Oct 21, 2020
In keeping with liberal-arts 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 mathematics teachers at all levels.
The department supports undergraduate majors and minors in mathematics and computer science. The computer science program is described in the computer-science 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 advanced-placement 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 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 higher-level mathematics classes in the future, start with MATH 124 -MATH 125. We encourage students to take the honors calculus sequence to develop deep mathematical thinking skills and rigorous proof-writing techniques.
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 higher-level 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, first-year students without credit for MATH 121 may enroll in MATH 130 with permission of the instructor.
Entering students interested in mathematics or computer science, but enrolled in a first-year 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 minor, built around a core of fundamental courses, is best started early with the Honors Calculus sequence MATH 124 –MATH 125 in the first year.
A total of 4 courses beyond two semesters of Honors Calculus are needed to complete the mathematics minor: 2 core courses (MATH 130 , MATH 131 ) and 2 elective courses. At least 1 elective course must be on the 200-level.
Note that MATH 110 /111 (Diving into Research) cannot be used to substitute a requirement for the major or minor.
Students who later decide to become mathematics minors, 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.
Directed study (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 may not be substituted for 200-level courses to fulfill departmental minor requirements except under special approval of the department chair or associate chair.
Amir Aazami, Ph.D.
Jacqueline Dresch, Ph.D.
Frederic Green, Ph.D.
Li Han, Ph.D., Chair
Gideon Maschler, Ph.D., Associate Chair
Robert Ream, Ph.D.
Michael Satz, M.S.
Natalia Sternberg, Ph.D.
David Joyce, Ph.D
John Kennison, Ph.D.
Lawrence Morris, Ph.D
Lee Rudolph, Ph.D.
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