Theory

Mathematics

Department/Program Description.

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers a major in mathematics and a major in computer science. We also participate in the Informatics and Modeling Certificate Program, described below.

Each student's course of study is designed to provide an introduction to the basic areas of mathematics or computer science and to provide the technical tools that will be useful later in the student's career. The course of study is planned in consultation with the department's advisory committees or the student's faculty advisor.

Honors.
An undergraduate may achieve the BA with honors in mathematics or honors in computer science via one of several routes:
  • The honors thesis, written under the supervision of a faculty member under conditions monitored by the University Committee on Honors
  • (Mathematics only) A strong performance in a suitable sequence of courses, normally including some graduate courses, selected in consultation with a member of the department's advisory committee. The candidate also is expected to prepare a public lecture on a topic chosen together with a faculty advisor.
  • (Mathematics only) The comprehensive examination, offered by the department and/or by visiting consultants to select students nominated by the faculty.
Related Programs or Certificates.

BA/MA Program: Interested students should inquire about the combined BA/MA program. Advanced undergraduates may enroll in graduate (500-level) courses.

Additional Information.

Lectures. The departmental colloquium series presents lectures on recent research by invited mathematicians and computer scientists from other institutions. Advanced undergraduates are encouraged to attend these colloquia and to participate in graduate seminars. The undergraduate Math Club hosts informal talks in mathematics; accessible to students at all levels.

Major Requirements.

Mathematics

  • A year of differential and integral calculus (typically MATH121 and MATH122)
  • Vectors and Matrices (MATH221) or Linear Algebra (MATH223)
  • Multivariable Calculus (MATH222)
  • An elementary knowledge of algorithms and computer programming. (Successful completion of either COMP112 or COMP211 satisfies this requirement.)
  • Abstract Algebra: Groups, Rings, and Fields (MATH261) and Fundamentals of Analysis: An Introduction to Real Analysis (MATH225)
  • A coherent selection of four additional electives, chosen in consultation with an advisor from the department. Any MATH course at the 200+ level can be used as an elective for the major.

Notes: Students who have completed a year of calculus in high school may place out of one or both of MATH121 and MATH122. An AP score of 4 or 5 on the AB calculus exam indicates the student should begin in MATH122. An AP score of 4 or 5 on the BC calculus exam indicates the student should consider beginning in any of MATH221, MATH 222, or MATH223. Students may not earn credit for both MATH221 and MATH223. Students must complete either MATH228 or MATH261 by the end of their junior year.

With advance approval from the Departmental Advisory Committee, mild adjustments are allowed. For example, a Wesleyan course with substantial mathematical content but that is not listed in MATH may be used toward the four-electives requirement. Please note, however, that both MATH225 and MATH261 must be taken at Wesleyan to complete the major, and substitutions for these courses will not be approved.

Language Requirement.

Undergraduate majors in mathematics are encouraged to study languages while at Wesleyan; majors who are considering graduate study in mathematics should note that graduate programs often require a reading knowledge of French, German, and/or Russian.