Undergraduate Degree Programs
The requirements for this major are flexible to enable students to follow their interests. After calculus and a sequence of three basic theoretical courses, students complete the major with six or more upper-level courses.
The basic major in applied mathematics consists of at least 40 credits of mathematics and statistics courses. Because different program emphases are possible, students should consult with their advisors as soon as possible concerning the alternatives.
The solution of large-scale scientific and engineering projects frequently is critically dependent on some aspects of the mathematical and computational sciences. These include a knowledge of mathematical modeling, state-of-the-art numerical analysis, symbolic and logic analysis, software development tools for high-performance computer architectures, and, especially, parallel and vector computers, graphical analysis, visualization, and networking.
There is a growing call for more people trained in this increasingly important, interdisciplinary field, now variably called scientific computing or computational science. In response to this call, the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computer Science have introduced the bachelor of science degree in the discipline of scientific computing.
This program has become an attractive option for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in mathematical or quantitative finance and master's degrees in business administration, as well as in securing employment in the banking and insurance industries. This multidisciplinary course of study can be characterized as a degree program in applied mathematics with a focus on financial models. In addition to a core curriculum of mathematics courses, students are required to complete specific course sequences in statistics, economics, and computer science. The capstone courses in the program, Math 1120 and 1121, follow the most recent syllabi approved by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society for the societies' professional examinations in financial mathematics, financial economics, and life contingencies. The department organizes seminars, led by local actuaries, to prepare students for taking these professional society examinations as well as the examination in probability.
Mathematics has assumed a significant role in the study of biological systems, in the
development of biotechnology, and in advances in medicine. The construction and analysis of mathematical models of biological systems allows for the precise formulation of theoretical ideas, the testing of assumptions that may not be easily accessible experimentally, and the generation of novel predictions that can guide future research. The University of Pittsburgh is known for its excellence in biomedical research, and the Department of Mathematics at Pitt includes prominent faculty with strong records of teaching and research in mathematical biology.
The major in Mathematical Biology will help students develop an expertise in thinking mathematically about biological systems. Students will acquire fundamental skills in mathematical analysis and simulation, specialized experience in mathematical modeling in biology and neuroscience, and knowledge of particular areas of biology. These tools will prepare students to participate in undergraduate research and to go on to use quantitative methods in biotechnology, medical, and other fields.
This joint major provides a program of study for students who seek the option of taking a quantitatively oriented job in industry or who intend to enter graduate school in applied mathematics, statistics, economics, business, or a related area such as operations research or management science. The program is advantageous to students who otherwise would take a double major or a single major in mathematics and/or economics. The joint major provides not only a set of requirements but also suggested course sequences of mathematics and economics courses that are compatible with each other and prepare students for various specialties.
There are three areas in economics that are very closely related to mathematics: economic theory, stat-econometrics, and mathematical economics. A mathematics-economics joint major includes courses in each of the three areas. In order to acquire the appropriate mathematical background to take courses in these areas, as well as to develop a good foundation in mathematics relative to the careers mentioned earlier, joint majors take appropriate basic mathematics courses. For students in the joint major, the basic mathematics courses replace the economics "mathematics for economists" prerequisites.
This joint major presents an opportunity for students to explore the exciting realms of mathematics and philosophy, with particular emphasis on logic and the foundations of mathematics.
Students with majors in other departments can earn a minor in mathematics.