Elective courses allow you to explore different disciplines and interests, focus your degree, or prepare for a career or graduate work. Depending on your goals, careful seclection of electives is important. Your faculty advisor can help think through the choices.
Recommended Computer Science Courses
Every mathematics major needs to be proficient in computer programming, at least at the level of Computational Problem Solving (CSCI 141). Any programming experience that you already have will be helpful (but not required) in this course. CSCI 141 provides crucial tools for students who plan to study or apply mathematics. Other recommended courses include Data Structures (CSCI 241), which is an integral part of the applied mathematics track within the mathematics major. Algorithms (CSCI 303) is also highly recommended for mathematics students.
Choosing Electives for Career Planning
Particularly if you plan employment immediately after your bachelor's degree, it is important for you to include elective courses that are related to the mathematics of your planned career path. It is very helpful if you have at least mastered the basic vocabulary of the field in which you wish to work.
Traditionally, mathematicians worked in the fields of science or engineering, and Mathematics departments typically recommended a science minor, usually in physics or chemistry.
Today, mathematicians are employed in many fields. Three of the most exciting are economics, biology, and finance. Elective courses in these disciplines can introduce you to applications of mathematics and make your studies more relevant to potential employers.
Generally Enriching Electives
In a survey of our graduating seniors, we asked for suggestions about other courses around campus that mathematics majors had found very interesting. Physical Chemistry, Classical Mechanics, and Electricity and Magnetism were mentioned, as were several of the Linguistics courses. Philosophy offers Symbolic Logic classes that were described as giving a different perspective on Math 214 material. In addition, several of the social science departments have statistical and mathematical methods classes that might be of interest.