Numerical Computation

Program Director: James Schnepf

The numerical computation major is an interdisciplinary major, jointly administered by the Computer Science and Mathematics Departments; it was formerly called the mathematics/computer science major.

This major is designed for students who are interested in learning to use computers for modeling and simulation as a tool for discovery across many areas of science, engineering and other quantitative disciplines. Students who complete this major may choose careers in business, industry, research or education in which they use computers to improve the design and safety of products, to discover new ideas or to aid in the understanding of the world. They will be able to work collaboratively and bring mathematics and computer science to bear on problems of interest across varied disciplines. This major is ideal preparation for students who want to continue with graduate study in the emerging field of computational science, which often involves aspects of mathematics, computer science and another scientific discipline such as chemistry or economics. Students in this major are encouraged to complete a minor in another scientific or related discipline.

Major (52 credits)

The numerical computation major offers students a choice of two concentrations: discrete numerical computation and numerical computation over the continuum.

The concentration in discrete numerical computation is intended to educate a student in the areas of mathematics and computer science that deal with intrinsically discrete computations. Students who graduate with this major will be well prepared for graduate studies in a classical computer science program with a focus on discrete modeling, an applied mathematics program with a focus on discrete dynamical systems or an area of computational science such as bioinformatics.

The concentration in numerical computation over the continuum is intended to edcuate a student in the areas of mathematics and computer science that deal with problems originating in the continuum. Students who graduate with this major will be well prepared for graduate studies in applied mathematics or a computational approach to another discipline such as computational biology, chemistry, or finance.

Common Requirements: (28 credits):

  • CSCI 161, 162, and 230
  • MATH 119, 120, and 239
  • NMCP 372 or 398

Additional Requirements:
Concentration in Discrete Numerical Computation: (24 additional credits)

  • CSCI 338, 339
  • MATH 322
  • Twelve credits from CSCI 239, 310; MATH 241, 315, 318, 331, 332, 338, 343, 344, 345

Concentration in Numerical Computation over the Continuum: (24 additional credits)

  • MATH 305, 337, 338
  • Twelve credits from CSCI 310, 338, 339; MATH 241, 315, 318, 322, 331, 332, 338, 341, 343, 344, 345, 346

Appropriate CSCI or MATH 300-level topics courses may also satisfy elective credits with the approval of the program director.

Four elective credits from either concentration can be replaced by one of the following courses: BIOL 221, CHEM 234, ECON 332, ENVR 275, or PHYS 200.

At least eight of the twelve elective credits must be at the 300-level.

Electives must be chosen as a coherent program of study that supports the student's area of interest. This program must be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor and subject to the approval of the program chair.

Criteria for Admission to Major

Students will be accepted into the Numerical Computation major if:
     1. They have completed CSCI 161 and 162 and MATH 119, 120 and 239,
     2. No more than one of the above courses has a grade below C, and
     3. The GPA in the above courses is 2.5 or better.

Students will be conditionally accepted into the Numerical Computation major if:
     1. They have not yet completed all the courses needed for unconditional acceptance into the major, but are currently enrolled in the courses which are lacking,
     2. No more than one of the courses has a grade below C, and
     3. The GPA in CSCI and MATH courses completed thus far is 2.5 or better.

Students not accepted into the major must consult with Academic Advising. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be allowed to continue working toward a Numerical Computation major, subject to constraints determined by the program director in consultation with Academic Advising.

Minor (none)

Courses (NMCP)

372 Individual Senior Research. (0-4)
Individualized experimental, theoretical or applied projects for seniors. Each student intensively explores a topic, writes a major research paper, and makes a formal presentation to the department. Prerequisite: Consent of program director. May be repeated for up to 4 credits.

398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Numerical Computation." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the program director and director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.