The Department of Mathematics provides students with a variety of opportunities for developing their mathematical abilities. These opportunities range from the traditional classroom lecture setting to the highly individualized Honors Tutorial Program. Students considering mathematics as a career should realize that the emphasis in their coursework will shift as their education progresses. Early in their studies, courses have a more computational aspect, whereas later they become somewhat abstract with emphasis on concepts rather than computations.
In order to help the student acquire an appreciation for the nature of mathematical studies, introductory courses are offered at the sophomore-junior level in number theory, linear algebra, abstract algebra, and geometry. Regular course offerings at the upper level in analysis topology, algebra, and applied mathematics permit students to pursue studies in pure or applied areas of mathematics, or both. Many courses are suitable for non-majors who wish to enrich their backgrounds.
Areas of Study
To provide the mathematics student with as much flexibility as possible, the departmental requirements for the A.B. and B.S. degrees, in addition to the general requirements set by the College of Arts and Sciences, are 50 hours in courses numbered 200 and higher, of which 16 hours must be numbered 306 or higher.
A student studying mathematics with the intention of eventually doing graduate work in mathematics would normally complete courses in calculus, matrix and/or abstract algebra, intermediate analysis, and linear algebra, followed by upper level sequences in advanced calculus, abstract algebra, or topology.
A student wishing to use mathematics training in business or industry may wish to select lower division courses such as calculus, finite mathematics, and linear algebra, and chose upper level courses in statistics, numerical analysis, and linear and nonlinear programming.
A student preparing for teacher certification should seek a broad background in various areas of mathematics, including algebra, analysis, geometry, computer science, probability, and statistics. In conjunction with the required professional education courses, the mathematics department offers a course on the teaching of mathematics which includes some classroom teaching experience.
There are many possible combinations of courses leading to a degree in mathematics. When planning any program of study it is strongly recommended that the student consult an advisor from the department.
Preparation for Actuarial Science: This is a program intended to provide students with a course of study suitable for entry into the actuarial profession. A student who completes the program should be prepared to pass the first actuarial examination. Since the program has a strong business component, it is also suitable for those students who plan to combine mathematics with a career in business.
Preparation for Advanced Training: The department provides an assortment of substantial mathematics offerings to ensure adequate preparation for students who envision eventually doing graduate work in mathematics.