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.
This catalog was created on Friday, May 24, 2019.
Pattern and form surround us — from the branching angles of our blood vessels and the complexity of computer algorithms to inventory scheduling and the four-dimensional geometry of our universe. As the pure expression of pattern and form, mathematics is the language of all science.
In the past 50 years, many disciplines — computer science, statistics, ecology, and management science among them — have been virtually transformed by the infusion of mathematics. Alongside the traditional field of mathematical physics, one now finds new fields such as mathematical biology, mathematical economics, mathematical linguistics, and mathematical psychology.
A mathematics degree could lead to graduate study in any of these fields, as well as in areas in pure and applied mathematics. Moreover, students have found a major in mathematics, with its training in logic, analysis, and precise expression, to be excellent preparation for careers in business, law, or medicine.
To reflect the diversity of modern mathematics and its applications, the department, alone or in conjunction with the economics department, offers three separate majors: mathematics, mathematics-computer science, and mathematics-economics. Core courses provide all majors with a secure foundation for varied and challenging advanced coursework, including possible student-designed tutorials and, in the senior year, a term of independent study.
For non-majors, the department offers a number of elementary- and intermediate-level courses designed to meet the needs of students who require mathematics for further work in their discipline or who wish to satisfy a general education requirement.
In all its courses, from elementary to advanced, the department seeks to instill an understanding of mathematical ideas, an appreciation for mathematical methods and styles, and a sense of excitement at the power and diversity of modern mathematics and its applications.
For a full description of Lawrence’s computer facilities and for descriptions of the computer science courses visit the Computer Science Website.
Required for the mathematics major
- Complete or place out of the calculus sequence: MATH 140, 150, and 160
- One of MATH 207, 210, or 220
- One computer science course numbered 110 or above (excluding 170)
- MATH 300 and 310
- 24 additional units in mathematics courses numbered 400 or above
- Completion of an independent study project in at least one term of the senior year.
- In choosing courses beyond the core sequence, students should note that certain advanced courses may be particularly relevant to majors with specific interests or career goals:
- Pure mathematics: 410, 525, 535, 540, 545, 550, 560, 565, and 600
- Computer science: 420, 435, 525, 540, and 565
- Operations research: 410, 420, 435, 440, 445, 525, and 550
- Applied mathematics: 410, 420, 435, 440, 445, 535, and 550
- Statistics and actuarial science: 410, 420, 435, 440, 445, and 550
- Engineering: 410, 420, 435, 440, 535, and 550
- Secondary teaching: 410, 495, 525, 530, 535, 545, 550, and 600
Required for the mathematics minor
- Calculus through MATH 160
- One of MATH 207, 210, or 220
- MATH 300 and MATH 310
- 6 units in any one upper-level mathematics course numbered from 400 to 600, except MATH 495
- C average in the minor
Required for the interdisciplinary mathematics-computer science major
- The core sequence: MATH 140, 150, 160 and CMSC 150, 250, and 270
- MATH 220 and 300
- CMSC 460, 510, and 515
- 6 additional units in mathematics courses selected from among MATH 310, 420, 525, and 540
- 6 additional units in a computer science course numbered 400 or above
- 6 additional units in a computer science course numbered 400 or above or selected from among MATH 310, 420, 525, and 540
- Completion of an independent study project prior to the Spring Term of the senior year
- CMSC 600 in the senior year
Required for the interdisciplinary mathematics-economics major
- The mathematics component of the major is:
- MATH 140, 150, 160, 207, 300, and 310
- Either MATH 435 or 445 and 6 units in a mathematics course numbered 400 or above, with 435, 440, 445, or 560 recommended
- The economics component of the major is:
- ECON 100 or 120
- ECON 300, 320, and 380
- Any three six-unit courses numbered between 400 and 580 with ECON 500, 520, and 540 recommended
- The interdisciplinary component of the major is:
- Completion of an independent study project that has been approved by both departments.
- A major must have an advisor in each department.
The department views tutorials as opportunities to enhance its usual course offerings, not duplicate them. In order to reserve tutorials for this purpose, no tutorials are given for courses routinely offered, and the department does not normally permit a tutorial to be used to satisfy any requirement for the major.
The department offers two calculus sequences: MATH 140, 150, 160 (Calculus
I, II, III) and MATH 120, 130 (Applied Calculus I, II). Students intending to major
in mathematics, mathematics-computer science, mathematics-economics, physics, or
chemistry, or any student intending to take advanced mathematics courses, must complete
the Calculus I, II, III sequence. Properly prepared students should enter this calculus
sequence their freshman year. Proper preparation means strong high school mathematics,
including a pre-calculus or elementary functions course, and strong SAT or ACT scores.
Students who lack this preparation yet need the three-course sequence should consult their
advisor and the mathematics department as soon as possible.
The Applied Calculus I, II sequence does not prepare students for more advanced courses in mathematics but does help prepare students for advanced work in the social and life sciences. This sequence demands less technical proficiency than does the Calculus I, II, III sequence. Good performance in high school mathematics through the junior year should be adequate preparation.
Advanced placement in the Calculus I, II, III sequence and up to 12 Lawrence units may
be obtained by presenting a score of 4 or 5 on the AB or BC calculus exams administered
by the College Board or by performing well on an exemption-credit exam given by the
department during Welcome Week. Consult the department for details. Students intending
to enter Calculus I should not take the department's exemption-credit exam. Advanced placement and six Lawrence units (for CMSC 150) may be obtained
by scoring 4 or 5 on the A or AB College Board computer science exam. Consult the
department for proper placement.
Six Lawrence units (for MATH 107) may be obtained by scoring 4 or 5 on the College Board statistics exam. Consult the department for proper placement.
Off-campus and cooperative programs
Students wishing to combine a liberal arts degree with engineering should consider the 3-2
program in engineering.
The department encourages students to apply to the many Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs funded by the National Science Foundation; in these summer programs, students are paid to participate in research teams at various campuses throughout the country. Students may also be interested in the Budapest Semester in Mathematics or in one of several other off-campus study options. Department faculty members can provide details.
Typically course numbered below 400 are offered each year, while courses numbered 400 or higher are offered every other year.
Senior Experience in Mathematics
The mathematics department's Senior Experience consists of a 6-unit (typically one-term) independent study project completed in the senior year. The project must demonstrate the capacity to learn mathematics (or statistics) independently or to utilize mathematics or mathematical technique as an innovative or substantive part of a larger project.
Interdisciplinary mathematics-economics majors must demonstrate the ability to combine topics in both disciplines — bringing appropriate techniques of mathematics or statistics to bear on the study of economics, or learning mathematics or statistics suggested by economic models
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).
For mathematics and mathematics-computer science majors, the project must be approved and supervised by a faculty member in the mathematics department. For mathematics-economics majors, the project must be approved by a faculty member of each department and supervised by a member of one of the departments. Students should consult with departmental members in the spring before their senior year, in order to plan appropriately for their Senior Experience.