Major Requirements

Mathematics

OVERVIEW OF MAJOR

The mathematics major is designed to expose students to the fundamentals of mathematics and to give students a solid mathematical foundation. The major is designed with enough flexibility to accommodate students who want to major in mathematics but whose postbaccalaureate plans may not be math-related and students who want to double major in physics, engineering, economics, computer science, or other fields, as well as students who intend to pursue graduate study in mathematics, statistics, or computer science, or students interested in careers requiring a strong mathematical background. Students intending to pursue graduate study in mathematics should supplement the basic major requirements with as many additional 300-level mathematics courses as possible and should consult with their adviser or with the department chair at the earliest possible date in order to plan their course of study.

REQUIREMENTS

For students who declare a mathematics major during the spring 2018 semester and beyond, the following major requirements will apply. Students who declare a mathematics major during the fall 2017 semester have the option of following the former major requirements (see the AY2016/17 Bulletin at: http://adsvm19.cc.trincoll.edu/bulletin/2016-2017/bulletin.pdf) or the requirements listed below.

To complete a major in mathematics, students must complete a total of nine courses of at least one credit at the 200-level or above. These courses must be selected so as to satisfy each of the following criteria. In addition, students must earn a grade of C- or better in all courses that count for the major.

  • Calculus requirement
    Math 231

  • Linear Algebra requirement
    Either Math 228 or Math 229. A student may take both courses for college credit but only one may be counted towards the nine courses required for the math major.
  • Introduction to Proof requirement
    • Students who satisfy the linear algebra requirement by taking Math 228 may use 228 to satisfy this requirement as well.
    • Students choosing to take 229 to satisfy the linear algebra requirement, must also take either 205 or 241, These may also count as electives. (see below)
  • Writing Intensive requirement
    Math 307 and 331. At least one of these courses must be taken at Trinity.
  • Electives
    • Students must take three elective courses at the 200-level or above. Each course must carry a minimum of one credit. At most one course may be chosen from the list of cognate courses below.
    • Students must take one additional elective mathematics courses at the 300-level.
  • Capstone requirement
    Math 400

List of Approved Cognate Courses (for students declaring a major after September 1, 2017)
  • CHEM 309L. Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM 310. Physical Chemistry II
  • CHEM 316L. Physical Biochemistry
  • CPSC 320L. Analysis of Algorithms
  • ECON 312L. Mathematical Economics
  • ENGR 212L. Linear Circuit Theory
  • ENGR 225L. Mechanics I
  • ENGR 301L. Signal Processing and Applications
  • ENGR 303L. Analog and Digital Communication
  • ENGR 312L. Automatic Control Systems
  • ENGR 362L. Fluid Dynamics
  • ENGR 337L. Thermodynamics
  • PHIL 390L. Advanced Logic
  • PHYS 232L. Physics III: Optics and Modern Physics
  • PHYS 300L. Mathematical Methods of Physics
  • PHYS 301L. Classical Mechanics
  • PHYS 302L. Electrodynamics
  • PHYS 304L. Statistical and Thermal Physics
  • PHYS 313L. Quantum Mechanics
  • PHYS 325L. Condensed Matter Physics
  • PSYC 221L. Research Design and Analysis

Not all mathematics courses are offered each year. To help students to plan their schedules, the following describes the frequency with which each course at the 200-level and above is offered.

  • Courses offered every semester: Math 205, 207, 228, 231, 400

  • Courses offered every year: Math 229, 234, 252/54, 307, 331

  • Courses offered every other year: Math 241, 253, 305, 306, 308, 309, 314, 316, 318, 326, 332, 341\\

Although a student may begin the mathematics major as late as the fall semester of the sophomore year, the department recommends that prospective majors who have no prior calculus credit adopt the following typical schedule:

Year Fall Spring
First 131 132
Sophomore 231, 205 228, elective
Junior 307 or 331 two electives
Senior 307 or 331 400

The Writing Intensive Part II requirement is fulfilled by taking either MATH 307 or MATH 331. In order to fulfill the requirement, one of these courses must be taken at Trinity.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Study away: Students of mathematics have many opportunities to study abroad, but all of them require a certain amount of early planning. Students are encouraged to discuss their plans with their advisers or the department chair as soon as possible since many courses in the Mathematics Department are not offered every year. Well-prepared students should consider the Budapest semester in mathematics; more information on this program can be found on the study-away website.

Many study-abroad programs in English-speaking countries offer a wide range of mathematics courses that will count toward the major. For specific advice, please consult the department chair. Students who feel they are sufficiently proficient in a language to take mathematics courses in a foreign language should discuss this with their advisers. Students who take mathematics courses while abroad should be aware that universities that follow the European model cover the material in a somewhat different order than is done in the United States and that classes are primarily lectures with far less feedback from the instructor than is typical at Trinity.

Honors: Honors in mathematics, granted by departmental vote in the spring of the honor candidate's senior year, is earned by:

  • receiving a grade of at least a B- in any mathematics course taken at the 200 level and above,
  • receiving a grade of A- or better in at least four 300-level courses excluding MATH 497, and

  • writing and presenting a suitable thesis on an area of mathematics that the student finds particularly interesting.

The student must apply to the department chair for honors candidacy in the second semester of the junior year. Upon acceptance, the candidate, together with the department chair, will select an honors adviser who will supervise the honors thesis. The student will then submit a thesis proposal by the last day of classes for the spring semester of the junior year.

Honors theses need not be one of newfound mathematical results, but it is expected to be a balance of the historical, biographical, and mathematical aspects of the topic. The project will culminate with the submission of the final polished draft to the honors adviser no later than one week before the last day of classes of the spring semester. A formal presentation will be given by the candidate prior to the day on which senior grades are due. Complete guidelines for the completion of the honors thesis may be obtained from the department chair.