The mathematics option is designed to give students an understanding of the broad outlines of modern mathematics, to introduce current research and to prepare them for advanced work in pure mathematics or related fields. Math students go well beyond the basics to study the structures of algebra, analysis and geometry, as well as the rudiments of combinatorics and set theory. Students learn to write coherent and complete proofs of various assertions, to work out non-trivial examples and to use computational tools.
The schedule of courses in the undergraduate mathematics option is flexible. It enables students to adapt their programs to their needs and mathematical interests and gives them the opportunity to become familiar with creative mathematics early in their careers. Some students go to use their background in mathematics as an entry to other fields, such as physics, computer science, statistics, economics, business, finance, medicine and law.
Freshmen considering majoring in mathematics should be aware that the department strongly recommends taking the analytical track of Ma 1 bc. Any student whose grade-point average is less than 1.9 at the end of the academic year, in the subjects under mathematics and applied and computational mathematics may be refused permission to continue work in the mathematics options.