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Applied Mathematics Concentration

Since the beginning, mathematics and its applications were intertwined. Geometry developed in support of the great civil engineering projects of Egypt and Greece. At least since the time of Newton, physical science and mathematics developed in tandem, as can be seen from the fact that many of the major ideas in our discipline have been re-discovered by researchers in the physical sciences and engineering. In recent years, other disciplines have become increasingly mathematical. To a large degree, economics and finance are now the study of specialized mathematical models, and the social sciences use game theory, probability, and statistics as the organizing tools for much of their research. The same is true of industrial applications. Without the insights of operations research, modern industry would not be able to achieve the levels of efficiency required to prosper.  Modern biology uses differential equations to study population growth, predator-prey interactions, and the inner workings of cells.  These new applications, coupled with remarkable advances in computing, have created whole new fields of mathematics within the last twenty-five years.

Concentration Requirements

The applied mathematics concentration is designed for students who want to pursue applications of mathematics or a double major in mathematics and another discipline. Students who plan to seek employment immediately after graduating and who want to develop specific skills may be well served by the applied track. Students who plan to pursue graduate study in applied mathematics may be better served by acquiring a strong background in the fundamental branches of modern mathematics via the standard track. Students should develop their own program of study in consultation with their professors. Students interested in applications should also consult with the department's chief academic advisor.

The major requirements of the Applied Mathematics Concentration are:

  1. a core consisting of Math 111 or 131, 112 or 132, 211, 212 or 213, and 214;
  2. completing the major writing requirement and computer proficiency requirement;
  3. at least one of Math 307 and 311 plus either
  • Math 495-6 plus at least five distinct three-credit courses at the 300-400 level chosen from the four applied areas listed below and meeting both the breadth and depth requirement (for a total of at least eight upper-division courses); or
  • excluding Math 495-6, at least six distinct three-credit courses at the 300-400 level with at least five being chosen from the four applied areas listed below and meeting the breadth and depth requirement (for a total of at least seven upper-division courses).
Breadth requirement: three distinct courses, one from three of the four applied areas listed below;
Depth requirement: three courses within one of the four areas below. One of these courses may be one of the courses satisfying the breadth requirement.

The four applied areas within the applied concentration, and their associated courses, are:

  • Computational Mathematics: Math 408, 413, 414, CSCI 426, and, with permission of the Mathematics department chair and the instructor, any other courses in the Computational Operations Research program, taken as independent study courses. In addition, CSCI 303 may be counted for the purpose of satisfying the depth requirement in computational mathematics.
  • Operations Research: Math 323, 424, and (with permission of the Mathematics department chair and the instructor) any other courses in the Computational Operations Research program, taken as independent study courses. In addition, if a student elects to fulfill the depth requirement in Operations Research, then (and only then) Math 401 may be counted toward Operations Research rather than toward Probability and Statistics;
  • Probability and Statistics: Math 351, 352, 401, 452, 459, Econ 408 and (with permission of the Mathematics department chair and the instructor) CSCI 616 and CSCI 680 taken as independent study courses;
  • Scientific Applications: Math 302, 345, 405, 408, 417, 441, 442, Physics 475 and (with permission of the Mathematics department chair and the instructor) CSCI 616 and CSCI
    680 taken as independent study courses.
The department chair may allow appropriate three-credit sections of Math 380 and Math 410 to count toward applied areas in this concentration.
In addition to the Computing Proficiency Requirement described above, students in the Applied Concentration must demonstrate proficiency in CSCI 241; this is normally done by taking and passing the course. Students who are considering graduate school in mathematics are strongly advised to take both Math 307 and Math 311.