About the MCS Department

Curriculum

The Mathematics and Computer Science Department offers a variety of courses which provide a solid introduction to the concepts, structures, and techniques in the fields of mathematics and computer science. The department's curriculum has been developed to closely follow national standards and recommendations.

The math curriculum offers a wide spectrum of courses ranging from algebra, analysis, and geometry to probability, statistics, and applied mathematics. The computer science curriculum offers introductory courses in computer science based on the Python programming language as well as courses in software development, computer organization, analysis of algorithms, operating systems, theory of programming languages, compiler design, and artificial intelligence.

Department majors in both curricula are well prepared to pursue a wide variety of endeavors from secondary school teaching, careers in actuarial science and business, governmental work, to further graduate studies in math, computer science, or statistics.

Graduate school preparation

The schools at which the department's graduates have pursued post-graduate study include the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, University of Washington, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Yale University, University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, UCLA, Miami University of Ohio, Georgia Tech, Colorado School of Mines, Purdue University, Indiana University, Michigan State University, University of Illinois, Norwich University, University of Houston, and the University of St. Thomas. Several of our graduates have received NSF Doctoral Fellowships to support their graduate studies.

The department has active student chapters of the Mathematical Association of America and the Association of Computing Machinery. Both clubs are student-run and sponsor activities such as invited lectures, field trips, the departmental Christmas party, sledding in the winter, and other social activities.

Honors program and student research

Two programs of special note in the department are its honors program and its student/faculty research program. Students have the option to graduate with honors in either mathematics or computer science by completing and publicly presenting an honors thesis, and achieving a grade point average of at least pi(3.142) in courses used to fulfill the requirements of the major. The department encourages students to become involved with faculty in investigating research topics and developing software. The department has received several grants from various sources such as National Science Foundation and Cray Research to support student/faculty research.

Faculty

The department faculty consists of twelve full-time members. All of them hold the PhD degree, with two of these being in computer science and one in statistics. Department members' graduate training occurred at some of the finest graduate schools in the country, including the University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Brandeis University, Kent State University, Stanford University, Boston University, University of Colorado, and the University of Wisconsin.

Facilities

The department is located on the third floor of Olin Hall of Science, a state-of-the-art facility with a high-tech classroom/lab and an additional computer lab. Departmental computing equipment that is available for student use include Macs with access to virtual machines running Windows 7.

The department also provides ample study space for its majors. There are two student offices, and a general study space in the lobby area on third floor. Priority for space in the student offices is given to those students who are engaged in student/faculty research projects and to those who work as tutors or graders.