Applied Math

The Applied Math major offers an option to students who are interested in a thorough program of mathematics that highlights its applications in outside areas, with the opportunity to be involved in research projects that address developing-world problems, integrate the evangelical mission, serve the poor, benefit the church, or promote a humanitarian or social justice cause.

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Applied Math Students

The coursework for the applied mathematics major consists in a total of 47 semester hours, including 34 hours of mathematics core courses, 8 hours of supporting courses in other sciences, and 5 hours of applied project and capstone courses.  During the course of their studies, applied math students engage in research projects mentored by faculty in mathematics and/or other departments.  The applied mathematics program at Wheaton College offers students the unique opportunity to be involved in research projects that addresses a developing-world problem, integrate the evangelical mission, serve the poor, benefit the church, or promote a humanitarian or social justice cause.

The applied mathematics curriculum focuses on mathematics as an interdisciplinary science used as the primary tool in other sciences such as economics, physics, biology, ecology, epidemiology, pharmacology, chemistry, engineering and the social sciences.  Modern scientific research is increasingly relying on mathematical and computational tools to complement traditional experimental methods.  An important focus of the applied math curriculum is put on the techniques of mathematical modeling, i.e. the methods by which a scientific problem is translated into a mathematical framework (a model), to enable the use of the powerful tools of theoretical mathematics to find a solution.

Students who "double-major" (mathematics and another science) receive a rigorous theoretical and experimental training in their majors, but may not always get a clear vision of the ways in which mathematical methods and computations tools are integrated in the other sciences.  A background in applied mathematics is an extremely valuable asset in many industries who seek to hire professionals with very strong mathematical and computational skills in additional to experimental expertise.

Core Math Courses (34 hours)

  • MATH 232 (Calculus II)
  • MATH 245 (Linear Algebra)
  • MATH 331 (Vector Calculus)
  • MATH 333 (Differential Equations)
  • MATH 341 (Modern Algebra) OR MATH 351- (Analysis)
  • MATH 364 (Math Modeling) OR MATH 385 - (Topics in Applied Math)
  • MATH 363 (Probability & Statistics I)
  • MATH 463 (Probability & Statistics)
  • MATH 385 (Topics in Applied Math), MATH 485 (Advanced Topics in Math) or MATH 493 (Mentoring), with consent of adviser.

Applied Project (5 hours)

  • MATH 301 - Colloquium (1hr)
  • MATH 302 - Applied Project I (2 hr)
  • MATH 494-2 - Applied Capstone (2 hr)

Supporting Courses (8 hours)

  • CSCI 235 (Programming I)
  • PHYS 231, CHEM 221, GEOL 221, ENVR 241, BIOL 241, or BEC 376

Typical Four Year Course Plan

  Fall Spring
Freshman
  • Math 231 Calculus I
  • Science Supporting Course
  • Programming I
  • Math 232 Calculus II
  • Math 245 Linear Algebra
Sophomore
  • Math 333 Differential Equations
  • Math 331 Vector Calculus (2hr)
  • Math 301 Colloquium (1 hr linear quad)
  • Math 364 Mathematical Modeling
  • Math 302 Applied Project (2 hr)
Junior
  • Math 363 Probability & Statistics I
  • Math 385 Topics in Applied Math
  • Math 463 Probability & Statistics II
Senior
  • Math 494 Applied Math Capstone (2 hr linear quad)
  • Math 341 Modern Algebra
    (Note: May take instead Math 351 Analysis during the previous semester.)

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