Mathematics department adds applied mathematics B.A. and B.S.
New programs of study in applied mathematics are available, effective fall 2011, from the Mathematics Department in The College of Arts and Sciences. The programs are intended to satisfy the growing demand from students and employers for training in the applied areas of mathematics, and to draw upon the expertise of the mathematics department in research motivated by applied problems.
Many recent advancements in the sciences owe their existence to the development of mathematical methods. As a result of this trend, new interdisciplinary programs have appeared, such as mathematical biology and financial mathematics. Moreover, researchers with mathematical skills are needed in other areas such as chemistry, psychology, and economics. Training in applied mathematics is good preparation for a career in almost any area of modern technology, while increased use of the computer to study applied problems (e.g., in genetics or high-energy physics) creates more and more demand for training in mathematics and computation.
The fundamental aim of the program in applied mathematics is to allow students to combine their interest in mathematics and mathematical reasoning with an interest in a specific field of intellectual activity outside of mathematics. The new major provides a way to combine mathematics with another quantitatively rich subject area that is directly concerned with applications, such as the sciences, economics or engineering. It is expected that most students will combine applied mathematics with another major or minor in one of these subjects.
Students can opt either for the B.A. or the B.S. in applied mathematics. The B.A. and B.S. programs share the same set of preliminary and extra-disciplinary requirements. The B.A. degree is recommended for those students who are pursuing another quantitatively rich major that they consider their primary interest. The toolkit of applicable mathematical methods will enable them to advance further in their own field, whether in industry or in academia. The B.S. is recommended for those students who intend to pursue a career in a field that requires advanced mathematical training, often beyond an undergraduate degree. Such students are likely to continue their mathematical studies at a graduate level, e.g., with a M.S. degree in applied statistics (offered by SU) or in an interdisciplinary field such as mathematical biology or financial mathematics.
The new major differs from the existing degree offerings in mathematics by emphasizing applications rather than the theoretical foundations of the subject. The core of the program consists of courses in applied linear algebra, differential equations and numerical methods with programming. Four additional two-semester sequences in differential equations, analysis, probability and statistics, and linear transforms are offered for the B.S. degree.
Applied mathematics majors are also expected to complete two approved two-semester sequences in sciences outside mathematics, or to earn either a minor or a major in an approved quantitatively rich subject.
For more information, visit the department website or call 443-3849.