Advising for Mathematics and Statistics
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers three distinct majors:
- Mathematics: for students with an interest in either pure or applied mathematics, or both;
- Mathematics-economics: for students interested in economics, the mathematical underpinnings of economic models, and mathematical and statistical methods as applied to economic problems;
- Computer science: for students interested in computer science in both its theoretical and empirical aspects.
The mathematics and mathematics-economics majors begin with the calculus sequence (MATH 140, 155, 200), the computer science major with MATH 140, 155. Here are some guidelines for placement in that sequence (these apply to all students interested in calculus, not just prospective majors):
- All students intending to enroll in MATH 140 or 155 as their first Lawrence calculus course must take the ALEKS placement assessment covering topics in pre-calculus---a score of at least 75% is required for enrollment. Students wishing to take calculus and scoring less than 75% on the ALEKS exam may wish to take Topics in Precalculus (UNIC 175) to learn some pre-calculus topics. The department encourages students to take the ALEKS exam before deciding whether to enroll in UNIC 175.
- Students with no calculus experience or who scored 3 or less on the AB or BC calculus exam should enroll in MATH 140. Prospective majors should plan to complete the full calculus sequence during their first year, while students not wanting a full year of calculus are encouraged to enroll in MATH 140 whenever it is offered.
- Students who scored a 4 or 5 on the AB exam or a 4 or 5 on the BC exam should enroll in MATH 155 during either the fall or winter. Prospective majors should plan to take MATH 200 during a later term of their first year.
- In general, students who are unsure of their level of preparation should consult with a member of the mathematics department regarding calculus placement.
Most Natural and Social Science majors require at least one course in mathematics or statistics. While many students in those majors will take some or all of the standard calculus sequence, we also offer an applied calculus sequence (MATH 120, 130) intended for students wanting an introduction to applied mathematics---this sequence can form part of the Geology and Economics majors as an alternative to MATH 140. Concerning statistics courses:
- Students whose major requires an introductory statistics course should enroll in MATH 107 after obtaining sophomore standing;
- Students with a background in multivariable calculus and an interest in statistics are strongly encouraged to take Probability (MATH 240) followed by either Statistical Theory (MATH 445) or Statistical Modeling (MATH 430).
As described in the major requirements, all 3 of the mathematics majors require a sequence of sophomore courses followed by a selection of appropriate elective courses during the junior and senior years. The majors culminate in a Senior Experience project, generally involving independent work under the guidance of a faculty member. See the Computer Science and Economics websites for further information about those programs.
For further information, contact the department chair: Alan Parks, Professor of Mathematics.