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New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University

Department of
Mathematical Sciences

Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Program


How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought independent of experience, is so admirably adapted to the objects of reality?

-- Albert Einstein, 20th century mathematical physicist

The art of mathematics, simultaneously one of the most practical and most aesthetic of human endeavors, has been cultivated for thousands of years by all civilizations. Because it provides a basis for reasoned explanation and accurate prediction of natural phenomena, mathematics has become the universal language for science and technology. It has also become an essential component of business and even finds uses in the humanities.

The program in the Department of Mathematical Sciences offers a solid foundation in basic and advanced mathematics. The members of the faculty respond to students' special interests and are dedicated to teaching mathematics not only as an essential discipline, but also as an entryway into a variety of rewarding careers. You can learn more about career opportunities at our job openings webpage or go to http://www.maa.org/students/career.html, a web page maintained by the Mathematical Association of America.

A mathematical education teaches logical thinking in both concrete and abstract settings, and students learn to identify, analyze, and apply basic principles to technical problems. Mathematicians should also have substantial knowledge of computers, computer programs, and, in some cases, the ability to write their own programs, because most complex mathematical computation and much mathematical modeling are done on computers. Communication skills are important, as mathematicians must be able to interact with people who may not have an extensive knowledge of mathematics, both to identify mathematical aspects of a problem and to discuss proposed solutions. The degree programs and extra-curricular activities in the Department of Mathematical Sciences address all these areas.

In addition to the degree programs described below, there are many opportunities for a student in the Department of Mathematical Sciences to experience various aspects of mathematics and to establish a record of achievement in extracurricular settings. There is an active chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national honor society for students of mathematics.

The Department participates in a number of more challenging activities. Every year NMSU students compete in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. NMSU students also compete in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling organized by the Consortium for Mathematics and Applications (COMAP). The NMSU Department of Mathematical Sciences holds a mathematics contest every spring for local high school students; undergraduate mathematics majors are welcome to participate in creating this event, which is offered over the Worldwide Web. You can find out more information about this at our Activities page.

There are many school-related employment opportunities for students. Tutoring and grading jobs are available for students interested in mathematics and education. Students interested in research may serve as research assistants or as computer programmers assisting faculty members. These are only some of the activities by which students can gain part-time work while attending school. Information about scholarships can be found at http://www.nmsu.edu/~finaid

The Department supports a number of off-campus activities for students. Both NMSU faculty and students have given talks at the Arizona Mathematics Undergraduate Conference (AMUC), an annual event that took place in Tempe, Arizona, in 2004. The Department is an institutional member of the Mathematical Association of America, which offers a broad range of activities to undergraduate mathematics students, including regional conferences. The Department is a partner in the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) directed by Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez of Arizona State University.


Degree Programs in the Department of Mathematical Sciences
It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession, but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment.

--C.F. Gauss, 19th century mathematician.

The programs offered by the Department give each student a sense of the nature of mathematics and its place in society. We aim to prepare a student for the challenge of a lifetime of learning, in addition to providing a student with the mathematical tools needed for practical employment. The Department also offers Master's and PhD. degrees, so members of the faculty are well-acquainted with the highest levels of mathematical scholarship, as well as research.

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

The program consists of seven required mathematics courses that give the student a broad mathematical foundation in calculus, linear algebra, discrete mathematics, modern algebra and modern analysis. Every student takes two introductory computer science courses, an English course on technical writing, and six more upper division mathematics courses. The six upper division mathematics courses can be chosen to fit particular interest areas. The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers a broad range of courses in different areas of mathematics and statistics; students are free to concentrate on logic and foundations, advanced analysis, probability and statistics, advanced algebra, numerical analysis, dynamical systems, geometry and topology or history of mathematics. So beyond building a solid foundation in mathematics, there is the flexibility to gain advanced mathematical knowledge in preparation for any occupation the student intends to enter, including continuing his/her education in graduate school. Students graduating from NMSU with a B.S. in mathematics have had a high success rate in obtaining admission to graduate work in the university of their choice.

Supplementary Major in Applied Mathematics

A supplementary major in applied mathematics (SMAM) is designed to accompany a degree program in a primary major; the primary major can be in any field, but the program is particularly suited to accompany a regular major in computer science, physics, any of the engineering majors, economics and/or mathematics. To earn a supplementary major, a student selects five upper-division courses from a list of advanced mathematics courses and, in addition, must take three more advanced courses in related applied fields. These courses in related areas are mathematically intensive. The entire program of eight courses can be chosen to add breadth and depth to the student's knowledge of his/her primary major. For a student majoring in engineering, economics, a physical science, or computer science, the SMAM offers a unique opportunity to correlate a particular area of study with an enhanced knowledge of the mathematical tools that are so highly useful in the area. For a mathematics major, the SMAM offers a chance to investigate concrete areas in applied mathematics and to prepare for further cross-disciplinary work. Such study deepens a students understanding of mathematics as a whole and improves his or her ability to communicate mathematically with people in related technical disciplines.

Minor in Mathematics

The Minor in Mathematics can accompany any primary major, except a major in mathematics. It is the perfect degree for students who will benefit from earning a degree in mathematics, but who cannot accommodate a second major in their schedules. The program consists of six mathematics courses, three of which must be upper division courses.

Last modified: 2014-03-07 13:53:18 leisher