Stony Brook Math Major
An Overview of the Mathematics Major
The Figure-8 Knot.
MATHEMATICS is an essential part of a wide range of
human activity. It is the language of the
physical sciences, and
plays an increasingly important role in the
social and biological sciences in
modelling complicated, large-scale
phenomena. Even very abstract parts of mathematics, initially studied just
for their intrinsic beauty, have
turned out to have unexpected but important applications, ranging from
computer security to the digitalization of fingerprints.
A mathematics major teaches you to think clearly and argue cogently.
It is excellent
preparation for many jobs in business, finance, accounting, computing and education. |
THE MAJOR PROGRAM in mathematics is broadly based, and contains courses
which feature the history of
mathematics and the use of computers in mathematics as well as the
standard undergraduate courses in analysis, geometry and algebra
and a set of high-level seminars for advanced students. It
is very flexible and
may be combined with other majors, such as physics, economics, biochemistry,
computer science or
applied mathematics. A double major or major/minor combination like this
gives a very solid background for a student who is interested in
graduate school either in one of these disciplines or in
mathematics itself. Stony Brook also offers a Mathematics Secondary
Teacher Preparation Program, open to both Mathematics and Applied
Mathematics and Statistics majors, which
prepares future teachers of high school
mathematics. Students graduate from that Program
with provisional certification to
teach mathematics, grades 7-12, in New York State.
The requirements for a math major are spelled out in the
Bulletin. In addition, we strongly recommend that our students
scientific base by taking a two-semester sequence
in a science or in a math-related field such as
computer science or economics. MAT 260 (Problem Solving in Mathematics)
is also highly recommended preparation for 300-level courses.
The core of the major is formed by the two courses that
introduce the student to proofs, MAT 310 (Linear Algebra) and
MAT 320 (Introduction to Analysis).
They should be taken as early as possible. There are
many ways of fulfilling the other
requirements, and to give you a better idea of what is
involved, here are some sample programs of
study leading to a major in mathematics. These can be varied quite a bit:
most 300-level classes are accessible once you have taken some version
of Calculus III and MAT 211 (Introduction to Linear Algebra).
Detailed information about math major, including requirements, policies,
and more, can be found in Undergraduate Math Handbook
September 12, 2011