Math

Q: What courses should be taken during the first year?
Analytical, computational and technological skills have become increasingly important in many disciplines and professional careers. We therefore encourage students to improve and further develop those skills, independent of their intended majors, by taking courses in Mathematics and Computer Science in their first year in college.

To enroll in an introductory mathematics course, students (with the exception of those with advanced-placement credit in calculus) must take the Mathematics Placement Test given during preregistration. Based on placement test scores, students are place into Precalculus, Calculus, or Honors Calculus. Students are encouraged to enroll in the course according to their placement . Students may challenge their placement by taking a backup placement test once.

Two Calculus tracks are open to students with appropriate scores in the Mathematics Placement Test: the regular track MATH 120-MATH 121, and the Honors track MATH 124-MATH 125. Both tracks start in the Fall. Students who do not place into Calculus, but place into Precalculus (MATH 119), can start with MATH 119, to prepared for Calculus and continue with MATH 120 the following year.

The regular track is the less theoretical Calculus sequence (MATH 120-MATH 121). It is geared toward students interested in the natural and social sciences, as well as Computer Science. Many of those studetns will not continue with upper level mathematics classes. Students in this sequence who plan to continue to study mathematics in the future are encourage to take MATH 121 in the Spring semester of their first year.

Honors Calculus (MATH 124-MATH 125) is the more theoretical track and prepares students for intermediate and upper level mathematics classes. It is therefore recommended that students with a strong mathematical background, who intend to take higher-level mathematics classes in the future, start with MATH 124-MATH 125. Those students are usually interested in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, and Economics.

Students with a sufficiently high score on the AP (AB) Calculus test receive credit for MATH 120. This credit fulfills the prerequisite for MATH 121, but not for MATH 125. It is recommended that these students start with MATH 124 and continue into MATH 125 if they are interested in taking higher-level mathematics classes in the future.

Students with a sufficiently high score on the AP (AB/BC) Calculus test receive credit for MATH 121 and may continue with MATH 130. In the exceptional circumstances, first-year students without credit for MATH 121 may enroll in MATH 130 with permission fo the instructor.
Q: What courses should first year students steer clear of?
Most mathematics courses have to be taken in a particular sequence. Students are not allowed to register for courses without fulfilling the necessary prerequsities first. For this reason, a mathematics major cannot be completed in less than three years.
Q. Does the deparment offer a First-Year Intensive course?
The department offers 2 FYI courses: 1) Diving into Mathematics Research (MATH 110); 2) Diving into Computer Science Research (CSci 110). It is a 5th class for all students, and it is spread over the course of the year with 0.5 credits per semester. It gives first-year students a unique opportunity to work with faculty and peers on interesting current research projects and to become a part of an intellectual and social community of students with similar interests. Both courses are by permission only and there is a limited number of spaces. With few exceptions, only students with a strong background in Mathematics who register for Honor Calculus or have credit for Calculus with be allowed to join in the class. Students interested in Mathematics research should contact Professor Gideon Maschler (gmaschler@clarku.edu). Students interested in Computer or Computational Science should contact Professor Natalia Sternberg (nsternberg@clarku.edu).
Q: Where should students or faculty go for more information?
Students or faculty can contact Professor Natalia Sternberg, Department Chair, for further information.