Mathematics Major

Additional Information on the Department of Mathematics


A major in mathematics consists of:
The following five core courses which are required of all mathematics majors:
Four additional mathematics courses at the 3000 level or above with the following provisos:
  1. one but not both of 2170 and 2240 may be substituted for one of the 3000-level courses;
  2. at least one course must be at the 4000 level or above;
  3. an advanced course in another department, with a high mathematical content, may, with the approval of the departmental undergraduate studies committee, may be substituted for one of the 3000-level courses.

The year-long Senior Seminar
Suggested Curriculum

A freshman should take the appropriate calculus course. Students with no prior calculus course should normally take 1210 and 1220 during the freshman year. Students with one semester of calculus credit (or equivalent knowledge) should take 1310. Students with two semesters of calculus credit should start in 2210 and contact a mathematics major advisor during the first semester for major program planning advice. It is also recommended that a prospective mathematics major take Physics 1310 and 1320 during either the freshman or sophomore year. Students should take the core courses as early as possible in their programs. After completing 2210, the most frequent courses taken next are usually selected from the core courses 3090, 3050 , 2240, 3070. It is generally recommended to take 3090 before 3050, but they can be taken concurrently. Both 3050 and 3090 are offered every semester. Each introduces the student to more theoretical mathematics than has been encountered in the calculus courses, and these courses provide the foundation for many advanced courses. The course 2240 gives an introduction to applied mathematics, and can be counted toward the major (although both 2170 and 2240 cannot both count). However, majors are advised to forego 2240 and instead take 4240 after taking 3090. There is considerable overlap in 2240 and 4240, and both may not be taken for credit. The course Math 3070 provides an introduction to probability, and Math 3080 provides an introduction to statistical inference. Math 2210 is a prerequisite for 3070, and 3070 is a prerequisite for 3080. The Math 3070-3080 sequence should be taken in the sophomore year by students interested in pursuing a concentration in statistics, which includes these four courses in addition to the core courses. All advanced probability and statististics course, including Mathematical Statistics (Math 6020), Stochastic Processes (Math 6030), and Linear Models (Math 6040) require successful completion of Math 3070 and Math 3080.

Students considering a math major should arrange an appointment with the Director of the Major Program early in their program to get advice on course selection within the major. The major program is designed to provide the student with a solid foundation during the first two years and provide for a variety of programs of study during the junior and senior years. A major program in mathematics can provide a background for both graduate study and work in a variety of areas of the mathematical sciences such as mathematics, applied mathematics, computer science, and statistics as well as provide preparation for professional schools such as law, medicine, and business. The major program should be designed as early as possible with the students goal in mind and with the help of the major advisor.