Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Friday, May 24, 2019, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2014-2015 Course Catalog


This catalog was created on Friday, May 24, 2019.

Computer Science

The mathematics department, with other members of the faculty, coordinates computer science. The interdisciplinary mathematics-computer science major offers students an opportunity to combine these two disciplines, enriching both.

Computer science combines an empirical aspect — which involves implementing specific algorithms — with a theoretical aspect — which involves analysis of abstract processes using methods of applied mathematics. Both aspects of the discipline contribute to understanding what problems are amenable to computer solution and what methods are optimal.

Today, computing importantly serves academic research no less than commercial enterprise. Moreover, a disciplined exposure to computer science within the context of studies in liberal arts and sciences fosters in the student the development of clarity and precision in analysis, logic, and expression.

Prospective engineers will find that entry to computer engineering curricula can be coordinated through Lawrence’s cooperative 3-2 program with engineering schools, usually with a Lawrence major in physics, mathematics, or mathematics-computer science (see Cooperative Degree Programs).

Computing facilities on campus are abundant, offering students the opportunity to work with all major operating systems and programming languages.

Required for the interdisciplinary mathematics-computer science major

  1. The core sequence: MATH 140, 150, 160 and CMSC 150, 250, and 270
  2. MATH 220 and 300
  3. CMSC 460, 510, and 515
  4. 6 additional units in mathematics courses selected from among MATH 310, 420, 525, and 540
  5. 6 additional units in a computer science course numbered 400 or above
  6. 6 additional units in a computer science course numbered 400 or above or selected from among MATH 310, 420, 525, and 540
  7. Completion of an independent study project prior to the Spring Term of the senior year
  8. CMSC 600 in the senior year

Required for the computer science minor

  1. MATH 140, 150, and 160
  2. MATH 210 or 220
  3. CMSC 150 and 270
  4. 18 additional units in computer science courses numbered 250 or above, one of which must be numbered 400 or above
  5. C average in the minor


No tutorials are given for courses routinely offered, and the department does not normally permit a tutorial to satisfy a major or minor requirement for graduation


Advanced placement and six units of Lawrence credit (for CMSC 150) may be obtained by scoring 4 or 5 on the A or AB computer science exam administered by the College Board. Consult the department for details and proper placement.

Senior Experience in Mathematics-Computer Science

Interdisciplinary mathematics-computer science majors must complete their independent study project in two parts: an independent study in the fall or winter term of the senior year (usually 3 units), followed by a presentation of their results in the winter term Computer Science Senior Seminar (3 units).
The project must be approved and supervised by a faculty member in the mathematics department. Students should consult with departmental members in the spring before their senior year, in order to plan appropriately for their Senior Experience.