Mathematics Department

Requirements for the Majors

Mathematics

The mathematics curriculum emphasizes solving problems by rigorous methods that use both calculation and structure. Starting from the first year, students learn to write mathematical arguments. Students discuss the subject intensely with one another outside the classroom.

Requirements for the Mathematics Major

  1. Mathematics 111 or the equivalent, 112, 113, 201, 202, 321, and 332.
  2. Four additional units in mathematics courses numbered higher than 300 (excluding Mathematics 470).
  3. Physics 101 and 102 or the equivalent.
  4. Mathematics 470.

Requirements for the Mathematics Major with Concentration in Statistics

  1. Mathematics 111 or the equivalent, 112, 113, 201, and 202.
  2. One data analysis course, either Mathematics 141 or 241.
  3. Mathematics 321, 391, and 392.
  4. Two additional units in mathematics courses numbered higher than 300.
  5. Mathematics 470.

Strongly recommended: Computer science 121 and 221, and courses in fields of application such as biology, psychology, sociology, or economics.

Computer Science and Mathematics-Computer Science

Computer science is a vibrant and varied field of research with a strong connection to mathematics. The department offers a computer science major and a computer science-mathematics interdisciplinary major. For those two majors, the Computer Science Fundamentals I and II courses (CSCI 121 and 221) introduce their students to the discipline, each providing a significant foundation in programming and each preparing students for the core coursework in algorithms, theory of computation, and computing systems. These core courses lead students to a variety of sub-disciplines of computer science which they survey in upper-level elective courses. Students then research and pursue their chosen computer science topic for their senior thesis. The Computer Science program's website gives more detail about these majors.

Requirements for the Computer Science Major

  1. Computer science 121 or the equivalent, and 221
  2. Mathematics 111 or the equivalent, 112, 113, and 201
  3. Computer science 382, 387, and 389
  4. Computer science 470
  5. Four additional computer science courses numbered higher than 300

Requirements for the Computer Science-Mathematics Interdisciplinary Major

  1. Computer science 121 or the equivalent, and 221
  2. Mathematics 111, 112, 113, 201, and either 202 or 332
  3. Computer science 382, 387, and 389
  4. Computer science 470
  5. Four additional mathematics and computer science courses numbered higher than 300 including at least one mathematics course and at least one computer science course

These two computer science majors are grounded in mathematics: students are trained to carefully justify computer system implementations, and several computer science electives take a mathematical approach to their topics. From this foundation Reed computer science majors find themselves readily capable of exploring advanced areas in their field of study.  Alternatively, the interdisciplinary computer science-mathematics major allows students to wrestle with the principles, foundations, and deep questions of both fields, and its students can choose what aspects they want to emphasize in their study of each.

Mathematics-Economics

The mathematics–economics major gives the student an opportunity to acquire a firm foundation in both fields during the normal four-year college program without sacrificing electives. Modern economic analysis relies heavily on the application of mathematical methods. The joint major is particularly useful for students who intend to do graduate work in economics. Early consultation with members of both departments is important for students considering this major.

Requirements for the Mathematics-Economics Major

  1. Eight units of mathematics to include Mathematics 111, 112, 113, 141, 201, 202, and two other mathematics courses chosen from courses numbered higher than 300. Recommended: selections from Mathematics 321, 322, 332, 382, 391, and 392. Students should also consider taking a 200-level statistics course. At the discretion of the Department of Mathematics, Mathematics 111 may be waived for students entering with sufficient background in calculus. Students with adequate background in statistics may substitute a 200-level statistics course or an upper-division mathematics course for Mathematics 141. 
  2. Six units of economics, including Economics 201, 312, 313, and 314, and two units from among Economics 315–469, excluding Economics 402.
  3. Two units in one department in the Division of History and Social Sciences, excluding Economics.
  4. The junior qualifying examination is taken in both departments.
  5. Mathematics–Economics 470 (thesis). The thesis is usually jointly supervised.

Mathematics-Physics

A program intended to serve the needs of students whose major interests lie in the rich area between applied mathematics and theoretical physics. The student planning to major in mathematics–physics should consult with the head of the committee as early as possible to determine if they are qualified and, if so, to plan a program. Both departments must approve the application.

Requirements for the Mathematics-Physics Major

  1. Mathematics 111 or the equivalent, 112, 113, 201, 202, 322, and two other mathematics courses numbered higher than 310, including at least one of 311 or 321.
  2. Physics 101, 102, 201, 202, 311, 321, 322, 342.
  3. The junior qualifying examination is taken in both departments.
  4. The thesis (Mathematics–Physics 470) must clearly bridge the two fields.

Strongly recommended but not required:

  1. Two from Physics 323, 351, 362, 411, 442.

Recommended but not required:

  1. Mathematics 332, 411.
  2. Working knowledge of a foreign language: Russian, German, or French.

The student planning to major in mathematics–physics should consult with the head of the committee as early as possible to determine if he or she is qualified and, if so, to plan a program. Both departments must approve the application.