20142015 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]
Mathematics Major


Return to: Programs of Study 
Mathematics Overview
In keeping with liberalarts traditions, Clark’s mathematics major provides a solid education in mathematical principles for students who wish to apply mathematics in other fields and students who wish to pursue mathematics in graduate school. Clark mathematics majors have gone on to graduate school in pure mathematics, applied mathematics and computer science at such universities as Brown, Cornell, NYU (Courant Institute), and Stonybrook. Graduates are employed in the public and private sectors as statisticians, mathematical modellers and actuaries, as well as teachers from the elementary to university level.
The department supports undergraduate majors and minors in mathematics and computer science. The computer science program is described in the computerscience portion of this catalog. The department also offers courses that play an important role in other disciplines.
For more information, please visit the Mathematics Department’s website. Mathematics Placement Test
All students who intend to enroll in an introductory mathematics course (with the exception of students with advancedplacement credit in calculus) must take the mathematics placement test given during preregistration. Based on placement test scores, students are placed into Precalculus, Calculus, or Honors Calculus. Students may challenge their placement by taking a backup placement test once. Calculus
Calculus is an essential tool for every serious student of mathematics, natural sciences, computer science and economics. The Department of Mathematics recommends that students with quantitative skills take Calculus in their first year.
Two Calculus tracks are open to students with appropriate scores on the Mathematics Placement Test: the regular track MATH 120 –MATH 121 , and the Honors track MATH 124 –MATH 125 . Both tracks start in the Fall. Students who do not place into Calculus, but place into Precalculus (MATH 119 ), can start with MATH 119 to prepare for Calculus and continue with MATH 120 the following year.
Regular Calculus, MATH 120 –MATH 121 , is geared toward students interested in the natural and social sciences who do not plan to take any mathematics courses at a higher level.
Honors Calculus (MATH 124 –MATH 125 ) is the more theoretical track and prepares students for intermediate and upper level mathematics classes. It is therefore recommended that students with a strong mathematics background, who intend to take higherlevel mathematics classes in the future, start with MATH 124 –MATH 125 . Those students are usually interested in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science and Economics.
Students with a sufficiently high score on the AP (AB) Calculus test receive credit for MATH 120 . This credit fulfills the prerequisite for MATH 121 , but not for MATH 125 . It is recommended that those students start with MATH 124 and continue into MATH 125 if they are interested in taking higherlevel mathematics classes in the future.
Students with a sufficiently high score on the AP (AB/BC) Calculus test receive credit for MATH 121 and may continue with MATH 130 . In exceptional circumstances, firstyear students without credit for MATH 121 may enroll in MATH 130 with permission of the instructor.
Major Requirements
Department faculty are always ready to help students select courses. Students should choose an academic advisor from the department faculty as early as possible, but no later than by the end of their sophomore year. Students who choose mathematics or computer science as their second major or minor can choose a mathematics or computer science faculty as their second advisor who will supplement the advice offered by their primary advisor. Entering students interested in mathematics or computer science, but enrolled in a firstyear intensive course in one of the programs outside mathematics, computer science or the natural sciences are especially encouraged to make a prompt choice of a second advisor from the mathematics or computer science faculty.
The mathematics major, built around a core of fundamental courses, is best started early with the Honors Calculus sequence MATH 124 –MATH 125 in the first year. Advanced electives provide flexibility and allow students to tailor the major to their interests.
A total of 10 courses beyond two semesters of Honors Calculus are needed to complete the mathematics major: 4 core courses (MATH 130 , MATH 131 , MATH 172 and MATH 225 ) and 6 elective courses. At least 4 elective courses must be on the 200level. Note that MATH 110 /111 (Diving into Research) cannot be used to substitute a requirement for the major.
Students who later decide to become mathematics majors, can substitute the Honors Calculus sequence (MATH 124 –MATH 125 ) with the regular Calculus sequence (MATH 120 –MATH 121 ), but are required to take MATH 114 (preferably together with MATH 121 ) as one of their elective courses.
Reading courses on special topics may be arranged with the permission of a member of the departmental faculty who will serve as a supervisor. Departmental policy requires that reading courses can only be taken as Credit/No Credit, and may not be substituted for 200level courses to fulfill departmental major or minor requirements.
Secondary Education Certificate in Mathematics Education
Certificate requirements include courses in education and in mathematics. Consult the Education Department for information on required courses in education and the most recent state guidelines. Honors
A major who maintains at least a 3.2 average (4.0 scale) in courses required for the major may apply for the departmental honors program. A student’s application in writing must be directed to a prospective honors advisor or the department chair by the end of the student’s junior year. Honors may be achieved in one of two ways:
1. A unified fourcourse sequence as a senior (some parts of which may consist of reading courses), followed by a comprehensive examination.
2. An honors project to be presented at an oral defense or at a department seminar. This project may be an independent or joint research thesis, or it may be a programming project. Supporting course work may be required. Students interested in pursuing the honors program should consult their department advisor and register to receive course credit for an honors thesis.
NOTE: Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the department may recommend graduation with honors, high honors or highest honors.
Mathematics Faculty
Program
Frederic Green, Ph.D.
Li Han, Ph.D.
David Joyce, Ph.D.
Gideon Maschler, Ph.D.
John Magee, Ph.D.
Lawrence Morris, Ph.D.
Dominik Reinhold, Ph.D.
Natalia Sternberg, Ph.D.  Chair Emeriti
John Kennison, Ph.D.
Lee Rudolph, Ph.D. 
Return to: Programs of Study


