Math

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Program Overview

The student of mathematics can analyze and reason like no other.  Fairfield University's Mathematics Department offers a curriculum that blends traditional, applied, and modern math courses, providing students with a solid and diverse foundation in mathematics. 

The mathematics program teaches students to think analytically, to find connections between concepts, and to spot patterns both in abstract settings and in practice. 

The mathematics program provides students with the opportunity to both solve real-world problems and address the truth that underlies them.  You will collaborate with your peers and faculty mentors, both in the classroom and out, through original research projects or applied internship opportunities. 

Alumni from our department graduate from Fairfield University with the skills, disciplinary awareness, and preparation to pick his or her career path, either through graduate study — our own MS in Mathematics Program or at another institution-- or in a multitude of professional areas including engineering, computing, medical research, actuarial science, data analysis, finance, government agencies and laboratories.

Requirements

The typical mathematics major curriculum consists of 39 courses and 122 credits. The typical major must take:

  • 13 mathematics courses: MA 171, 172, 231, 235, 273, 334, and 371, along with six 300-level mathematics electives;
  • MA 151 (or an equivalent course; students who can demonstrate proficiency in a computer programming language can have this requirement waived by the department chair);
  • Two semesters of a laboratory science (this also fulfills the natural science core);
  • The mathematics capstone requirement.

 

Although physics is the usual science taken by majors in mathematics, another laboratory science may be substituted with permission of the chair.

All mathematics majors are expected to complete a two-part capstone requirement consisting of completion of the mathematics comprehensive examination in the spring of their senior year and attendance at a total of five Mathematics Department Colloquium talks (or equivalent) over their final two years. Those who attend the requisite colloquia and receive a Pass or Pass with Distinction on their mathematics comprehensive exam will have a grade of "Mathematics Capstone Passed" or "Mathematics Capstone Passed with Distinction," respectively, recorded on their transcript; those who do not attend a total of five colloquia during their final two years or fail the mathematics comprehensive exam (or both) will have a grade of "Mathematics Capstone Failed" recorded on their transcript.

Students who wish to double major in mathematics and another area are encouraged to meet with the chairs of the respective departments so that appropriate modifications to the requirements can be made to allow these students to graduate in four years. Popular double majors with mathematics include computer science, economics and physics.

Mathematics majors are required to have a graphing calculator at least as powerful as a TI-84.

Honors Seminar

Students who take the MA 390 or MA 391 Honors Seminar receive three credits for one of their mathematics electives upon completion of one semester of MA 390 or MA 391. Students who complete two semesters of MA 390-391 earn six credits: the first semester counts as a 3-credit mathematics elective, while the second counts as a 3-credit free elective.

 

Students Interested in Teaching Mathematics in High School or Middle School

Students planning a career in secondary education should consult with the department chair, and with the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, as early as possible. Consult the Program in Education section of the catalog concerning requirements for the Five-Year Integrated Bachelor's-Master's degree program in secondary education with initial 7-12 certification.

 

The curriculum given below represents a typical option for completing the major in mathematics.

Bachelor of Science - Major in Mathematics (122 credits)

 

Credits

First Year

Fall

Spring

MA 171: Calculus I

4

 

MA 172: Calculus II

 

4

MA 151: Functional Programming
Core Courses

3
9

12

Sophomore Year

MA 231: Discrete Mathematics

3

 

MA 235: Linear Algebra

 

3

MA 273: Multivariable Calculus 

4

 

MA Elective

 

3

Core courses

9

9

Junior Year

MA 334: Abstract Algebra

3

 

MA 371: Real Analysis

3

 

Mathematics electives

 

6

Laboratory Science

4

4

Core courses

6

3

Elective courses

 

3

Senior Year

Mathematics electives

6

3

Elective courses

9

9

Mathematics Comprehensive Exam

 

x

Totals

63

59

 

Minor in Mathematics

For a minor in mathematics, students:

  • Complete a two course, 100-level calculus sequence;
  • Complete three mathematics courses at the 200 level or higher. At most one of EC 290, EC 380 and ME 325 will be accepted as one of the three mathematics courses.

The specific selection of courses must have the approval of the chair of the Department of Mathematics. A student may place out of one or both calculus courses, depending on his or her high school calculus background. While the student does not earn credit for these courses, they will still count toward the minor.

Course Offerings

See Math course descriptions from our catalog for more information 

  • MA 10: Mathematics for Liberal Arts
  • MA 11: Precalculus
  • MA 15: Mathematics: An Exploration
  • MA 16: Concepts of Calculus
  • MA 17: Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  • MA 119: Applied Calculus I
  • MA 120: Applied Calculus II
  • MA 145: Calculus I: Chemistry, Engineering and Physics Majors
  • MA 146: Calculus II: Chemistry, Engineering and Physics Majors
  • MA 151: Functional Programming
  • MA 211: Applied Matrix Theory
  • MA 217: Accelerated Statistics
  • MA 221: Applied Calculus III
  • MA 245: Calculus III: Chemistry, Engineering and Physics Majors
  • MA 251: Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MA 332: Partial Differential Equations

 

Mathematics Courses for Majors and Other Interested and Qualified Students 

  • MA 151: Functional Programming
  • MA 171: Calculus I
  • MA 172: Calculus II
  • MA 231: Discrete Mathematics
  • MA 235: Linear Algebra
  • MA 273: Multivariable Calculus
  • MA 300: Topics in Discrete Mathematics
  • MA 331: Applied Mathematics
  • MA 332: Partial Differential Equations
  • MA 334: Abstract Algebra
  • MA 337: Number Theory
  • MA 342: Theory of Computation
  • MA 351: Probability Theory
  • MA 352: Mathematical Statistics
  • MA 354: Actuarial Problem Solving
  • MA 361: Topics in Algebra
  • MA 371: Real Analysis
  • MA 373: Complex Analysis
  • MA 377: Numerical Analysis
  • MA 383: Modern Geometry
  • MA 385: Point Set Topology
  • MA 390/391: Honors Seminar
  • MA 395: Special Topics in Mathematics
  • MA 397/398: Internship in Mathematics
  • MA 399: Independent Study in Mathematics

Faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the innovative members of our Mathematics Department.

Mathematics Center

The Mathematics Center, located in the Academic Commons (DiMenna-Nyselius Library), is a place where students can get free tutoring for statistics and first year calculus courses. Students can schedule appointments online and are encouraged to come prepared with specific question that will help the tutor identify what to focus on most.

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