FYS 446 The Communication Equation: A Mathematical Media Tour
Mathematics is everywhere in the news these days, from basic statistics to more sophisticated uses to describe economics, science, and mathematical breakthroughs. Too often we accept numbers and data as the truth, without giving them a second thought. It is therefore important to develop critical reading skills. As creators of information, it also is important to learn to use mathematics and data to support arguments and undertake true scientific reporting. In this course students read breaking news articles and longer features to learn effective uses of mathematics in journalism. They put these best practices to use by writing articles, blogs, and radio pieces. Additional topics may include mathematics in other media such as fiction writing, television, movies, and art.
FYS 466 Math and the Art of M. C. Escher
This course examines selected designs of M. C. Escher through the lens of mathematics. A study of Euclidean, spherical, and hyperbolic geometries allows students to analyze Escher’s art by exploring the rich geometric framework on which it is constructed. Additional topics include symmetry, frieze and wallpaper patterns, and tesselations.
FYS 533 Paperfolding: A Blend of Art, Mathematics, and Engineering
From the ubiquitous paper crane to hyperbolic surfaces to space telescopes, origami has exploded in the last fifty years. Origami continues to inspire artists who have moved well beyond birds into fantastically complex creations involving hundreds of folds. It has brought together scientists, mathematicians, artists, teachers, and engineers. In this course, students learn basic paper folding techniques to create simple origami designs. Then they use these designs to delve into the world of mathematics, from using origami to trisect an angle to exploring the Cut and Fold Theorem. Students also look at some of the folds that have led to applications in design and engineering. Finally, they consider the work of artists who have taken origami into high art, and investigate how origami is being used in the world of education.
MATH 101 Working with Data
Techniques for analyzing data are described in ordinary English without emphasis on mathematical formulas. The course focuses on graphical and descriptive techniques for summarizing data, design of experiments, sampling, analyzing relationships, statistical models, and statistical inference. Applications are drawn from everyday life: drug testing, legal discrimination cases, and public opinion polling. Not open to students who have received credit for BIO 244, ECON 250 or 255, ENVR 181, MATH 215 or 315, PLTC 218, PSYC 218, or SOC 305.
MATH 102 Mathematics across the Sciences
This course makes connections between the mathematics learned in math class and the mathematics used in several science courses. For example, how does the formula for the equation of a line relate to a set of data collected in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, or environmental studies? Students who wish to apply their mathematical knowledge to better understand scientific problems and students who want to strengthen their core mathematical skills are ideally suited to take this course. Not open to students who have received credit for MATH 106 or higher.
MATH 105 Calculus I
While the word calculus originally meant any method of calculating, it has come to refer more specifically to the fundamental ideas of differentiation and integration that were first developed in the seventeenth century. The subject’s early development was intimately connected with understanding rates of change within the context of the physical sciences. Since then, it has proven to be widely applicable throughout the natural sciences and some social sciences, as well as crucial to the development of most modern technology. This course develops the key notions of derivatives and integrals and their interrelationship, as well as applications. An emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding and interpretation, as well as on computational skills. Students concurrently enroll in a discussion section. Students must read the mathematics department calculus questions page before registering. Not open to students who have Calculus on their high school transcripts with a grade of B or above, or who have received equivalent course credit through AP, IB, or A-Level examination scores. Successful completion of MATH 106 or 206 fulfills all Bates requirements for MATH 105. Not open to students who have received credit for MATH 206.
MATH 106 Calculus II
A continuation of Calculus I. Further techniques of integration, both symbolic and numerical, are studied. The course then treats applications of integration to problems drawn from fields such as physics, biology, chemistry, economics, and probability. Differential equations and their applications are also introduced, as well as approximation techniques and Taylor series. Students concurrently enroll in a discussion section. Recommended background: MATH 105 or equivalent. Students must read the mathematics department calculus questions page before registering. Not open to students who have received equivalent course credit through AP, IB, or A-Level examination scores. Successful completion of MATH 106 fulfills all Bates requirements for MATH 105. Successful completion of MATH 206 fulfills all Bates requirements for MATH 106. Not open to students who have received credit for MATH 206.
MATH 110 Great Ideas in Mathematics
Is mathematics composed of impenetrable formulas to be memorized, a series of insurmountable cliffs to be scaled? Are there individuals who can think logically and creatively, but never “do math”? In this course, students are asked to use their imagination to grapple with challenging mathematical concepts. The process enables them to master techniques of effective thinking, experience the joy of discovering new ideas, and feel the power of figuring out things on their own. Together they contemplate some of the greatest and most intriguing creations of human thought Not open to students who have received credit for ECON 250 or 255 or any math course numbered 200 or above.
MATH 205 Linear Algebra
Vectors and matrices are introduced as devices for the solution of systems of linear equations with many variables. Although these objects can be viewed simply as algebraic tools, they are better understood by applying geometric insight from two and three dimensions. This leads to an understanding of higher dimensional spaces and to the abstract concept of a vector space. Other topics include orthogonality, linear transformations, determinants, and eigenvectors. This course should be particularly useful to students majoring in any of the natural sciences or economics. Prerequisite(s): MATH 105 or 106.
MATH 206 Multivariable Calculus
This course extends the ideas of Calculus I and II to deal with functions of more than one variable. While calculations make straightforward use of the techniques of single-variable calculus, more effort must be spent in developing a conceptual framework for understanding curves and surfaces in higher-dimensional spaces. Topics include partial derivatives, derivatives of vector-valued functions, vector fields, integration over regions in the plane and three-space, and integration on curves and surfaces. Prerequisite(s): MATH 106.
MATH 214 Probability
Probability theory is the foundation on which statistical data analysis depends. This course together with its sequel, MATH 215, covers topics in mathematical statistics. Both courses are recommended for math majors with an interest in applied mathematics and for students in other disciplines, such as psychology and economics, who wish to learn about some of the mathematical theory underlying the methodology used in their fields. Prerequisite(s): MATH 206.
MATH 215 Statistics
The sequel to MATH 214. This course explores inferential methods in statistics. Topics may include sampling distributions, point and interval estimation, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, and linear regression. While applications are discussed, considerable emphasis is placed on the mathematical theory of statistics. Prerequisite(s): MATH 214.
MATH 219 Differential Equations
A differential equation is a relationship between a function and its derivatives. Many real-world situations can be modeled using these relationships. This course is a blend of the mathematical theory behind differential equations and their applications. The emphasis is on first- and second-order linear equations. Topics include existence and uniqueness of solutions, graphical approaches, numerical methods, and applications such as population modeling and mechanical vibrations. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205 and either 106 or 206.
MATH 221 Introduction to Abstraction
An intensive development of the important concepts and methods of abstract mathematics. Students work individually, in groups, and with the instructor to prove theorems and solve problems. Students explore such topics as proof techniques, logic, set theory, equivalence relations, functions, and algebraic structures. Writing is a main focus, with emphasis on mathematical conventions, expectations, and presentation, including the use of LaTeX for typesetting symbols and formulas. The course provides exposure to what it means to be a mathematician.
MATH 225 Number Theory
The theory of numbers is concerned with the properties of the integers, one of the most basic mathematical sets. Seemingly naive questions of number theory stimulated much of the development of modern mathematics and still provide rich opportunities for investigation. Topics include classical ones such as primality, congruences, quadratic reciprocity, and Diophantine equations, as well as more recent applications to cryptography. Additional topics such as computational methods, elliptic curves, or an introduction to analytic methods may be included. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205.
MATH 233 Mathematics for Social Justice
This course teaches quantitative literacy, critical thinking and problem solving skills in a socially relevant context. Students use mathematics as a powerful analytic framework for understanding and developing realistic solutions to issues of social, political, and economic justice. The overarching goal of this course is for students to develop the ability and inclination to use mathematics to understand, and improve, the world around them. Prerequisite(s): MATH 106. Recommended background: MATH 205.
MATH 255 Topics in Mathematical Modeling
Mathematical modeling is a tool used by natural and social scientists, including physicists, biologists, engineers, economists, and political scientists. Mathematical models use the language of mathematics to describe and analyze complex systems. They extract the essential features of real world phenomena and represent the system in one or more mathematical forms. These abstract structures may include differential equations, dynamical systems, statistical models, and game-theoretic models, among others.
MATH 255A Mathematical Models in Biology
Mathematical models are increasingly important throughout the life sciences. This course provides an introduction to a variety of models in biology, with concrete examples chosen from biological and medical fields. Students work both theoretically and with computer software to analyze models, compute numerical results, and visualize outcomes. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205.
MATH 255E Nonlinear Models and Chaos
A model is a simplified description of a system in mathematical and/or conceptual terms. Models help us understand how systems work and behave. The goals of this course are threefold: building models of natural systems, exploring their underlying mathematical structures and similarities, and simulating them with computers. Concepts acquired from simple systems in physics are applied to more complex systems in areas of biology, environment, climate, and social dynamics. Prerequisite(s): MATH 105 or 106 and PHYS 107.
MATH 255F Agent-Based Modeling with NetLogo
This course uses mathematical techniques to study the behavior of real-world systems. The focus is on agent-based models (ABMs). ABMs are especially useful for understanding dynamics in systems that are affected by individual agents within the system, and the variations, interactions, decisions, and adaptations of those agents. To model using ABMs, students use the free software NetLogo. Students learn the guiding principles of ABM modeling and how to build models in NetLogo, then have the opportunity to create and analyze their own models. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205 and 206.
MATH 295 Sophomore-Junior Seminar
With varying subject matter, this writing-attentive seminar addresses both the oral and written communication of mathematics. The seminar focuses on understanding why rigor is necessary and what constitutes effective communication of mathematical ideas to different audiences. Students practice peer editing and peer reviewing, and learn how to write effective grant and thesis proposals. Prerequisite(s): MATH 221 or s21.
MATH 301 Real Analysis
An introduction to the foundations of mathematical analysis, this course presents a rigorous treatment of fundamental concepts such as limits, continuity, differentiation, and integration. Elements of the topology of the real numbers are also covered. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205, 206, and s21.
MATH 305 Applied Partial Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems
Partial differential equations (PDEs) arise in several fields of study in the natural and social sciences. This course provides an introduction to the theory and applications of partial differential equations. Students learn solution techniques and qualitative analysis for linear partial differential equations including initial and boundary value problems for second-order linear partial differential equations. Prerequisite(s): MATH 219.
MATH 306 Applied and Computational Linear Algebra
This course explores techniques for solving huge linear systems, covering both the theory behind the techniques and the computation. The course reviews and further develops concepts from MATH 205 and uses them to efficiently solve problems across natural and social sciences. Problems are drawn from numerical analysis, mathematical biology, data analysis and machine learning, imaging and signal processing, chemistry, physics, economics, computer science, engineering, and other disciplines. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205 and 206.
MATH 308 Complex Analysis
This course extends the concepts of calculus to deal with functions whose variables and values are complex numbers. Instead of producing new complications, this leads to a theory that is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but is also more powerful. The course should be valuable to those interested in pure mathematics as well as those who need additional computational tools for physics or engineering. Topics include the geometry of complex numbers, differentiation and integration, representation of functions by integrals and power series, and the calculus of residues. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205 and 206.
MATH 309 Abstract Algebra I
An introduction to basic algebraic structures common throughout mathematics. These may include the integers and their arithmetic, modular arithmetic, rings, polynomial rings, ideals, quotient rings, fields, and groups. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205, and 221 or s21.
MATH 312 Geometry
This course studies geometric concepts in Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries. Topics include isometries, arc lengths, curvature of curves and surfaces, and tessellations, especially frieze and wallpaper patterns. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205 and 206.
MATH 313 Topology
The notion of “closeness” underlies many important mathematical concepts, such as limits and continuity. Topology is the careful study of what this notion means in abstract spaces, leading to a thorough understanding of continuous mappings and the properties of spaces that they preserve. Topics may include metric spaces, topological spaces, continuity, compactness, connectedness, homotopy theory, fixed-point theorems, and applications of these topics in areas such as geographic information systems, robotics, and game theory. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205, 206, and 221 or s21.
MATH 316 PIC Math: Topics in Industrial Mathematics
This PIC Math (Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences) course is intended for students with a strong interest in industrial applications of mathematics and computation. Students work in teams on a research problem identified by a community partner from business, industry, or government. Students develop their mathematical and programming skills as well as skills and traits valued by employers of STEM professionals, such as teamwork, effective communication, independent thinking, problem solving, and final products. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205 and 206.
MATH 355 Topics in Computational Mathematics
Computational mathematics considers how computing can aid the study of mathematics. Computers may be used to perform numerical calculations involved in modeling, provide graphical understanding in analysis, or complete symbolic calculations in algebra. Mathematical study of computer algorithms can lead to more efficient algorithms and actual implementation of algorithms helps students deepen their understanding of mathematics while gaining appreciation for computers’ capabilities as well as deficiencies. Normally offered every year.
MATH 355A Numerical Analysis
This course studies the best ways to perform calculations that have already been developed in other mathematics courses. For instance, if a computer is to be used to approximate the value of an integral, one must understand both how quickly an algorithm can produce a result and how trustworthy that result is. While students implement algorithms on computers, the focus of the course is the mathematics behind the algorithms. Topics may include interpolation techniques, approximation of functions, solving equations, differentiation and integration, solution of differential equations, iterative solutions of linear systems, and eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Prerequisite(s): MATH 106 and 205.
MATH 355B Graph Algorithms
How can we create a network of cables between houses with minimum cost? Under what circumstances can a mail delivery van traverse all the streets in the neighborhood it serves without repeating any street? Graph theory is the branch of mathematics that provides the framework to answer such questions. Topics may include definitions and properties of graphs and trees, Euler and Hamiltonian circuits, shortest paths, minimal spanning trees, network flows, and graph coloring. Some of the class meetings are devoted to learning to program in Maple. Students then write computer programs to provide solutions to questions such as the ones mentioned before. Prerequisite(s): MATH 221 or s21.
MATH 355D Dynamical Systems and Computer Science
The study of long-term behaviors of feedback processes, the field of dynamical systems is best understood from both theoretical and computational viewpoints, as each informs the other. Students explore attracting and repelling cycles and witness the complicated dynamics and chaos a simple quadratic function can exhibit. Real and complex functions are considered. Simultaneously, students learn sound computer science fundamentals by writing Visual Basic programs that illustrate the theory of dynamical systems. In particular, students plot both orbit and bifurcation diagrams, Julia sets, and the Mandelbrot set. The course explores both dynamical systems and computer science in depth, thus requiring four meetings per week. Prerequisite(s): MATH 221 or s21.
MATH 360 Independent Study
Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. This course may not be used to fulfill requirements for the mathematics major or minor in mathematics.
MATH 365 Special Topics
Content varies from semester to semester. Possible topics include chaotic dynamical systems, number theory, mathematical logic, measure theory, algebraic topology, combinatorics, and graph theory.
MATH 379 Abstract Algebra II
This course is a continuation of MATH 309. Advanced topics in group theory, ring theory, and field theory are covered. Applications include geometric constructions, crystallography, and algebraic coding theory. Prerequisite(s): MATH 309.
MATH 457 Senior Thesis
Prior to entrance into MATH 457, students must submit a proposal for the work they intend to undertake toward completion of a thesis. Open to all majors upon approval of the proposal. Required of candidates for honors. Students register for MATH 457 in the fall semester.
MATH 458 Senior Thesis
Prior to entrance into MATH 458, students must submit a proposal for the work they intend to undertake toward completion of a thesis. Open to all majors upon approval of the proposal. Required of candidates for honors. Students register for MATH 458 in the winter semester.
MATH 495 Senior Seminar
Prior to entrance into MATH 495, students must submit a proposal for the section of senior seminar they wish to undertake. While the subject matter varies, the writing-attentive seminar addresses an advanced topic in mathematics. The development of the topic draws on students’ previous course work and helps consolidate their earlier learning. Students are active participants, presenting material to one another in both oral and written form, and conducting individual research on related questions.
MATH 495A Factoring in Numerical Monoids
Integers enjoy a key property: by the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic, every nonzero integer can be factored uniquely into a product of prime integers. What can we say about factorizations into irreducible elements in other algebraic structures? Does uniqueness always hold? If not, which tools can we use to measure how different the factorizations of an element can be? In this seminar, we explore numerical monoids, and we investigate several factorization invariants to measure how far factorizations are from being unique. Prerequisite(s): MATH 301 or 309.
MATH 495B Generalized Stokes Theorem
The famous theorems of Gauss, Green, and Stokes in multivariable calculus have many important applications in the study of electromagnetic fields, heat diffusion, fluid dynamics, and complex analysis. Moreover, they are all generalizations of the (one dimensional) Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. These results assert that a certain (k dimensional) integral over a region is the (k-1 dimensional) integral over the boundary of the region, culminating in the so-called Generalized Stokes Theorem. This seminar aims to explore this general form of the classical Stokes Theorem and related topics, including the concept of differential forms.
MATH 495D Chaotic Dynamical Systems
One of the major scientific accomplishments of the last twenty-five years was the discovery of chaos and the recognition that sensitive dependence on initial conditions is exhibited by so many natural and man-made processes. To really understand chaos, one needs to learn the mathematics behind it. This seminar considers mathematical models of real-world processes and studies how these models behave as they demonstrate chaos and its surprising order. Prerequisite(s): MATH 301.
MATH 495H Cryptography
Public key cryptography is at the center of most secure transactions these days, from using a credit card online to sending and signing secure messages. The security of a cryptosystem relies on finding solutions to difficult math problems like factorization of large numbers and the discrete logarithm problem. After an introduction to the basics, each student studies various methods of encryption like the RSA cryptosystem, the Diffie-Hellman key exchange, Elliptic Curve Cryptography, and various methods of breaking these encryptions. These topics draw from previous knowledge in abstract algebra, analysis, geometry, and number theory. Computer algebra systems also are used to illustrate the applications. Prerequisite(s): MATH 301 or 309.
MATH 495J Advanced Topics in Biomathematics
Biology is one of the most fertile sources of new mathematics. Research may be based on computation and data, or it may rely entirely on theorems and proofs. It may require calculus, linear algebra, graph theory, differential equations, or numerical analysis. Students in this seminar read biology-inspired mathematical research and present their findings to each other. Students’ mathematical interests influence the selection of research papers to be investigated. No previous course in biology or mathematical modeling is required. Prerequisite(s): MATH 301.
MATH 495L The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra
Over the centuries, there have been numerous proofs of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra (FTA), which asserts that every polynomial of degree n must have at most n distinct roots over the complex numbers. The great German mathematician Carl F. Gauss (1777-1855) published no fewer than four different proofs of the result. While the name of the theorem foregrounds algebra, none of the known proofs is purely algebraic. Over the centuries, techniques from complex analysis, topology, and field extensions have been employed to give new proofs of the FTA. In this seminar, students explore some of these proofs where the methods are drawn from various subfields in mathematics. Prerequisite(s): MATH 309.
MATH 495M Infinite Series
An infinite series is the sum of the terms of an infinite sequence. In calculus we encounter infinite series of real numbers, for example, the geometric series. This course focuses on infinite series of functions, beginning with an introduction to function series and convergence. Students explore power series, Laurent series, and trigonometric series, culminating with an in-depth examination of Fourier series. Fourier series have numerous applications to areas such as partial differential equations, signal and image processing, acoustics and econometrics, to name only a few. Based on their interests, students investigate one or more of the aforementioned applications of Fourier series using current research papers and texts in mathematics and computer software. Prerequisite(s): MATH 301.
MATH S11 The Mathematics of SET
Mathematics is a useful tool to analyze games and puzzles, and, conversely, puzzles and games can be used to explore new mathematical concepts. In this course, students learn how to play the SET game, explore mathematical ideas and questions related to SET, and discover the mathematics by working through investigations in small teams. This process enables students to enhance their reasoning, collaborative, and communication skills as well as experience the power of figuring out things on their own.
MATH S35 The Mathematics of the Mad Veterinarian
This course combines ideas from linear algebra, graph theory, basic group theory, and modern mathematical developments to explore recreational puzzles called “Mad Veterinarian” scenarios. Students use mathematics and computational tools to understand and develop solutions to these scenarios. The goal of this course is for students to engage with certain technical details in mathematics, with an eye towards whimsy and having fun. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205.
MATH S45 Seminar in Mathematics
The content varies.
MATH S45R Introduction to Geometric Group Theory
In the 1980s, M. Gromov introduced a new approach to the study of infinite groups, namely the study of groups as geometric objects. Since then, the field of geometric group theory has flourished and is one of the most active areas of current mathematical research. This course presents the rudiments of geometric group theory. Prerequisite(s): MATH 221 or s21. Recommended background: MATH 309.
MATH S45T Mathematical Image Processing
Digital image processing is a field essential to many disciplines, including medicine, astronomy, astrophysics, photography, and graphics. It is also an active area of mathematical research with ideas stemming from numerical linear algebra, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations and statistics. This course introduces mathematical methods in digital image processing, including basic image processing tools and techniques with an emphasis on their mathematical foundations. Students implement the theory using MATLAB. Topics may include image compression, image enhancement, edge detection, and image filtering. Students conceive and complete projects, either theoretical or practical, on an aspect of digital image processing. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205.