Pitzer's mathematics courses are designed to serve three purposes: general education; service to courses in social, behavioral and natural sciences; and the basis for the mathematics major.
Pitzer Advisers: D. Bachman, J. Grabiner, J. Hoste.
General Education in Mathematics
What is mathematics? What are its major methods and conclusions? How is it related to other subjects? What do modern mathematicians do? Several Pitzer courses specifically address these questions. These courses (described below) are: Mathematics 1, Mathematics, Philosophy and the "Real World"; Mathematics 5, Rubik's Cube and Other Mathematical Puzzles; Mathematics 6, Two Player Games; Mathematics 7, The Mathematics of Gambling, Mathematics, Art and Aesthetics; Mathematics 10, The Mathematical Mystery Tour; Mathematics 11, Theories of Electoral Systems; Mathematics 15, Mathematics for Teachers I: Number and Operation; Mathematics 16, Mathematics for Teachers II: Geometry and Data. These courses cover mathematical material that is exciting and sophisticated and yet accessible to students with a standard high school education in mathematics. As such they offer students an excellent opportunity to break fresh ground in kinds of mathematics they are not likely to have seen before. All of these courses, in addition to those in the precalculus and calculus sequences, meet Pitzer's Educational Objective in Formal Reasoning.
The Precalculus and Calculus Sequences
Mathematics 25, Precalculus, is designed to prepare students for Calculus I. The course reviews linear, quadratic and polynomial functions, before introducing the exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions. These are the functions most widely used in the quantitative social sciences and natural sciences. Mathematics 25 does not fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement.
Mathematics 30, 31 and 32 comprise the calculus sequence. The calculus, since it studies motion and change, is the key mathematical tool in understanding growth, decay and motion in the physical, biological, and social sciences. Pitzer offers Mathematics 30, 31 and 32 each year. Calculus is also offered at the other Claremont Colleges.
We also offer more advanced courses as part of The Claremont Colleges' Intercollegiate Mathematics program.
Requirements for the Major
A major in mathematics can be obtained by taking courses at Pitzer and the other Claremont Colleges.
A student must take a total of 13 courses for the Mathematics major, distributed as follows:
I. Calculus (3 courses):
Three semesters of calculus (Math 30, 31 and 32) with grades of C or better in each course. In some cases, a suitable score on the Pitzer Mathematics Placement exam, or Calculus AP exam, may be substituted for one or more of these courses.
II. Core (3 courses)
Differential Equations or a Mathematical Modeling course making extensive use of differential equations.
Math 100: Introduction to Methods of Proof and Problem Solving
III. Depth and Breadth (5 courses)
Five additional upper division mathematics courses (numbered 100 or above) chosen in consultation with the adviser. Ideally, these courses will expose the student to the major areas of mathematics as well as provide depth in at least one area.
IV. Applications and Connections (2 courses)
Two courses outside of mathematics that emphasize the application of mathematics or its connections to other disciplines: for example, courses in Computer Science, Science, Engineering, and History or Philosophy of Mathematics. These courses will be chosen in consultation with the adviser and normally will have mathematics courses from I, II, or III as prerequisites.
Students must attend the Mathematics Colloquium at least four times per semester for a total of two semesters, normally in the Senior year, and provide a written summary of the attended talks to their mathematics adviser.
Combined Programs: Pitzer College and Claremont Graduate University offer combined programs leading to both a bachelor of arts degree and a Master of Arts degree in applied mathematics, scientific computing, statistics and operations research, The Teaching of Mathematics, or Pure Mathematics. Students who are interested in one or more of these programs should consult with the mathematics faculty early in their undergraduate years.
Minor: The mathematics minor requires the student to take six graded courses: Mathematics 31, Mathematics 32, Mathematics 100, a course in linear algebra and two additional courses (which cannot include courses designed to prepare students for calculus) in Mathematics, at least one of which must be upper-division (numbered 100 or above), to be chosen by the student in consultation with a member of the Mathematics faculty. Students who satisfy the requirement for Calculus II and/or III by placement or by AP credit may constitute the 6 required letter-graded courses by additional mathematics courses (which cannot include course designed to prepare students for calculus), by computer science courses, or by courses with mathematics prerequisites in science, economics, or history and philosophy of mathematics.
In addition, students must attend the Mathematics Colloquium at least four times and provide a written summary of the attended talks to a member of the Mathematics faculty.
A catalog, "Mathematics Courses in Claremont," which lists all mathematics courses offered in The Claremont Colleges, is prepared each year by the Mathematics Field Committee. Students who want mathematics courses other than those listed below should consult this catalog. Copies are available in the office of the Registrar, from the mathematics faculty and on the World Wide Web.
Honors: Students will be recommended for Honors at graduation if their overall grade-point average is 3.5 or above, if their grade-point average in Mathematics is 3.5 or above and if they satisfactorily complete a Senior Exercise of honors quality. The Senior Thesis will be designed by the students and their Pitzer mathematics adviser, with the cooperation, if appropriate, of mathematics faculty elsewhere in Claremont.
AP Credit: A student who has a score of 4 or 5 on the Mathematics Calculus AB examination will receive credit for Mathematics 30 after passing Mathematics 31. Similarly, a student with a score of 4 or 5 on the Calculus BC exam will receive credit for Mathematics 30 and 31 after passing Mathematics 32. All new students are advised to take the math placement exam before registering for math 30, 31, or 32, regardless of their AP scores.