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Mathematics Advising Information

Mathematics Major Entrance Requirements: The student must complete one year of full-time study (24 credits minimum) or 32 credits as a part-time student. In addition, a student interested in the mathematics major is required to take the comprehensive calculus (compcalc) exam; performance on this exam and in MAT 231 will be reviewed by the faculty.

Courses and Requirements (pdf)

Take the Mathematics Placement Exam

  • Guidelines for Mathematics Majors

    • Mathematics majors are expected to complete MAT 221, 222, 223, 224, and 231 as early as possible. MAT 221 and MAT 222 are offered every semester, MAT 223 is offered every fall, and MAT 224 and MAT 231 are offered every spring. Failure to complete these courses by the end of the sophomore year likely will delay your graduation.
    • All prospective mathematics majors are required to take the compcalc exam (a proficiency exam covering Calculus 1, 2, and 3) during the spring semester after completing MAT 223. Admission to the mathematics major will be determined by performance on this exam and performance in MAT 231 (Foundations of Mathematics).
    • Mathematics majors should try to complete all foreign language requirements by the end of the sophomore year. These are time-consuming courses which can interfere with your upper-level courses in mathematics. Students intending to pursue a doctoral degree in mathematics will need to acquire a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. The best graduate departments require two languages. This ability can be achieved through course work (2-4 semesters in each language at the college level) or by other creative means. In mathematics the only acceptable languages besides English are German, French, and Russian.
    • CSC 131 (Introduction to Programming) is required of all mathematics majors. If you take more computing courses, be sure to include CSC 311 (Data Structures).
    • Junior-senior mathematics courses are challenging and require a lot of study time (ask any junior or senior). The normal course load in the junior-senior years is 2 mathematics courses per semester. Students preparing for graduate school will sometimes carry 3 courses per semester. CAUTION: Choose your remaining courses carefully. You will not have much time for them.
    • Be realistic. DO NOT enroll in more than five 3-5 credit courses (total) per semester in your junior-senior years. DO NOT enroll in a collection of more than three upper-level mathematics courses and lab science courses in one semester. Otherwise you will not survive, or will burn out, or both.
    • If you want to retain certain educational and career options (such as graduate school, actuarial work, operations research, statistics, applied mathematics), be sure to consult with a mathematics professor before enrolling each semester. Failure to take the right courses at the right time could put you a year behind.
    • What you do with your summers is crucial to your future success. Feel free to ask a mathematics professor for advice. Internships, summer research workshops, and national laboratory scholarships are available each year. Discuss these with a mathematics professor during the preceding fall semester.
    • A concentration of 12 credits in an applications area is required of all mathematics majors. A minor is NOT required. Appropriate areas include biology, business, chemistry, communication, communicative arts, English, history, philosophy, and psychology. Ask a mathematics professor for help in choosing an emphasis.

    Recommended Courses for Emphasis Areas

    • Actuarial: MAT 352 plus appropriate courses in business administration including BUS 181-182 (Principles of Micro and Macro Economics) and BUS 322 (Intermediate Finance). Seek summer internships. More detailed information is available at Be an Actuary.
    • Applied Mathematics: MAT 230, 352, 371, 423, 475.
    • Operations Research: MAT 352, 361. You should pursue a master's degree in operations research.
    • Statistics: Take MAT 352, an appropriate minor, and seek an internship (junior-senior years, after MAT 352).
    • Graduate School: Graduate study in mathematics is free! Graduate departments of mathematics award teaching assistantships or fellowships to the students they accept. These provide a stipend for tuition or remission of tuition. However, acceptance into graduate school is very competitive. To prepare for graduate study, consult with mathematics department faculty as early as possible.
      • For admission to doctoral programs in pure mathematics, MAT 422 (Analysis 2), MAT 423 (Complex Analysis), MAT 432 (Abstract Algebra 2), and MAT 445 (Topology) are required.
      • For admission to doctoral programs in applied mathematics, MAT 422 (Analysis 2), MAT 371 (Numerical Analysis), and MAT 475 (Partial Differential Equations) are required. MAT 423 is recommended.
      • Admission to master's programs depends on the chosen discipline. You should consult with a mathematics professor.
      Some independent study will also be helpful. Application to graduate school must be done in the fall of the senior year. For successful admission to graduate school, you must work in consultation with mathematics faculty preferably at the beginning of the fall semester of your junior year and no later than the fall semester of your senior year. If you try to gain admission to graduate school without advice from mathematics faculty, you will very likely be denied!
  • ADVISING INFORMATION FOR NON-MATHEMATICS MAJORS

    Survival Hint

    Complete your mathematics requirements as early as possible. The longer you delay, the worse you will do. If you wait until your senior year, you might not graduate.

    Placement Testing

    Placement testing in mathematics is required of all students who need to enroll in mathematics at Wisconsin Lutheran College for the first time. This includes transfer students having an uncertain attainment level or college mathematics credits more than two years old. Students desiring advanced placement in calculus also need to demonstrate proficiency on the placement exams. In all cases the department of mathematics will decide which students require placement testing. The department of mathematics determines a student's mathematics placement on the basis of high school grades, ACT/SAT scores, placement testing, and (if necessary) personal interview.

    General Education Requirements

    MAT 116 has no prerequisite and is offered to satisfy the general education requirements in mathematics for the BA degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, it may not be used as a prerequisite for any other mathematics course.

    MAT 117, MAT 210, or MAT 221 are typically used to fulfill the BS/BSN degree mathematics requirement.

    Collateral Requirements

    Some majors specify two or more mathematics courses as collateral requirements. Check the current requirements for each major.

    MAT 221 and MAT 222 together provide a complete introduction to the differential and integral calculus for functions of one real variable. MAT 223 extends these concepts to functions of several variables and MAT 224 uses ideas from differential and integral calculus to solve and apply differential equations for functions of one variable.

    Students interested in engineering applications and physics majors need to take all four courses (MAT 221, 222, 223, and 224). Those who successfully complete MAT 221 with a grade of C or better are encouraged to take the continuation course, MAT 222, even if it is not required. It makes no sense to learn only half of single-variable calculus, especially if it all will be needed for other courses or graduate school!

    Ways to Match a Mathematics Minor with a Major

    Listed below are some majors and emphasis areas that combine well with a mathematics minor:

    • Business Administration with an emphasis in finance or management science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Communication with an emphasis in interpersonal communication or public communication
    • Communicative Arts with emphasis in editing and publishing, or mass communication
    • Computer Science
    • Education: elementary/middle or middle/secondary
    • English with an emphasis in professional writing
    • Environmental Science
    • History: cliometrics
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Psychology: experimental psychology (take MAT 352 instead of 117)

    MATHEMATICS STUDENT AWARDS

    Freshman Honors in Mathematics

    Freshman Honors in Mathematics is awarded to students in recognition of outstanding performance during their freshman year in mathematics courses at the level of Calculus 1 or higher.

    Nicolas Bourbaki Scholarship

    The Nicolas Bourbaki Scholarship is a $1000 tuition stipend typically awarded to a second year student majoring in mathematics who has demonstrated the potential for excellence in mathematics.

    Nicolas Bourbaki is a fictitious mathematician. In 1935 a collaboration of six great French mathematicians (Henri Cartan, Claude Chevalley, Jean Delsarte, Jean Dieudonné, René de Possel, and André Weil) organized and began publishing under this pen-name. They produced a multi-volume work, Éléments de Mathématique, which provided a unified development of mathematics with an emphasis on abstraction and rigor. A Bourbaki Seminar in their honor is sponsored each year in Paris.

    Gary Sorensen Memorial Scholarship in Mathematics

    The Gary Sorensen Memorial Scholarship in Mathematics is a monetary tuition stipend typically awarded to a third year student majoring in mathematics who has shown diligence and exceptional performance in mathematics. This scholarship was established by John, Lisa, and the Sorensen family to honor the memory of John's father. John graduated summa cum laude from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2000 with a major in mathematics.

    CAREERS IN MATHEMATICS

    Majoring in mathematics can serve as preparation for diverse career opportunities. The following links will direct you to the career pages of major professional organizations.

    SIAM Career Information
    Careers in applied mathematics and the computational sciences. Includes discussions of the industrial environment, what employers expect, preparing for industrial employment, and personal profiles.

    MAA Career Profiles
    People talking about their jobs. These short essays describe a wide variety of careers in which a mathematical background is useful.

    Mathematical Sciences Career Information
    Nonacademic employment opportunities, career profiles, and mathematics applications index (how math is being used in industry and government). Summary of demographic, educational and employment characteristics of recent bachelor's and master's degree recipients working in nonacademic positions. Career planning resources. Sponsored jointly by AMS-MAA-SIAM.

    Statistics and the Statistics Profession
    What is statistics? What statisticians do, professional development, careers in statistics. Sponsored by the American Statistical Association.

    INFORMS
    What is operations research/management science? Career profiles, and much more. Sponsored by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

    Be an Actuary!
    Mathematics in the insurance industry. High salaries, professional prestige, and high quality work environment are just some of the reasons actuarial science has been named the best job in America by Jobs Rated Almanac. You may also want to visit the website for the Society of Actuaries.

    Careers in Science and Engineering
    A student planning guide to graduate school and beyond. Career goals, meeting your career goals, survival skills and personal attributes you need to succeed, educational requirements, choosing the right job. Sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

    Mathematics Teaching Professions

    MATHEMATICS USEFUL LINKS

    The links on this page were selected to provide a starting point for undergraduate college students with an interest in mathematics. Links will open in a new window.

    Encyclopedic/Dictionary Resources

    Mathworld
    Extensive collection of articles on mathematical topics with alphabetical index and search engine.

    Wikipedia
    Free online encylopedia. Many good articles. However, authors are not necessarily professional experts.

    Professional Organizations

    MAA (Mathematical Association of America)
    Special section for students, links to student MAA chapter websites, available REU's (Research Experience Undergraduate), link to Mathematical Contest in Modeling.

    AMS (American Mathematical Society)
    Geared toward professional researchers. Good starting point for mathematics on the WWW.

    EMS (European Mathematical Society) (in English)
    The European counterpart to AMS. The Electronic Library of Mathematics, MATH Database 1931-1997, about the European Mathematical Society, information on mathematical activities (includes list of math servers). Master server operated by FIZ Karlsruhe / Zentralblatt für Mathematik (Berlin, Germany).

    SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics)
    Links to the world of applied mathematics and computing, professional opportunities.

    IMA (Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications)
    An international organization headquarted in England with a focus similar to SIAM. (Essex, UK)

    ASA (American Statistical Association)
    Graduate schools in statistics, careers in statistics, and links to other pertinent sites.

    INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences)
    Gateway to OR/MS: Educational and Student Affairs Homepage, educational programs, careers booklet, professional opportunities, job placement, summer internships, on-line publications, news, and links.

    SOA (Society of Actuaries)
    The leading professionals in the modeling and management of financial risk and contingent events. Publications, education and actuarial exams, research, continuing education, newsroom, special interest groups, and links.

    CAS (Casuality Actuarial Society)
    Application of actuarial science to property, casualty and similar risk exposures. Students' corner, events, research, continuing education, publications, online catalog, discussion forum, press releases, download materials, and links.

    AMATYC (American Mathematical Organization of Two-Year Colleges)
    A national forum for the improvement of mathematics instruction in the first two years of college. Publications, events, discussion forum, workshops, projects, and links.

    COMAP (Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications)
    Of interest to education students and faculty. Excellent source of teaching materials in mathematics (elementary, secondary, and collegiate).

    NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)
    For elementary and high school teachers of mathematics. Curriculum and evaluation standards, news, news service, online jobs.

    Institutes & Laboratories

    FLC - Federal Laboratory Consortium
    Find out what research is being conducted at federal laboratories (more than 700 of them!). Enter a search topic (e.g. sensors) and learn who's doing research in that area.

    Bell Laboratories, Alcatel-Lucent (Mathematical and Algorithmic Sciences Research Center)
    The center's activities are in the following broad categories: mathematics of communication networks and systems, algorithms research, statistical sciences and data mining, scientific computing, applied mathematics, operations research and management sciences. (Murray Hill, New Jersey)

    Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
    The Institute has long been a leader in mathematical analysis, applied mathematics, and scientific computation, with special emphasis on partial differential equations and their applications. In computer science, the Institute excels in theory, programming languages, computer graphics, and parallel computing. (New York University)

    Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences
    "The Institute supports research in pure and applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, and at the interface of mathematics with a broad spectrum of other disciplines including engineering, mathematical biology, theoretical physics, economics and mathematical finance, telecommunications, and medicine." (Sponsored by a coalition of government, business, and universities; Ontario, Canada)

    "The Institute is named after Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields (1863-1932). He was very active in the international mathematics community and was responsible for organizing and presiding over the first post-World War I meeting of the International Congress of Mathematicians (Toronto, 1924). A Nobel Prize does not exist in mathematics, and Fields felt strongly that there should be similar recognition in the area. He established the International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics which, contrary to his personal directive, is now known as the Fields Medal."

    Institute for Mathematics and its Applications
    Established in 1982 by the National Science Foundation. Its mission is "to identify problems and areas of mathematical research needed in other sciences" and "to encourage the participation of mathematicians in these areas of application by providing settings conducive to the solution of such problems, and by demonstrating that first-rate mathematics can make a real impact in the sciences." (U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis)

    Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
    A mathematical research factory. Each year visiting mathematicians are brought together for intensive research in several chosen areas. Sponsored by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and dozens of universities. (Berkeley, California)

    Princeton Institute for Advanced Study (Mathematics)
    The School of Mathematics at the Institute "is an international center of research and postdoctoral training in many diverse aspects of mathematics including pure mathematics, combinatorics, mathematical physics and applied mathematics."

    "Fifty to sixty mathematicians are invited to the School each year to study with the Faculty and to pursue research projects of their own. A small number of memberships for a longer period of time are also available. Funding for candidates comes from a variety of sources. Some mathematicians are funded by the Institute, others receive financial aid from their home institutions, and a portion receive grants from governments or foundations."

    Academies of Science

    National Academy of Sciences (USA)

    Russian Academy of Sciences

    CALCULUS (MAT 221, 222, 223) RESOURCES WEBPAGE