Applied Mathematics at New College is both challenging and exciting. Working closely with faculty, you will have the chance not only to learn advanced mathematical methods but also to individually tailor your academic program to match your unique interests and needs. And well before graduation, you will be able to work on advanced material that students often encounter only in master's programs, thus giving you an advantage when it comes to graduate school and future employment.
Compared to other Areas of Concentration (AOCs) at New College, Applied Mathematics is relatively new. While this dynamic and fast-growing field once had a heavy emphasis on physics, today at New College and around the world it combines the use of advanced mathematical methods in seeking answers to complex problems in the biological sciences, engineering and industry.
As an Applied Mathematics AOC student at New College, you’ll have the opportunity to work side by side with faculty who work in broad areas of applied and pure mathematics including game theory, algorithms, bioinformatics, combinatorics, partial differential equations, fluid dynamics, mathematical biology and scientific computing. You’ll also have the opportunity to take mathematics courses that are not typically taught at the undergraduate level, such as Mathematical Modeling and Systems Biology. These courses better prepare our students for graduate studies, an area in which we have excellent placement success. They also provide a unique opportunity for those who want to pursue jobs in highly demanded fields such as computational biology, bioinformatics and systems biology.
Many New College students pursue an Applied Mathematics AOC all on its own, while others combine the major with studies in Biology, Physics and other concentrations in what we call a “slash” degree. Your faculty advisor can assist you in determining which path is best for your special interests and goals.
The (minimal) course work for a slash degree in Applied Mathematics includes the following:
• Calculus 1
A course in Programming is also recommended.
In addition to the coursework listed above, the (minimal) course work for a stand-alone major in Applied Mathematics includes the following:
• A course in programming
A course in Complex Analysis is also highly recommended.
Other requirements for the major include:
• A two-semester introductory sequence (or two semesters of more advanced material) in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics
For detailed requirements, check out our General Catalog.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Applied Mathematics:
This class is a continuation of Calculus I and II. We will cover the calculus in n-dimensional Euclidean space. The topics covered during the course of the semester include the fundamental constructions of the calculus of multivariable functions (vector fields, gradients, line integrals, surface integrals etc) and the associated fundamental results (Green’s Theorems, Gauss’ Theorem, Stokes’ Theorem, etc). The course will focus on application and computation and will include an introduction to differential equations. Prerequisite: Calculus II.
This course is an introduction to the theory of vector spaces and linear transformations and to their representation by means of matrices. The topics that will be covered are: matrices and linear systems of equations, algebra of matrices, determinants, vector spaces, linear transformations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, matrix diagonalization, and inner product spaces. Prerequisites: Calculus or the consent of instructor.
Mathematical Modeling I
Introduction to Numerical Methods
Ordinary Differential Equations
Introduction to Programming in Python
Advanced Linear Algebra
Partial Differential Equations
For a complete list of courses, click here.
William P. Thurston (1946-2012) was a world-renowned mathematician and member of New College’s charter class, who revolutionized the study of topology in two and three dimensions, showing interplay between analysis, topology and geometry. For that, he won the Fields Medal at just 37 years of age. The medal is mathematics’ highest honor often equated to the Nobel Prize.“Bill Thurston so transformed our knowledge of low dimensional topology and geometry that it is now impossible to imagine the field before him,” said New College President and mathematician Donal O’Shea.
Graduating from New College in 1967, Thurston wrote his senior thesis on “A Constructive Foundation for Topology.” He earned a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and taught at MIT, Princeton, UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis and Cornell.
“Before Thurston, no one would have looked at a knot, and asked what the volume of the space outside it was,” O’Shea said. “No one would have looked at the universe, and asked how to carve it up into pieces each with a natural geometry — in fact, no one would have known what exactly a natural geometry is. At New College, we are proud to have provided the space for the fecundity of his imagination to ripen.”
New College is proud of the many Applied Mathematics graduates who have contributed to the field. Here’s a sampling of some of our graduates:
• Preston Bebas, an Economics/Applied Mathematics AOC at New College, is ananalyst at Raymond James Financial in Tampa, Florida.
• Anne Farrell is a math teacher at the Upper School of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
• Mark Kot is an associate professor of applied mathematics at University of Washington.
• Jonathan Statz worked as a research assistant at the United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory. He combined his Applied Mathematics AOC with Biology.
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Applied Mathematics
• Princeton University
|Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Applied Mathematics:
“Mathematical Modeling of Pacific Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus Gorbuscha) Population Dynamics” by Tania Harrison
“Guerrilla Clusters for Science: The Application of Genetic Algorithms to Spectroscopy” by Noah Henry Anderson
“Identifying Melanoma Using Computer Vision and an Artificial Neural Network” by Hannah Rivers
“Mathmatical Modeling and Optimal Experimental Design in Systems Biology” by Jonathan Statz
“Dancing Under the Moonlight: A Mathematecal Modeling Approach to Foraging Octracod” by John Correa
“Agricultural Modeling: Predicting the effects of genetic coefficients on maize yield in waterlimiting environments” by Anne Amelia Farrell
“Emprical Estimation of Asian Import Demand Functions: An Implication of Thirlwall’s Law for Developing Nations” by Preston Bebas
“Spatial Analysis of Octopus Dens and Predation” by Elizabeth Alene Hamman
“Local Algebraic Invariant Statistics for a Heuristic to Compare Phylogenetic Trees” by Ian Haywood
“Variations on a Theme: Brachistochrones Revisited” by Mark Kot
The Jane Bancroft Cook Library at New College is home to a broad assortment of books, scholarly journals, national and international databases, and other print and electronic media related to Applied Mathematics and is available to students throughout the year.
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Our Math Reading Room provides a place for faculty and students to gather and do mathematics together. This large seminar/study room is used for an active schedule of seminars, presentations, workshops, problem sessions, tutoring and discussions. The Math Reading Room is equipped with a computer that supports many different types of software (Mathematica, Maple, Illustrator and others) and provides Internet access. Beginning and advanced laboratories are equipped with a variety of microcomputers with additional workspace for upper-level students. Recent additions in the areas of Computational Science and Applied Mathematics complement the theoretical areas of algebra, geometry, topology, analysis and theoretical computer science, allowing the faculty to offer a variety of courses and tutorials to challenge students with different backgrounds.
The Quantitative Resource Center (QRC) is dedicated to aiding the New College community in working with quantitative matters. The QRC staff provide individual and small group peer tutoring for students needing assistance with various quantitative methods such as basic mathematics and statistics, SAS, SPSS, Excel and other applications.
The Mathematics Seminar has been a longstanding tradition — an open forum for students of all levels interested in mathematics. The purpose of the seminar is to cover interesting or advanced topics in mathematics. Students may present talks about their research or an internship or tutorial experience. The seminar helps students learn how to research literature and use databases to explore topics as diverse as the mathematics of Sudoku to the Google Matrix and more.
Community Service — Each spring our students offer a free Math Clinic at Sarasota’s downtown Selby Public Library. Tutoring is available to all ages on the second level of the library at 1331 First Street, Sarasota, Florida. Students offer free math lessons and advice to people of all ages in Sarasota and Manatee counties to help them sharpen their math skills. The program is particularly popular among area middle school and high school students who need help with algebra, geometry and calculus. The Math Clinic was created by New College Professor of Mathematics Eirini Poimenidou in the late 1990s. The clinic is open to anyone with math-related questions, seeking to overcome a math phobia, looking to return to school but in need of a math refresher, or interested in discussing mathematical topics with fellow enthusiasts.
You can also get involved in Math Day co-sponsored by New College and local high schools.