Mathematics

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.

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. Ones that have been taught in recent years include: The Mathematics of Gambling, Rubik’s Cube and Other Mathematical Puzzles, Doodling in Mathematics Class, 3D Printing, History of Algebra, Philosophy of Mathematics, and Statistics. 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 meet Pitzer’s Educational Objective in Quantitative Reasoning.

The Precalculus and Calculus Sequence

Pitzer offers Precalculus each Fall for those students not prepared to begin in Calculus I. We also offer a 3-semester calculus sequence, Calculus I, II, and III. Mathematics majors and minors, science students, economics students, and many others will want to take calculus.

Courses for the Mathematics Major 

We regularly teach more advanced courses such as Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Introduction to Methods of Proof, and upper division courses in History of Mathematics, Topology, and Geometry as part of The Claremont Colleges’ Intercollegiate Mathematics program.

Pitzer Advisers: D. BachmanJ. HosteJ. Lorenat.

Student Learning Outcomes

Pitzer Mathematics Majors should:

  • understand a broad range of topics within mathematics.
  • be able to construct logical, well-written, elegant proofs of mathematical theorems.
  • be able to use mathematics as a problem-solving tool in real-world problems.
  • be able to work collaboratively to solve problems.
  • be able to organize, connect and communicate mathematical ideas effectively.
  • understand the relationship between mathematics and other areas of study.
  • be able to use appropriate technologies to explore mathematics.
  • be adequately prepared for graduate school in mathematically-related fields, or for employment in such fields.