HEAD: S. OLSON, William Steur Professor; ASSOCIATE HEAD: F. Zou
PROFESSORS: J. Fehribach, A. Heinricher, M. Humi, C. Larsen, K. Lurie, W. Martin, B. Nandram, S. Olson, M. Sarkis, B. Servatius, D. Tang, B. Tilley, B. Vernescu, D. Volkov, S.Weekes, Z. Wu
ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS: R. Paffenroth, Q. Song, S. Sturm, S. Walcott, F. Wang, G. Wang, M. Wu, Z. Zhang, J. Zou
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: A. Arnold, F. Bernardi, O. Mangoubi, G. Peng, A. Sales, A. Wagner
PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE: J. Abraham, C.S. Thorp
PROFESSOR OF TEACHING: M. Blais, J. Goulet
ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS OF TEACHING: M. Johnson,B. Peiris, B. Posterro
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF TEACHING: D. Rassias, H. Servatius, W. Sanguinet, S. Tripp
SENIOR INSTRUCTOR: T. Doytchinova
RESEARCH PROFESSOR: V. Druskin
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR: V. Yakovlev
POST-DOCTORAL SCHOLARS: N. Buczkowski, E. Caceres, T. De Alwis, B. Gu, N. Jayaweera, N. Urichchio, Q. Zhuang
EMERITUS PROFESSORS: P. Christopher, P. Davis, W. Farr, W. Hardell, R. Jui, J.J. Malone, B. McQuarrie, U. Mosco, J. Petrucelli, D. Vermes, H. Walker
ASSOCIATED FACULTY: F. Emdad (CS), G. Sarkozy (CS), A. Trapp (BUS)
Recognizing the vital role that mathematical sciences play in today’s society, the Mathematical Sciences Department provides leading-edge programs in education, research, and professional training in applied and computational mathematics and statistics. These programs are enhanced and distinguished by project-oriented education and collaborative involvement with industry, national research centers, and the international academic community.
Program Educational Objectives
The department’s major programs provide students with preparation for effective and successful professional careers in the mathematical sciences, whether in traditional academic pursuits or in the many new career areas available in today’s technologically sophisticated, globally interdependent society. Through course work, students acquire a firm grounding in fundamental mathematics and selected areas of emphasis. Projects, which often involve interdisciplinary and industrial applications, offer further opportunities to gain mathematical depth and to develop skills in problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and self-directed learning, together with an understanding of the role of the mathematical sciences in the contemporary world.
We expect graduates to:
- Have a solid knowledge of a broad range of mathematical principles and techniques and the ability to apply them.
- Be able to read, write, and communicate mathematics inside and outside the discipline.
- Have the ability to formulate mathematical statements and prove or disprove them.
- Be able to formulate and investigate mathematical questions and conjectures.
- Understand fundamental axiom systems and essential definitions and theorems.
- Be able to formulate and analyze mathematical or statistical models.
- Have the ability to apply appropriate computational technology to analyze and solve mathematical problems.
- Be able to learn independently and as part of a team, and to demonstrate a depth of knowledge in at least one area of the mathematical sciences.
The Department of Mathematical Sciences at WPI offers:
- the Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematical Sciences;
- the Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Mathematics;
- a Minor in Mathematics;
- a Minor in Statistics;
- a combined B.S./M.S. degree in Applied Mathematics, Applied Statistics, or Industrial Mathematics.
The second digit in mathematical sciences course numbers is coded as follows:
0 — Basic
2 — Applied mathematics (general)
4 — Applied mathematics (differential equations)
6 — Statistics and probability
8 — Mathematics (general)
Actuarial Mathematics Major,Bachelor of Science
Mathematical Sciences Major,Bachelor of Science
This course provides students with knowledge and understanding of the applications of statistics in modern genetics and bioinformatics. The course generally covers population genetics, genetic epidemiology, and statistical models in bioinformatics. Specific topics include meiosis modeling, stochastic models for recombination, linkage and association studies (parametric vs. nonparametric models, family-based vs. population-based models) for mapping genes of qualitative and quantitative traits, gene expression data analysis, DNA and protein sequence analysis, and molecular evolution. Statistical approaches include log-likelihood ratio tests, score tests, generalized linear models, EM algorithm, Markov chain Monte Carlo, hidden Markov model, and classification and regression trees. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
MA 2612, MA 2631 (or MA 2621), and BB 2920 or more biology courses.
This course serves as an introduction to some of the more important concepts, techniques, and structures of discrete mathematics providing a bridge between computer science and mathematics. Topics include sets, functions and relations, propositional and predicate calculus, mathematical induction, properties of integers, counting techniques, and graph theory. Students will be expected to develop simple proofs for problems drawn primarily from computer science and applied mathematics.
This course provides an introduction to modern computational methods for linear and nonlinear equations and systems and their applications. Topics covered include solution of nonlinear scalar equations, direct and iterative algorithms for the solution of systems of linear equations, solution of nonlinear systems, and the eigenvalue problem for matrices. Error analysis will be emphasized throughout.
MA 2071. An ability to write computer programs in a scientific language is assumed.
This course provides an introduction to modern computational methods for differential and integral calculus and differential equations. Topics covered include interpolation and polynomial approximation, approximation theory, numerical differentiation and integration, and numerical solutions of ordinary differential equations. Error analysis will be emphasized throughout.
MA 2051. An ability to write computer programs in a scientific language is assumed. Undergraduate credit may not be earned for both this course and for MA 3255/CS 4031.
The focus of this class will be on statistical learning - the intersection of applied statistics and modeling techniques used to analyze and to make predictions and inferences from complex real-world data. Topics covered include: regression; classification/clustering; sampling methods (bootstrap and cross validation); and decision tree learning. Students may not receive credit for both MA 463X and MA 4635.
Linear Algebra (MA 2071 or equivalent), Applied Statistics and Regression (MA 2612 or equivalent), Probability (MA 2631 or equivalent). The ability to write computer programs in a scientific language is assumed.
This course is a 14-week alternative to the 7-week MA 1021. This course offers 1/3 unit of credit. It is designed for students looking to develop essential skills in algebra and trigonometry or strengthen their mathematical background. It provides a review of selected topics from algebra, trigonometry, and analytic geometry, then continues on to provide an introduction to differentiation and its applications. Topics covered include: trigonometry, conic sections; functions, their graphs, and inverses; limits, continuity, and differentiation; linear approximation; chain rule; and applications of derivatives such as min/max problems. Although the course will make use of computers, no programming experience is assumed. Students may not receive credit for both MA 1020 and MA 1021.
This course provides an introduction to differentiation and its applications. Topics covered include: functions and their graphs, limits, continuity, differentiation, linear approximation, chain rule, min/max problems, and applications of derivatives. Students may not receive credit for both MA 1021 and MA 1020.
Algebra, trigonometry and analytic geometry. Although the course will make use of computers, no programming experience is assumed.
This course provides an introduction to integration and its applications. Topics covered include: inverse trigonometric functions, Riemann sums, fundamental theorem of calculus, basic techniques of integration, volumes of revolution, arc length, exponential and logarithmic functions, and applications of integration to engineering.
MA 1020 or MA 1021. Although the course will make use of computers, no programming experience is assumed.
This course provides an introduction to series, parametric curves and vector algebra. Topics covered include: numerical methods, indeterminate forms, improper integrals, sequences, Taylor’s theorem with remainder, convergence of series and power series, polar coordinates, parametric curves and vector algebra.
MA 1022. Although the course will make use of computers, no programming experience is assumed.
This course provides an introduction to multivariable calculus. Topics covered include: vector functions, partial derivatives and gradient, multivariable optimization, double and triple integrals, polar coordinates, other coordinate systems and applications.
MA 1023. Although the course will make use of computers, no programming experience is assumed.
This course will cover the same material as MA 1023 Calculus III but from a different perspective. A more rigorous study of sequences and series will be undertaken: starting from the least upper bound property in R, the fundamental theorems for convergent series will be proved. Convergence criteria for series will be rigorously justified and L’Hospital’s rule will be introduced and proved. Homework problems will include a blend of computational exercises as usually assigned in MA 1023 Calculus III and problems with a stronger theoretical flavor. Note: Students can receive credit for this class and MA 1023 Calculus III.
Differential and integral calculus (MA 1021 and MA 1022, or equivalent).
This course will cover the same material as MA 1024 Calculus IV from a more mathematically rigorous perspective. The course gives a rigorous introduction of differentiation and integration for functions of one variable. After introducing vector functions, differentiation and integration will be extended to functions of several variables. Note: Students can receive credit for this class and MA 1024 Calculus IV.
Theoretical Calculus III (MA 1033, or equivalent).
This course is a 14-week alternative to the 7-week MA 1022. This course offers 1/3 unit of credit. It is designed for students who would benefit from additional contact hours and wish to strengthen their mathematical background. Topics covered include: inverse trigonometric functions, Riemann sums, fundamental theorem of calculus, basic techniques of integration, volumes of revolution, arc length, exponential and logarithmic functions, and applications of integration to engineering. The 14-week framework allows for an in-depth study of many of these topics as well as an introduction to some MA 1023 topics such as arithmetic and geometric sequences and series.
MA 1020 or MA 1021. Although the course will make use of computers, no programming experience is assumed. Students may not receive credit for both MA 1120 and MA 1022.
Problem solving is a fundamental mathematical skill. In this course students will be exposed to problems coming from a wide range of mathematical disciplines; and will work together in a collaborative environment to explore potential solutions. Discussion problems may be inspired by the research of faculty leading the discussion, by past mathematical competitions (such as the Putnam Competition) or elsewhere. This course meets once per week, with an emphasis on discussion and exploration of problems. There will be no exam and no assigned homework. Grading is by participation only. This course may be taken multiple times; content will vary depending on the speakers. Grading for this course will be on a Pass/NR basis.
Curiosity about Mathematics
The principal aim of this course is to practice mathematical problem interpretation, proof techniques, and question formulation. The course is intended not only for beginning students in the mathematical sciences, but also for all students interested in mathematical art and rigor. Students in the course will be expected to explain, justify, defend, disprove, conjecture and verify mathematical statements, both orally and in writing, in order to develop proof-writing skills. (These skills should prove useful in more advanced mathematics courses). Topics covered include basic logic; basic set theory; definitions and properties of functions; definitions and properties of binary relations; fundamental proof techniques, including proof by induction. Depending on student background and instructor preferences, the course objectives may be conveyed through a selection of problems from various mathematical sub-disciplines, through discussions of current events in the mathematical sciences, including recently solved problems and open challenges facing todays scientists, or through discussions of applications of mathematics.
At least two courses in Mathematical Sciences at WPI, or equivalent.
This course develops techniques for solving ordinary differential equations. Topics covered include: introduction to modeling using first-order differential equations, solution methods for linear higher-order equations, qualitative behavior of nonlinear first-order equations, oscillatory phenomena including spring-mass system and RLC-circuits and Laplace transform. Additional topics may be chosen from power series method, methods for solving systems of equations and numerical methods for solving ordinary differential equations.
This course provides an introduction to the theory and techniques of matrix algebra and linear algebra. Topics covered include: operations on matrices, systems of linear equations, linear transformations, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, least squares, vector spaces, inner products, introduction to numerical techniques, and applications of linear algebra. Credit may not be earned for this course and MA 2072.
None, although basic knowledge of equations for planes and lines in space would be helpful.
This course provides an accelerated introduction to the theory and techniques of matrix algebra and linear algebra, aimed at Mathematical Sciences majors and others interested in advanced concepts of linear algebra. Topics covered include: matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, linear transformations, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, the method of least squares, vector spaces, inner products, non-square matrices and singular value decompositions. Students will be exposed to computational and numerical techniques, and to applications of linear algebra, particularly to Data Science. Credit may not be earned for this course and MA 2071.
Basic knowledge of matrix algebra
This course provides a deeper understanding of topics introduced in MA 2071, and continues the development of linear algebra. Topics covered include: abstract vector spaces, linear transformations, matrix representations of a linear transformation, determinants, characteristic and minimal polynomials, diagonalization, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, the matrix exponential, inner product spaces. This course is designed primarily for Mathematical Science majors and those interested in the deeper mathematical issues underlying linear algebra.
MA 2071 or MA 2072.
This course introduces students to the principles of decision theory as applied to the planning, design and management of complex projects. It will be useful to students in all areas of engineering, actuarial mathematics as well as those in such interdisciplinary areas as environmental studies. It emphasizes quantitative, analytic approaches to decision making using the tools of applied mathematics, operations research, probability and computations. Topics covered include: the systems approach, mathematical modeling, optimization and decision analyses. Case studies from various areas of engineering or actuarial mathematics are used to illustrate applications of the materials covered in this course.
MA 1024. Suggested background: Familiarity with vectors and matrices. Although the course makes use of computers, no programming experience is assumed. Students who have received credit for CE 2010 may not receive credit for MA 2210.
An introduction to actuarial mathematics is provided for those who may be interested in the actuarial profession. Topics usually included are: measurement of interest, including accumulated and present value factors; annuities certain; amortization schedules and sinking funds; and bonds.
Single variable calculus (MA 1021 and MA 1022 or equivalent) and the ability to work with appropriate computer software. Students may not receive credit for both MA 2211 and MA 3211
This course covers topics in fixed income securities. Topics are chosen to cover the mechanics and pricing of modern-day fixed income products and can include: yield curve theories; forward rates; interest rate swaps; credit-default swaps; bonds with credit risk and options; bond duration and convexity; bond portfolio construction; asset-backed securities, including collateralized debt obligations and mortgage-backed securities with prepayment risk; asset-liability hedging; applications of binomial interest rate trees.
An introduction to theory of interest (MA 2211 or equivalent) and the ability to work with appropriate computer software.
This course provides an introduction to tensor and vector calculus, an essential tool for applied mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. Topics covered include: scalar and vector functions and fields, tensors, basic differential operations for vectors and tensors, line and surface integrals, change of variable theorem in integration, integral theorems of vector and tensor calculus. The theory will be illustrated by applications to areas such as electrostatics, theory of heat, electromagnetics, elasticity and fluid mechanics.
This course introduces the concepts and techniques of graph theory—a part of mathematics finding increasing application to diverse areas such as management, computer science and electrical engineering. Topics covered include: graphs and digraphs, paths and circuits, graph and digraph algorithms, trees, cliques, planarity, duality and colorability. This course is designed primarily for Mathematical Science majors and those interested in the deeper mathematical issues underlying graph theory. Undergraduate credit may not be earned both for this course and for MA 3271. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
This course introduces the concepts and techniques of combinatorics— a part of mathematics with applications in computer science and in the social, biological, and physical sciences. Emphasis will be given to problem solving. Topics will be selected from: basic counting methods, inclusion-exclusion principle, generating functions, recurrence relations, systems of distinct representatives, combinatorial designs, combinatorial algorithms and applications of combinatorics. This course is designed primarily for Mathematical Sciences majors and those interested in the deeper mathematical issues underlying combinatorics. Undergraduate credit may not be earned both for this course and for MA 3273. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
This course focuses on the principles of building mathematical models from a physical, chemical or biological system and interpreting the results. Students will learn how to construct a mathematical model and will be able to interpret solutions of this model in terms of the context of the application. Mathematical topics focus on solving systems of ordinary differential equations, and may include the use of stability theory and phase-plane analysis. Applications will be chosen from electrical and mechanical oscillations, control theory, ecological or epidemiological models and reaction kinetics. This course is designed primarily for students interested in the deeper mathematical issues underlying mathematical modeling. Students may be required to use programming languages such as Matlab or Maple to further investigate different models.
multivariable calculus (MA 1024 or equivalent), ordinary differential equations (MA 2051 or equivalent), and linear algebra (MA 2071 or equivalent).
This course is designed to introduce the student to statistical methods and concepts commonly used in the life sciences. Emphasis will be on the practical aspects of statistical design and analysis with examples drawn exclusively from the life sciences, and students will collect and analyze data. Topics covered include analytic and graphical and numerical summary measures, probability models for sampling distributions, the central limit theorem, and one and two sample point and interval estimation, parametric and non-parametric hypothesis testing, principles of experimental design, comparisons of paired samples and categorical data analysis. Undergraduate credit may not be earned for both this course and for MA 2611.
This course is designed to introduce the student to data analytic and applied statistical methods commonly used in industrial and scientific applications as well as in course and project work at WPI. Emphasis will be on the practical aspects of statistics with students analyzing real data sets on an interactive computer package. Topics covered include analytic and graphical representation of data, exploratory data analysis, basic issues in the design and conduct of experimental and observational studies, the central limit theorem, one and two sample point and interval estimation and tests of hypotheses.
This course is a continuation of MA 2611. Topics covered include simple and multiple regression, one and two-way tables for categorical data, design and analysis of one factor experiments and distribution-free methods.
This course is designed to introduce the student to probability. Topics to be covered are: basic probability theory including Bayes theorem; discrete and continuous random variables; special distributions including the Bernoulli, Binomial, Geometric, Poisson, Uniform, Normal, Exponential, Chi-square, Gamma, Weibull, and Beta distributions; multivariate distributions; conditional and marginal distributions; independence; expectation; transformations of univariate random variables.
The purpose of this course is twofold: • To introduce fundamental ideas and methods of mathematics using the study of probability as the vehicle. These ideas and methods may include systematic theorem-proof development starting with basic axioms; mathematical induction; set theory; applications of univariate and multivariate calculus. • To introduce the student to probability. Topics to be covered will be chosen from: axiomatic development of probability; independence; Bayes theorem; discrete and continuous random variables; expectation; special distributions including the binomial and normal; moment generating functions; multi-variate distributions; conditional and marginal distributions; independence of random variables; transformations of random variables; limit theorems. This course is designed primarily for Mathematical Sciences majors and those interested in the deeper mathematical issues underlying probability theory. A more applications-oriented course with similar content is MA 2621 Probability for Applications which is primarily designed for students in departments other than Mathematical Sciences. Undergraduate credit may not be earned both for this course and for MA 2621 Probability for Applications.
Multivariable Differential and Integral Calculus (MA 1024, or equivalent).
A study of actuarial mathematics with emphasis on the theory and application of contingency mathematics in various areas of insurance. Topics usually included are: survival functions and life tables; life insurance; property insurance; annuities; net premiums; and premium reserves.
An introduction to the theory of interest, and familiarity with basic probability (MA 2211 and either MA 2621 or MA 2631, or equivalent).
A continuation of the study of actuarial mathematics with emphasis on calculations in various areas of insurance, based on multiple insureds, multiple decrements, and multiple state models. Topics usually included are: survival functions; life insurance; property insurance; common shock; Poisson processes and their application to insurance settings; gross premiums; and reserves.
An introduction to actuarial mathematics (MA 3212 or equivalent)
The mathematical subject of linear programming deals with those problems in optimal resource allocation which can be modeled by a linear profit (or cost) function together with feasibility constraints expressible as linear inequalities. Such problems arise regularly in many industries, ranging from manufacturing to transportation, from the design of livestock diets to the construction of investment portfolios. This course considers the formulation of such real-world optimization problems as linear programming problems, the most important algorithms for their solution, and techniques for their analysis. The core material includes problem formulation, the primal and dual simplex algorithms, and duality theory. Further topics may include: sensitivity analysis; applications such as matrix games or network flow models; bounded variable linear programs; interior point methods.
Matrices and Linear Algebra (MA 2071, or equivalent).
Discrete optimization is a lively field of applied mathematics in which techniques from combinatorics, linear programming, and the theory of algorithms are used to solve optimization problems over discrete structures, such as networks or graphs. The course will emphasize algorithmic solutions to general problems, their complexity, and their application to real-world problems drawn from such areas as VLSI design, telecommunications, airline crew scheduling, and product distribution. Topics will be selected from: Network flow, optimal matching, integrality of polyhedra, matroids, and NP-completeness. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
At least one course in graph theory, combinatorics or optimization (e.g., MA 2271, MA 2273 or MA 3231).
This course provides an introduction to modern computational methods for differential and integral calculus and differential equations. Topics covered include: interpolation and polynomial approximation, approximation theory, numerical differentiation and integration, numerical solutions of ordinary differential equations. Error analysis will be emphasized throughout.
MA 2051. An ability to write computer programs in a scientific language is assumed. Undergraduate credit may not be earned for both this course and for MA 3255/CS 4031.
The first part of the course will cover existence and uniqueness of solutions, continuous dependence of solutions on parameters and initial conditions, maximal interval of existence of solutions, Gronwall’s inequality, linear systems and the variation of constants formula, Floquet theory, stability of linear and perturbed linear systems. The second part of the course will cover material selected by the instructor. Possible topics include: Introduction to dynamical systems, stability by Lyapunov’s direct method, study of periodic solutions, singular perturbation theory and nonlinear oscillation theory. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
MA 2431 and MA 3832.
This course covers the calculus of variations and select topics from optimal control theory. The purpose of the course is to expose students to mathematical concepts and techniques needed to handle various problems of design encountered in many fields, e. g. electrical engineering, structural mechanics and manufacturing. Topics covered will include: derivation of the necessary conditions of a minimum for simple variational problems and problems with constraints, variational principles of mechanics and physics, direct methods of minimization of functions, Pontryagin’s maximum principle in the theory of optimal control and elements of dynamic programming. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
This course will teach students how to design experiments in order to collect meaningful data for analysis and decision making. This course continues the exploration of statistics for scientific and industrial applications begun in MA 2611 and MA 2612. The course offers comprehensive coverage of the key elements of experimental design used by applied researchers to solve problems in the field, such as random assignment, replication, blocking, and confounding. Topics covered include the design and analysis of general factorial experiments; two-level factorial and fractional factorial experiments; principles of design; completely randomized designs and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA); complete block designs and two-way analysis of variance; complete factorial experiments; fixed, random, and mixed models; split-plot designs; nested designs. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
Applied Statistics (MA 2611 and MA2612, or equivalent).
This course introduces students to the mathematical principles of statistics. Topics will be chosen from: Sampling distributions, limit theorems, point and interval estimation, sufficiency, completeness, efficiency, consistency; the Rao-Blackwell theorem and the Cramer-Rao bound; minimum variance unbiased estimators and maximum likelihood estimators; tests of hypotheses including the Neyman-Pearson lemma, uniformly most powerful and likelihood radio tests.
This course provides an introduction to one of the major areas of modern algebra. Topics covered include: groups, subgroups, permutation groups, normal subgroups, factor groups, homomorphisms, isomorphisms and the fundamental homomorphism theorem.
This course provides an introduction to one of the major areas of modern algebra. Topics covered include: rings, integral domains, ideals, quotient rings, ring homomorphisms, polynomial rings, polynomial factorization, extension fields and properties of finite fields. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
Principles of Real Analysis is a two-part course giving a rigorous presentation of the important concepts of classical real analysis. Topics covered in the sequence include: basic set theory, elementary topology of Euclidean spaces, metric spaces, compactness, limits and continuity, differentiation, Riemann-Stieltjes integration, infinite series, sequences of functions, and topics in multivariate calculus.
at least one course focused on proof-based mathematics (e.g., MA 1971 Bridge to Higher Mathematics, MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III).
MA 3832 is a continuation of MA 3831. For the contents of this course, see the description given for MA 3831.
introductory knowledge in real analysis (e.g., MA 3831 Principles of Real Analysis I, or equivalent).
This course covers topics in loss models and risk theory as it is applied, under specified assumptions, to insurance. Topics covered include: economics of insurance, short term individual risk models, single period and extended period collective loss models, and applications.
An introduction to probability (MA 2631 or equivalent).
Survival models are statistical models of times to occurrence of some event. They are widely used in areas such as the life sciences and actuarial science (where they model such events as time to death, or to the development or recurrence of a disease), and engineering (where they model the reliability or useful life of products or processes). This course introduces the nature and properties of survival models, and considers techniques for estimation and testing of such models using realistic data. Topics covered will be chosen from: parametric and nonparametric survival models, censoring and truncation, nonparametric estimation (including confidence intervals and hypothesis testing) using right-, left-, and otherwise censored or truncated data.
An introduction to mathematical statistics (MA 3631 or equivalent).
This pass/fail graduation requirement will be offered every term, under the supervision of the actuarial professors. In order to receive a passing grade, students will need to complete some or all of the following: attend speaker talks, attend company visits to campus, take part and help out with Actuarial Club activities, prepare for actuarial exams, or complete other activities as approved by the instructor(s).
Interest in being an actuarial mathematics major.
This course will introduce students to the top algorithms in applied mathematics. These algorithms have tremendous impact on the development and practice of modern science and engineering. Class discussions will focus on introducing students to the mathematical theory behind the algorithms as well as their applications. In particular, the course will address issues of computational efficiency, implementation, and error analysis. Algorithms to be considered may include the Krylov Subspace Methods, Fast Multipole Method, Monte Carlo Methods, Fast Fourier Transform, Kalman Filters and Singular Value Decomposition. Students will be expected to apply these algorithms to real-world problems; e.g., image processing and audio compression (Fast Fourier Transform), recommendation systems (Singular Value Decomposition), electromagnetics or fluid dynamics (Fast Multipole Method, Krylov Subspace Methods, and Fast Fourier Transform), and the tracking and prediction of an object’s position (Kalman Filters). In addition to studying these algorithms, students will learn about high performance computing and will have access to a machine with parallel and GPU capabilities to run code for applications with large data sets. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
Familiarity with matrix algebra and systems of equations (MA 2071, MA 2072, or equivalent), numerical methods for the solution of linear systems or differential equations (MA 3257, MA 3457, or equivalent), and concepts from probability (MA 2621, MA 2631, or equivalent). The ability to write computer programs in a scientific language is assumed.
This course explores theoretical conditions for the existence of solutions and effective computational procedures to find these solutions for optimization problems involving nonlinear functions. Topics covered include: classical optimization techniques, Lagrange multipliers and Kuhn-Tucker theory, duality in nonlinear programming, and algorithms for constrained and unconstrained problems. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
Vector calculus at the level of MA 2251.
This course develops probabilistic methods useful to planners and decision makers in such areas as strategic planning, service facilities design, and failure of complex systems. Topics covered include: decisions theory, inventory theory, queuing theory, reliability theory, and simulation. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
Probability theory at the level of MA 2621 or MA 2631.
This course provides an introduction to the ideas and techniques of complex analysis that are frequently used by scientists and engineers. The presentation will follow a middle ground between rigor and intuition. Topics covered include: complex numbers, analytic functions, Taylor and Laurent expansions, Cauchy integral theorem, residue theory, and conformal mappings.
MA 1024 and MA 2051.
This course is concerned with the development and analysis of numerical methods for differential equations. Topics covered include: well-posedness of initial value problems, analysis of Euler’s method, local and global truncation error, Runge-Kutta methods, higher order equations and systems of equations, convergence and stability analysis of one-step methods, multistep methods, methods for stiff differential equations and absolute stability, introduction to methods for partial differential equations. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
MA 2071 and MA 3457/CS 4033. An ability to write computer programs in a scientific language is assumed.
Science and engineering majors often encounter partial differential equations in the study of heat flow, vibrations, electric circuits and similar areas. Solution techniques for these types of problems will be emphasized in this course. Topics covered include: derivation of partial differential equations as models of prototype problems in the areas mentioned above, Fourier Series, solution of linear partial differential equations by separation of variables, Fourier integrals and a study of Bessel functions.
MA 1024 or and MA 2051.
The first part of the course will cover the following topics: classification of partial differential equations, solving single first order equations by the method of characteristics, solutions of Laplace’s and Poisson’s equations including the construction of Green’s function, solutions of the heat equation including the construction of the fundamental solution, maximum principles for elliptic and parabolic equations. For the second part of the course, the instructor may choose to expand on any one of the above topics. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
MA 2251 and MA 3832.
(14 week course) Intended for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students in the mathematical sciences and for others intending to pursue the mathematical study of probability and statistics, this course begins by covering the material of MA 3613 at a more advanced level. Additional topics covered are: one-to-one and many-to-one transformations of random variables; sampling distributions; order statistics, limit theorems.
MA 2631 or MA 3613, MA 3831, MA 3832.
(14 week course) This course is designed to complement MA 4631 and provide background in principles of statistics. Topics covered include: point and interval estimation; sufficiency, completeness, efficiency, consistency; the Rao-Blackwell theorem and the Cramer-Rao bound; minimum variance unbiased estimators, maximum likelihood estimators and Bayes estimators; tests of hypothesis including uniformly most powerful, likelihood ratio, minimax and bayesian tests.
MA 3631 or MA 4631.
Topics covered in this course would vary from one offering to the next. The purpose of this course will be to introduce actuarial topics that typically arise in the professional actuarial organization’s curriculum beyond the point where aspiring actuaries are still in college. Topics might include ratemaking, estimation of unpaid claims, equity linked insurance products, simulation, or stochastic modeling of insurance products. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
Could vary by the specific topics being covered, but would typically include an introduction to the theory of interest and an introduction to actuarial mathematics (MA 2211 and MA 3212 or equivalent).
The course gives an introduction to differential geometry with a focus on Riemannian geometry. Starting with the geometry of curves and surfaces in the three-dimensional Euclidean space and Riemannian metrics in 2 and higher dimensions, the course introduces the first fundamental form, tangent bundles, vector fields, distance functions and geodesics, followed by covariant derivatives and second fundamental form. The proof of Gauss’s Theorema Egregium is highlighted. Additional topics are by instructor’s discretion. Students may not receive credit for both MA 489X and MA 4895.
Advanced Linear Algebra and Real Analysis (e.g., MA 2073 Theoretical Linear Algebra and MA 3831 Principles of Real Analysis, or equivalent)