20232024 University Catalog
Mathematics


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Faculty 
Professors Robertson (Chair), Saracino, Schult
Associate Professors Chen, Christensen, Cipolli, Jiménez Bolaños, Seo
Assistant Professors Davis, Isham, Ma, Moore, Sosa Castillo
Visiting Assistant Professors Brittenham, Gu
Senior Lecturer Tatangelo 
There are many good reasons to study mathematics: preparation for a career, use in another field, or the beauty of the subject itself. Students at Colgate who major in mathematics go on to careers in medicine, law, or business administration as well as areas of industry and education having an orientation in science. Nonmajors often require mathematical skills to carry on work in other disciplines, and all students can use the study of mathematics to assist them in forming habits of precise expression, in developing their ability to reason logically, and in learning how to deal with abstract concepts. There are also many people who view mathematics as an art form, to be studied for its own intrinsic beauty.
All mathematics courses are open to qualified students. Entering firstyear students who have successfully completed at least three years of secondary school mathematics, including trigonometry, should be adequately prepared for . Students who have studied calculus in secondary school are typically ready to enter or .
Students who are planning to undertake graduate study in mathematics are advised to take and .
Course Information
The following classification scheme is used for MATH courses:
100149: Only requires knowledge of mathematics before Calculus
150199: Calculuslevel knowledge and/or sophistication
200249: Linear Algebra level (gentle transitiontype course)
250299: Transition to the major level
300349: Courses with requirements at Math 150249 level
350399: Courses with requirements at the Math 250299 level
400449: Courses with requirements at the Math 300349 level
450474: Courses with requirements at the Math 350399 level
475484: Research experience seminars
485499: Advanced material
The expected rotation schedule of course offerings is described on the Department of Mathematics webpage.
Honors and High Honors
To be considered for honors in Mathematics or in Applied Mathematics, a student must achieve a 3.3 GPA in the respective major. In order to be considered for high honors, a 3.7 GPA in the major is required. For both honors and high honors, completion of a course numbered 400 or above besides 481483 is required.
Honors / High Honors are attained by a student’s production and defense of a thesis of distinction. The student’s thesis adviser puts forward the thesis for honors consideration. Subsequently, a committee of three faculty members is formed, one being the student’s thesis advisor, the others chosen by the department. The student must give a defense of the thesis. The committee of three, with other faculty members acting in an advisory capacity with a recommendation, then grades the project, consisting of the thesis and defense. In order for honors to be granted, the committee of three must grade the project as A or better. In the event all three grade the project as A or better, high honors will be granted.
Joint theses are allowed but will not normally be considered for honors. Exceptions may be made with departmental permission.
As a reminder to the student writing theses for two different departments: Colgate’s Honor Code states that substantial portions of the same academic work may not be submitted for credit or honors more than once without the permission of the instructor(s).
Awards
The Allen FirstYear Mathematical Prize — awarded for excellence in mathematical work on the basis of scores attained on the first year prize exam covering material from Math 161 and 162.
The Edwin J. Downie ‘33 Award for Mathematics — created in memory of Edwin J. Downie ‘33, Professor of Mathematics Emeritus, given annually to a senior majoring in mathematics who has made outstanding contributions to the mathematics department through exemplary leadership, service, and achievement.
The Osborne Mathematics Prizes — established in honor of Professor Lucien M. Osborne, Class of 1847, to be awarded to select students who maintain a high average in mathematics courses in the junior year.
The Sisson Mathematics Prizes — established in honor of Eugene Pardon Sisson, a teacher of mathematics in the academy 1873–1912, awarded to a student who maintains a high average in one or more 200level mathematics courses.
Calculus Placement
Students should review the , , and MATH 163 course descriptions for information on topics and prerequisites, or consult with a department faculty member. In general, students are encouraged to enroll in a higherlevel course. Students may drop back from to within the first three weeks, subject to available space in an acceptable section.
Advanced Placement
Students who have taken the CalculusBC, CalculusAB, or Statistics Advanced Placement exam of the College Entrance Examination Board will be granted credit according to the following policy:
 Students earning 4 or 5 on the CalculusBC Advanced Placement exam will receive credit for and . Students earning 3 on the Calculus BC exam will receive credit only for .
 Students earning 4 or 5 on the CalculusAB Advanced Placement exam will receive credit for .
 Students earning 4 or 5 on the Statistics Advanced Placement exam will receive credit for .
 There are no other circumstances under which a student will receive credit at Colgate for a mathematics course taken in high school.
Transfer Credit
Transfer credit for a mathematics course taken at another college may be granted with preapproval from the department chair.
The following courses count toward the appropriate major or minor in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics only if passed at Colgate by completing a regularly scheduled course: , , , , .
At most, two transfer or independent studies courses may be counted toward a major or minor.
International Exam Transfer Credit
Transfer credit and/or placement appropriate to academic development of a student may be granted to incoming first year students who have achieved a score on an international exam (e.g., ALevels, International Baccalaureate) that indicates a level of competence equivalent to the completion of a specific course in the department. Requests should be directed to the department chair. Any such credit may not be used to fulfill the university areas of inquiry requirement, but may count towards the major.
Related Majors/Minors
Teacher Certification
The Department of Educational Studies offers a teacher education program for majors in mathematics who are interested in pursuing a career in elementary or secondary school teaching. Please refer to Educational Studies .
Study Groups
Colgate sponsors several studyabroad programs that can support continued work toward a major in mathematics. These include, but are not limited to, the Wales Study Group (U.K.), the Australia Study Group, the Australia II Study Group, the Singapore Exchange Program, and the Manchester Study Group (U.K.). For more information about these programs, see OffCampus Study .
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