The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges offers two different majors, in mathematics and in computer science. Either major consists of fourteen courses in the department. The specific requirements are listed below. With departmental approval, certain other courses, such as bidisciplinary courses taught by members of the department, can be counted among the fourteen courses that make up a major. The department also gives credit towards the major for a score of four or five on an Advanced Placement test in Calculus or in Pascal programming.
A student can double major in mathematics and computer science. To do so, a student must complete the requirements for each major. Many courses can be counted towards either major; to avoid excessive overlap, the department requires that a double major in mathematics and computer science must include at least twenty different courses.
The department also offers minors in mathematics and in computer science. A minor in mathematics consists of Math 130, Math 131, Math 132, Math 204, and two additional mathematics courses at the 200 level or above. A minor in computer science consists of Cpsc 124, Cpsc 125, Cpsc 226, Cpsc 227, and two additional computer science courses at the 200 level or above.
The following courses do not count towards a minor and do not ordinarily count towards a major in the department: Math 100, Math 110, Math 111, Math 112, and Cpsc 100. However, a student can count one of these courses towards a major in mathematics or computer science provided that course is the first course he or she takes in the department.
To be counted towards a major or minor in mathematics or computer science, a course must be passed with a minimum grade of C-; the department strongly recommends that such courses be taken on a graded, rather than a credit/no-credit, basis.
The program required for a major in mathematics or computer science is the one listed in the catalogue for the year in which the student declares the major. However, no course that was acceptable at the time it was taken will be retroactively disallowed.
A major in mathematics consists of fourteen courses in the department (with exceptions as explained above). The following six courses are required, unless exempted by previous experience: Math 130 (Calculus I), Math 131 (Calculus II), Math 132 (Calculus III), Math 204 (Linear Algebra), Math 331 (Foundations of Analysis I) and Math 375 (Abstract Algebra I). The major must also include two additional mathematics courses at the 300 or 400 level. The following computer science courses can be counted as electives towards a mathematics major: Cpsc 124, 125, 221, 227, 322, 324, 329, and 371.
Many students who major in mathematics go on to study mathematics in graduate school or to work in mathematically-oriented professions. But mathematics has always been one of the core subjects of a liberal arts education. As a subject that develops rigorous thinking and problem-solving ability, it is very popular as a double major or a minor in combination with fields from all three of the Colleges' academic divisions.
To meet the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities which they will encounter after graduation, majors are encouraged to obtain a broad but firm foundation in mathematics, to acquire some skill in the use of mathematical methods for dealing with problems from a variety of disciplines, and to complement these with some training in computer science.
A major in computer science consists of fourteen courses in the department (with exceptions as explained above). The following seven courses are required, unless exempted by previous experience: Cpsc 124 (Pascal Programming I), Cpsc 125 (Pascal Programming II), Cpsc 221 (Discrete Structures), Cpsc 226 (Assembly Language), Cpsc 227 (Data Structures), Cpsc 322 (Analysis of Algorithms) and Cpsc 329 (Automata Theory). The major must also include two additional computer science courses at the 300 or 400 level. The following mathematics courses can be counted as electives towards a computer science major: Math 130, 131, 132, 135, 204, 214, 237, 251, 350, 351, 353, 371, 375, 376, and 380.
Computer science is a rapidly growing and changing field, with applications across a broad range of disciplines. The department offers a range of applied and theoretical courses that will enable the student to understand the current state of the field, but also to understand the fundamental and enduring principles behind the applications. Majors, especially those intending to pursue graduate studies in computer science, are encouraged to include introductory calculus (Math 130 and 131) and other mathematics courses in their program of study.