Beloit teaches both applied mathematics, which stresses problems arising through contact with nature and society, and pure mathematics, which addresses problems of intrinsic aesthetic interest. Students are free to choose to concentrate on one or the other. The faculty attempts to set the beauty, rigor, and usefulness of mathematics within its historical context and multicultural heritage. Courses guide students toward the ability to give clear oral and written expression of the mathematical ideas they learn.
Nine departmental units (at level 110 or higher) including:
Mathematics 150 (.5).
Four units of mathematics courses numbered between 300 and 380, inclusive and including at least two from the following: Mathematics 315, 335, 340, 375.
Four additional units of mathematics electives at level 110 or higher.
Mathematics 385 (.5) (capstone course).
Supporting courses (3 units):
One unit of computer science, excluding computer science 165, 390 (except by permission), 395, and the AP Computer Science Principles exam.
Two courses in physics, or 1 course in physics and 1 course emphasizing quantitative methods, chosen in consultation with the major advisor.
Mathematics majors are encouraged to do an internship or field experience involving the application of mathematics. Prospective graduate students are advised to take at least two terms of a modern foreign language, preferably French or Japanese.
Writing/communication requirement: Mathematics students should learn both how to write prose and how to write mathematics. Majors must take at least 5 courses designated by the college as W, at least 2 of which must be from inside the mathematics/computer science department and at least 2 of which must be from outside the department. (Transfer students reduce this by 1 course per year of advanced standing.) Departmental courses that qualify include 205, 230, 300, 310, 315, 340, and 385, and other courses as designated by the instructor.
Mathematicians need to know both how to write for other professionals in the field and how to report their work to others not necessarily trained in the discipline. Professional writing for mathematicians is usually proof-based. Many of the department’s upper-level courses focus on such writing. Explaining our work to nonprofessionals often requires significantly different skills. While some departmental courses emphasize this type of writing, often the best training for this is writing courses in other disciplines. Consequently, mathematics majors are required to take writing courses both within and outside the department.
Mathematics majors are encouraged to attend Mathematics Colloquium regularly each semester in which they are in residence in their junior and senior.
Students majoring mathematics may choose to receive the Bachelor of Science degree rather than the Bachelor of Arts degree by completing a minimum of 4 units in biology, chemistry, geology, and/or physics.
Five and three-quarters departmental units:
Mathematics 110, 115, 150 (.5), 275, and 383 (.25).
Two units of mathematics at level 200 or above. At least 1 of these units must be chosen from 315, 335, 340, or 375.