Mathematics is one of the great unifying themes in our modern culture. It is a language, a science, an art form and a tool of tremendous power. Today every educated person needs at least a familiarity with the language of mathematics to understand the growth of technology in almost every aspect of our society. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics seeks to introduce students to this vast area of knowledge and assist its students to develop
- understanding of concepts, structure and style of mathematics;
- the ability to reason deductively and inductively; and
- facility with the applications of mathematics.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers undergraduate math majors leading to the B.S. and B.A. degrees, as well as minors in mathematics and actuarial mathematics. While excessive specialization at the undergraduate level is not encouraged, students may choose their upper-division mathematics electives to emphasize statistics, applied mathematics or pure mathematics. Alternatively, students may choose the Mathematics for Business degree programs which are described on other pages.
The B.A. and B.S. degrees consist of a minimum of 34 and 40 semester hours of approved mathematics courses, respectively. Both programs require the following core courses:
MATH 1241, 1242, 2241, 2242
Four semesters of Calculus
Matrices and Linear Algebra
Introduction to Modern Algebra
In addition, students in the B.A. program choose at least four courses at the upper level (3000 level or above). Students in the B.S. program choose at least six courses at the upper level, which must include 3141, 3142 and one course from among MATH3123, 4163, 4164 and 4181. The following is a partial list of the upper-level courses, each offered on a regular basis: Graph Theory, Probability and Statistics I & II, Advanced Calculus of One Variable, Advanced Calculus of Several Variables, Introduction to Complex Analysis, Combinatorics, Applied Mathematics, Numerical Analysis, Fundamental Concepts of Geometry, and History of Mathematical Thought.
Both programs require one course in computer science (ITCS1212+L).
Both programs require completion of an approved minor or 18 hours of non-math related work that is approved by a mathematics advisor. Both programs also require students to attend the Mathematical Awareness Seminar (MATH 3688) and to complete a one-credit-hour project (MATH 3689) in their senior year. Mathematics majors are strongly encouraged to take courses in mathematics and computer science beyond the minimal requirements for the degree.
MinorsThe Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers minors in both Mathematics and Actuarial Mathematics. The mathematics minor is an 18 semester hour program, and the actuarial mathematics minor requires 21 semester hours. An average GPA of at least 2.0 is required for graduation with either minor.
Students interested in a mathematics major at UNC Charlotte should take four years of high school mathematics, including Algebra I and II, geometry, and precalculus/advanced mathematics. Student with particularly strong backgrounds can begin with calculus; those who need a little more study before taking calculus can enroll in precalculus. Students who, after taking Advanced Placement Calculus in high school, achieve an acceptable score on the AP examination can receive UNC Charlotte credit for calculus.
An actuary is a business professional who uses mathematical skills to aid in the design and pricing of insurance policies and pension programs. Actuaries are employed by insurance companies, government agencies, health service organizations, large corporations and consulting firms. The Department of Mathematics regularly offers a number of courses that aid students in preparing for certain actuarial exams. More information is available at the Actuarial Studies Site.
Teaching Licensure in Secondary Mathematics
Students who want to teach mathematics in secondary school (grades 9-12) must complete a major in mathematics and a minor in secondary education. Students must be approved for admission to the minor by meeting statewide teacher education program admission requirements. Students must pass MDSK 2100 with a C or better before they apply for the minor. The minor requires 33 hours of coursework including MDSK 2100 and a 15 hour student teaching semester.
The Mathematical Awareness Seminar
This seminar supplements what the student learns in mathematics classes with activities designed to broaden awareness of the mathematical world. The seminar presents speakers from both the mathematics department and from other on-campus departments whose disciplines depend heavily upon mathematics; speakers from business and industry; and informational sessions about professional societies and job opportunities. Students are encouraged to take the seminar as early as possible in their program.
The Senior Project
All students are required to complete a one-credit-hour independent study course during the senior year. The student works under the direction of a departmental faculty member and presents the results of his or her work orally and in a written report.
The Cooperative Education Program
This program affords students the opportunity to gain valuable work experiencewhile still enrolled as undergraduates. Typically, beginning in the junioryear, a student with a GPA of 3.0 or above alternates semesters devotedto academic studies with semesters devoted to working in a position in government, business or industry related to the major. It is often possible to arrange the work semesters in the summers.
Pi Mu Epsilon
Students majoring in mathematics who have excellent overall records and exceptional performance in mathematics courses are invited to join this national honorary mathematics fraternity upon completion of the freshman year.
At present the department manages 3 Windows and 1 Linux computer lab. All graduate student offices are equipped with at least one workstation. The department hosts a number of servers including a multinode beowulf cluster. On these computers there is a considerable amount of state-of-the-art scientific software and word processing software available. Facilities for mathematics education include a curriculum lab equipped with elementary, middle-grades, and secondary textbook series, North Carolina Manipulative kits, and a variety of other instructional resources including instructional software appropriate for school mathematics.
Career Opportunities in Mathematics
Mathematics majors are sought both for the particular mathematics skills they possess and the logical thinking and problem-solving skills they have developed. Students graduating with bachelor's degrees in mathematics should find themselves well prepared to obtain positions or enter graduate school in such diverse fields as computer science, engineering, operations research, statistics, actuarial science, and teaching, as well as some areas within biology, economics, and psychology. Students preparing for careers in industry or business should consider participating in the department's Cooperative Education Program. Students completing the B.S. curriculum will be well prepared for graduate work in the mathematical sciences. Graduates from the program with the initial license to teach secondary mathematics are in high demand throughout North Carolina.
Financial Aid for Math Majors
Continuing math majors with outstanding records may apply for the Lynn Hauser Pearce Memorial Merit Scholarship. Offered in memory of Lynn Pearce, a member of the UNC Charlotte Mathematics Department until her untimely death in 1980, this tuition scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit alone. The Liechtner Scholarship is also awarded each year and is available to students in several majors including mathematics.
For More Information
For more information about the undergraduate programs in mathematics, call or write:
Dr. Kim Harris, Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Charlotte, NC 28223