The challenges and opportunities of human existence increasingly require quantitative tools. Applied mathematics helps us build power networks, create medicines, manage public health crises, explore space, animate movies, understand the workings of the human brain, and much more.
Applied math is a challenging, rewarding, and multi-faceted field for undergraduate study. As a math major focusing on applied mathematics, you’ll find yourself learning mathematical theories, of course, but also mathematical modeling, computational tools, and fascinating aspects of the scientific problems that you engage mathematics to solve.
If you are interested in an applied mathematics pathway, you should:
- Sign up for the Applied Mathematics Interest Mailing List,
- Contact Julie Blackwood (firstname.lastname@example.org), Stewart Johnson (email@example.com), or Chad Topaz (firstname.lastname@example.org) for advising,
- Join (FOR FREE!) the flagship applied mathematics society, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM),
- Join Williams’ SIAM Student Chapter, and
- Carefully read the requirements for a mathematics major at Williams.
Below is an (unofficial) recommended applied mathematics pathway through the mathematics major. Ideally, you would take the courses in boldface before the end of your sophomore year because this will give you more choice in upper division courses during your last two years. This is certainly not a required schedule, though; our faculty are anxious to help any student wishing to study applied mathematics find an appropriate pathway. Finally, if you plan to study abroad, a faculty advisor may be able to help you find appropriate applied mathematics courses for you to take during your time away from Williams.
- Math 140 (Calculus II)
- Math 150 or 151 (Multivariable Calculus)
- (*) Computing
- Choose from Comp 134A, Comp 134D, Comp 135
- Applied/discrete requirement
- Choose Stat 201 (Statistics and Data Analysis)
- Core courses
- Math 250 (Linear Algebra)
- Choose Math 351 (Applied Real Analysis)
- Math 355 (Abstract Algebra)
- Two electives numbered 300 and above
- Choose Math 309 (Differential Equations)
- Choose one or more of courses such as Math 307 (Computational Linear Algebra), Math 310 (Mathematical Biology), Math 341 (Probability) Math 372 (Complex Analysis), or any 400 level course listed below [the available courses may change from time to time; consult with an applied math advisor as necessary]
- Senior major course numbered 400 and above
- Choose one or more of courses such as Math 433 (Mathematical Modeling), Math 434 (Applied Dynamics and Optimal Control), Math 453 (Partial Differential Equations) [the available courses may change from time to time; consult with an applied math advisor as necessary]
- Mathematics Colloquium
(*) Note: Introductory computer science is not an official requirement of the mathematics major, and does not count towards the major. However, skill with computation is critical for work and/or advanced study in applied mathematics, and so you are urged to take an introductory computer science course. If you have previous programming experience, Comp 135 is preferred because of the emphasis on data and applications. That said, any of the three courses indicated will suffice.