The Core - Mathematics
Mathematics has been an integral part of a liberal education from the days of Plato's Academy, through the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum, to the intellectual life of the modern world. The revolutionary ideas of calculus occupy a unique place in Western intellectual history and make calculus well suited for study at the university level. Fairfield's mathematics core requirement is aimed at presenting this deep mathematical subject as both an object of abstract beauty and a model of deductive reasoning. The calculus is studied as an art and a science. Although an abstract subject, the calculus draws its motivation from and provides applications to a variety of problems both from inside and outside mathematics. The theory is illustrated through applications to problems from geometry, optimization, physics, economics, business, and/or the life sciences.
Through their study of mathematics, students will:
- Develop an appreciation of the calculus as a model of analytical thinking and as an object of art, illustrating the abstract beauty of mathematics in general
- Come to understand the basic concepts of the calculus - function, limit derivative, and integral
- Develop problem-solving ability and a knowledge of the calculus as a tool, applicable to problems from a wide variety of disciplines