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Courses of Study
MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers courses for students who: (1) plan a career in an area of pure or applied mathematics, including statistics; (2) need mathematics as support for their chosen major; or (3) elect to take mathematics as part of their liberal arts education or to fulfill the area requirement in quantitative reasoning.
The department offers three programs: majors in mathematics and mathematical sciences and a minor in mathematics. The major in mathematical sciences is also offered with a concentration in statistics. Majors in mathematics and mathematical sciences can be taken with honors. In addition, there is an interdepartmental joint major in economics-mathematics.
Colby mathematics majors in recent years have entered graduate school to do advanced work in mathematics, statistics, biostatistics, engineering, economics, computer science, biomathematics, and the sciences. They also have used the major as a solid foundation for careers in teaching, law, medicine, banking, insurance, management, the computer industry, and other areas.
All incoming students who intend to enroll in mathematics courses in the fall semester are required to complete the mathematics placement questionnaire prior to registration.
Requirements for the Major in Mathematics
Completion of each of the following with a grade of C- or higher*: One year of calculus, Mathematics 253, 274, 333, 338, either 434 or 439, plus four additional courses selected from Mathematics 262 and any three- or four-credit mathematics courses numbered 300 or above (excluding 484). In exceptional cases, with the permission of the department, another 400-level course may be substituted for 434 or 439.
Although Mathematics 262 and 352 are not specifically required, the department strongly recommends that mathematics majors complete both courses.
Requirements for the Major in Mathematical Sciences
Completion of each of the following with a grade of C- or higher*: One year of calculus, Mathematics 253, 262, 274, Computer Science 151; one course (to establish an overall theme for the major) selected from Mathematics 311, 332, 372, 381, Computer Science 231; four additional three- or four-credit courses selected from mathematics courses numbered 200 or above (excluding Mathematics 484). With written permission of the advisor, one (or, in exceptional cases, two) of these courses may be replaced by a course with significant mathematical content from another department.
Requirements for the Major in Mathematical Sciences with a Concentration in Statistics
Completion of each of the following with a grade of C- or higher*: One year of calculus, Mathematics 212 or 231, 253, 262, 274, 381, 382, Computer Science 151; one course selected from Mathematics 306, 321, and 374; one additional three- or four-credit course selected from mathematics courses numbered 300 or above (excluding Mathematics 484). Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in statistics are advised to take Mathematics 338.
Requirements for the Honors Program in Mathematics or Mathematical Sciences
An honors program is available for students majoring in mathematics and mathematical sciences who have a grade point average of at least 3.25 in all mathematics courses numbered 200 or higher and who complete an additional, preapproved program of independent study in the major (Mathematics 484) culminating in both a written paper and a colloquium presentation. Students who successfully complete the requirements and who receive recommendation of the department will graduate “With Honors in Mathematics” or “With Honors in Mathematical Sciences.”
Requirements for the Minor in Mathematics
Six three- or four-credit mathematics courses, including completion of at least one semester of calculus, Mathematics 253, and at least one course at the 300 level or above.
The point scale for retention of the majors and minor applies to all courses in the majors/minors. No requirement for the majors or minor may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
*Note: The requirement of a grade of C- or above for each course begins with the Class of 2015.
Colby College reserves the right in its sole judgement to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, academic schedule, fees, deposits, or any other matters in this catalogue.