# Mathematics

*Applicable for the 2024-2025 academic year.*

Professors M. SIDDOWAY, L. GARCIA PUENTE (Chair), R. GARCIA; Associate Professors D. BROWN, A. BRUDER, S. ERICKSON, J. McDOUGALL, B. MALMSKOG, M. MORAN, F. SANCIER-BARBOSA; Assistant Professors I. AGBANUSI, M. KIM; Visiting Assistant Professors J. RENNIE, E. PRICE.

The study of mathematics has always been central to the liberal arts, and mathematics has never been more vital for understanding our world than it is today. At Colorado College, mathematics courses emphasize both the practical applications of the subject and its inherent beauty. Majors and minors in mathematics receive a broad perspective on mathematical ideas, working closely with their peers and faculty in small classes. The department is known for being inclusive and welcoming, and it takes pride in helping each student achieve his or her potential. Students in our department participate in many enriching activities, including the Budapest Semester in Mathematics, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, the Putnam Exam, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), and our own blockly pizza problems.

Faculty in the department maintain active research programs, and students have ample opportunity to work on research projects in diverse areas of pure and applied mathematics and statistics. Our alumni have gone on to graduate school and academic careers in mathematics and other disciplines, as well as careers in finance, K-12 education, medicine, law, engineering, and information technology. A degree in mathematics opens many doors, and closes none.

## Major Requirements

**In addition to the All College Requirements, a student majoring in Mathematics must complete:**

- MA120 Applied Linear Algebra
- MA125: Pre-Calculus & Calculus or MA126: Calculus 1
- MA129: Calculus 2
- MA204 Calculus 3
- MA221: Advanced Linear Algebra
- MA275: Sequences and Series
- ONE OF:
- ONE OF:
- ONE OF:
- Four one-unit elective courses, at the 200-level or above (not taken as required courses)
- At most one course can be at the 200 level. The department maintains a list of non-mathematics courses that can substitute for this 200-level elective
- At least one of these electives must be at the 400-level
- Independent study course (MA255, MA355, MA455) cannot be used to satisfy this requirement

**A student majoring in Mathematics must also:**

- Students must complete a senior thesis, which includes taking MA499 and presenting their work in a written thesis as well as a departmental talk or poster
- Students must fulfill the talk attendance and write-up requirement as described on the department’s web page

Please visit the department's website for information about Distinction in Mathematics.

## Minor Requirements

**To minor in Mathematics:**

A student minoring in Mathematics must take MA120, MA129 and four other mathematics courses at the 200-level or above. At least one of these courses must be at the 300 or 400-level. Students must take at least three of the required courses at CC. Students must design their minor in consultation with a department member. A plan for a minor must be approved by the department by the end of the first block of the student’s senior year.

## Courses

### Mathematics

An introduction to mathematical thinking through specified topics drawn from number theory, geometry, graph theory, algebra or combinatorics. The course will focus on giving students the opportunity to discover mathematics on their own. No previous mathematical background is required, but students will be expected to come with curiosity and a willingness to experiment. Not recommended for math majors. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.

An introduction to the ideas of probability, including counting techniques, random variables and distributions. Elementary parametric statistical tests with examples drawn from the social sciences and life sciences. Not recommended for mathematics majors. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SA requirement.

The study of systems of linear equations and matrix algebra with an emphasis on applications. Topics include the use of matrices to represent linear systems, independence and bases, invertibility, and eigenvalues. The use of computer algebra systems is emphasized. Applications will be drawn from economics, statistics, computer science, biology, and other fields. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

Skillful teaching of mathematics requires the teacher to understand the material from a variety of perspectives, and with greater depth than his or her students. This course helps to prepare future elementary teachers by exploring some of the deeper structure of elementary mathematics. Topics will include: counting and cardinality, ratio and proportional relationships, elementary number theory, operations and algebraic thinking, and the role of axioms, deduction, examples, and counterexamples. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2024-25).

Covers the same material as MA126 together with a review of selected content from algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry, and the study of functions. This course is recommended for students who want a more thorough review of precalculus material while studying Calculus 1. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

Introduction to calculus for functions of one variable. Focus is on the definition, methods, and applications of derivatives. Integrals are briefly introduced. Students normally begin the calculus sequence with this course if they have solid precalculus preparation and have not previously studied calculus. Students who need a thorough review of precalculus should take MA125 instead; students who have previously studied calculus should consider MA129 instead. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

Development of the definite integral, techniques of integration, and applications of the definite integral. Modeling with differential equations. Taylor polynomials and non-Cartesian coordinate systems in two dimensions. Students who have successfully completed a first course in calculus that focused on derivatives should consider this as an appropriate next course. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

(Summer only 2024-25).

An introduction to combinatorics, graph theory, and combinatorial geometry. The topics are fundamental for the study of many areas of mathematics as well as for the study of computer science, with applications to cryptography, linear programming, coding theory, and the theory of computing. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

Opportunity to study new mathematical ways of thinking in a cultural context. Much like the division between plants and animals in biology, mathematics can be divided into continuous mathematics (e.g. calculus) and discrete mathematics, the latter of which is the subject of this course. Includes concepts that are fundamental to modern mathematics and computer science. We will also introduce mathematics with important applications to the social sciences. Mathematical topics will be illuminated by examining their treatment in a variety of non-Western cultures, both historical and traditional. (Not offered 2024-25).

Vectors in two and three dimensions, differential and Integral calculus for functions of several variables, and the calculus of vector-valued functions. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

A calculus-based introduction to probability theory and statistical inference. Topics include probability, random variables, discrete and continuous distributions, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and linear regression. This course also provides basic introduction to statistical programming language R. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SA requirement.

This course will focus on the fundamentals of exploratory data analysis, hypothesis testing, and experimental design in the ecological, environmental, and the earth sciences. Topics will include theory and practice of project design, data distribution and description, the central limit theorem, characterization of uncertainty, correlation, univariate hypothesis testing, and multivariate analyses (ANOVA, linear regression). Students will complete a final project using environmental data collected in the field and analyzed using statistical computer software. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2024-25).

Matrix algebra and Gaussian elimination. The geometry of vectors in R2, R3 and Rn. Vector spaces and linear transformation. Introduction to orthogonal geometry and eigenvalue problems. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

This course will focus on the theoretical foundations and processes of linear algebra. Proofs and methods of proof will be stressed throughout. Topics include abstract vector spaces and their linear transformations; linear independence, span, and bases; the rank-nullity theorem; invertibility; eigenvalues and eigenvectors; matrix factorizations; inner product spaces; orthogonal projections and orthonormal bases; singular value decomposition; positive operators. Further advanced topics may be covered if time allows. Applications of linear algebra may be introduced to bolster the theoretical discussion.

An introduction to one of the major mathematical software packages such as Mathematica or Matlab. Investigation of symbolic computation, numerical algorithms, and graphics as used in these programs. Students may take the course more than once to learn additional software packages, but they may take it a maximum of two times for credit. (May be taught either in the extended format or as a half-block.) (Not offered 2024-25).

Students will meet regularly during the semester, in order to learn problem solving techniques as applied to interesting mathematical problems, often drawn from the national William Lowell Putnam competition, or the COMAP Mathematical Modeling Contest. Students may take the course more than once, but at most two times for credit (in different years). Pass/Fail grade only. .5 units (Not offered 2024-25).

This course will provide a forum for discussing current research and classic papers in mathematical biology. Topics will be chosen that both relate to students' research experiences and broaden their knowledge of mathematical biology. The seminar will also provide a forum for discussing research with visiting scientists. It will meet twice per block for one semester. (Not offered 2024-25).

Covers statistical methods for learning from data beyond those typically learned in introductory courses. Emphasis on statistical modeling, including multiple linear regression, classification models, and other methods for supervised learning and statistical inference. Additional techniques include non-parametric methods, bootstrap estimation, and analysis of model fit via cross-validation. Includes a strong computational component and will make use of the statistical programing language R for data analysis and simulations. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SA requirement.

Special topics in mathematics not offered on a regular basis. (Not offered 2024-25).

A careful study of major topics in elementary number theory, including divisibility, factorization, prime numbers, perfect numbers, congruences, Diophantine equations and primitive roots. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

An introduction to selected quantitative models drawn from areas of biology such as ecology, genetics and physiology. For each model, the course includes an investigation of the mathematical methods, an evaluation of the model, and some elementary simulation techniques. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement. (Not offered 2024-25).

A first course in the careful study of infinity in mathematics. Convergence of sequences and series will be explored thoroughly along with selected topics from power series, Fourier series, fractals, cardinality, and complex numbers. The course emphasizes the importance of precise definitions, which allow mathematicians to construct rigorous proofs involving infinity. Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.

Some current topics in advanced and modern geometry. Topics drawn from linear geometry, affine, inversive and projective geometries, foundations and axiomatics, transformation groups, geometry of complex numbers. (Offered alternate years.) (Not offered 2024-25).

Vector functions, divergence and curl, Green's and Stokes' theorems, and the properties of three-dimensional curves and surfaces. Related topics from linear algebra and differential equations. (Not offered 2024-25).

Probability spaces, discrete and continuous random variables, independence, expectation, distribution functions

Ordinary Differential Equations. Introduction to methods for finding solutions to differential equations involving a single, independent variable. Topics include linear equations, exact solutions, series solutions. Laplace transforms, Sturm Separation and Comparison Theorems, systems of equations, and existence and uniqueness theorems.

An introduction to the abstract algebraic properties of groups, rings and fields.

A study of graphs as finite mathematical structures. Emphasis on algorithms, optimization and proofs. (Offered alternate years.)

Special topics in mathematics not offered on a regular basis.

An introduction to the nature of mathematical research. Investigation with a faculty member of current mathematical problems, usually chosen from the field of the faculty member's own research. (Offered in alternate years. May be offered some years as an extended format course for 1/2 unit.) (Not offered 2024-25).

An introduction to the theoretical basis for the calculus, with an emphasis on rigorous proof. Properties of the real number system; sequences and series; continuity; elementary topology of the real line, Euclidean space and metric spaces; compactness; pointwise and uniform convergence.

Selected topics in the study of Mathematical Economics. Specific content and emphasis are developed by the instructor(s). Topics will meet the ME elective requirement for the Mathematical Economics major. (Not offered 2024-25).

An introduction to the study of point-set topology. Examples of topological spaces; compactness, connectedness, and continuity; separation axioms. Additional topics chosen from algebraic or geometric topology. (Offered alternate years.)

A study of selected developments in the history of mathematics and the role of mathematics in different cultures across time. The course often draws on original sources and traces the relationships among different fields within mathematics through the in-depth study of major unifying results. When used to fulfill the capstone requirement for the mathematics department, the course must be taken in the senior year.

The calculus of functions of a complex variable. Differentiation, contour integration, power-series, residue theory and applications, conformal mapping and applications.

Introduction to analytical and numerical methods for finding solutions to differential equations involving two or more independent variables. Topics include linear partial differential equations, boundary and initial value problems, Fourier series solutions, finite element methods, the Laplace equation, the wave equation and the heat equation.

Brief introduction of probability, descriptive statistics, classical and Bayesian statistical inference, including point and interval estimation, hypothesis tests and decision theory. (Offered alternate years.)

The development and analysis of algorithms for approximating solutions to mathematical problems. Topics covered include: approximating functions, finding roots, approximating derivatives and integrals, solving differential equations, solving systems of linear equations, and finding eigenvalues. (Not offered 2024-25).

Continuation of Mathematics 321. Topics may include Galois theory, commutative algebra, computational algebra, representations of finite groups, or algebraic geometry.

Given on demand for a group of students interested in a topic not included in the regular curriculum. (Not offered 2024-25).

Continuation of Mathematics 375. A rigorous treatment of derivatives and integrals of a single variable. Other topics, chosen by the instructor, may include a rigorous approach to multivariable calculus; the implicit and inverse function theorems; analysis on manifolds; dynamical systems; measure theory and the Lebesgue integral; functional analysis.

Advanced work in mathematics on the senior capstone project. Required for all students who are completing their capstone experience through a yearlong project and working towards the required summary seminar and summary paper. This course should be taken in the senior year, during or before Block 6