Mathematics and Statistics Department

In the Department of 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 majors in mathematics, in mathematical sciences, and in mathematical sciences with a concentration in statistics as well as minors in mathematics and in statistics. The major in mathematical sciences is also offered with a concentration in statistics. Majors in mathematics and mathematical sciences can be taken with honors.

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.

Faculty

Chair, Associate Professor Liam O’Brien
Professors Fernando Gouvêa, Jan Holly, Leo Livshits, and Benjamin Mathes; Associate Professors Liam O’Brien, James Scott, Scott Taylor, and George Welch; Assistant Professors Otto Bretscher, Lu Lu, and Nora Youngs; Visiting Assistant Professors Thomas Hulse and David Krumm; Instructor Richard Fuller


Requirements +

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, and either 434 or 439; 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.

The department recommends that students complete Mathematics 274 or 275 before the end of their sophomore year. 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 or 152; 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 or statistics courses numbered 200 or above (excluding 484). With written permission of the advisor, one of these courses may be replaced by a course with significant mathematical content from another department.

The department recommends that students complete Mathematics 274 or 275 before the end of their sophomore year.

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; Statistics 212 or 231, and 382; Mathematics 253, 262, 274, 381; Computer Science 151 or 152; Statistics 306 or 321; one additional three- or four-credit course selected from mathematics and statistics courses numbered 300 or above (excluding Mathematics 484 and Statistics 484). Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in statistics are advised to take Mathematics 338.

The department recommends that students complete Mathematics 274 or 275 before the end of their sophomore year.

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 and statistics courses numbered 200 or higher and who complete an additional, preapproved program of independent study in the major (Mathematics 484 or Statistics 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 or statistics courses, including completion of at least one semester of calculus, Mathematics 253, and at least one course at the 300 level or above.

A minor in statistics is described in the “Statistics” section of the catalogue.

The point scale for retention of the majors and minor applies to all courses in the majors/minor. No requirement for the majors or minor may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.