design). In conjunction with an investigation of the mathematical theory, attention is paid to the intuitive understanding of the use and limitations of statistical procedures in applied problems. Students are encouraged to investigate a topic of their own choosing in statistics. Prerequisite: MATH 350. (Offered alternate years)
353 Mathematical Models Drawing on linear algebra and differential equations, this course investigates a variety of mathematical models from the biological and social sciences. In the course of studying these models, such mathematical topics as difference equations, eigenvalues, dynamic systems, and stability are developed. This course emphasizes the involvement of students through the construction and investigation of models on their own. Prerequisites: MATH 204 and MATH 237, or permission of the instructor. (Offered alternate years)
360 Foundations of Geometry An introduction to the axiomatic method as illustrated by neutral, Euclidean, and non-Euclidean geometries. Careful attention is given to proofs and definitions. The historical aspects of the rise of non-Euclidean geometry are explored. This course is highly recommended for students interested in secondary school teaching. Prerequisite: MATH 331 or MATH 375, or permission of the instructor. (Offered every third year)
371 Topics in Mathematics Each time this course is offered, it covers a topic in mathematics that is not usually offered as a regular course. This course may be repeated for grade or credit. Some past topics include combinatorics, numerical analysis, and wavelets. Prerequisites: MATH 135 and MATH 204, or permission of instructor. (Offered alternate years)
375 Abstract Algebra I This course studies abstract algebraic systems such as groups, examples of which are abundant throughout mathematics. It attempts to understand the process of mathematical abstraction, the formulation of algebraic axiom systems, and the development of an abstract theory from these axiom systems. An important objective of the course is mastery of the reasoning characteristic of abstract mathematics. Prerequisites: MATH 135 and MATH 204, or permission of the instructor. (Offered annually)
380 Mathematical Logic First-order logic is developed as a basis for understanding the nature of mathematical proofs and constructions and to gain skills in dealing with formal languages. Topics covered include propositional and sentential logic, logical proofs, and models of theories. Examples are drawn mainly from mathematics, but the ability to deal with abstract concepts and their formalizations is beneficial. Prerequisite: MATH 204, PHIL 240, or permission of the instructor. (Offered every third year)
448 Introduction to Complex Analysis An introduction to the theory of functions of a complex variable. Topics include the geometry of the complex plane, analytic functions, series expansions, complex integration, and residue theory. When time allows, harmonic functions and boundary value problems are discussed. Prerequisite: MATH 331 or permission of the instructor. (Offered every third year)
450 Independent Study
Courses offered occasionally or as demand warrants:
332 Foundations of Analysis II
376 Abstract Algebra II
446 Real Analysis