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Haverford College
Department of Mathematics
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Concentrations

Haverford has a flexible scheme of allowing students with interest in a distinct field related to their major area of study to declare a concentration in that field. There are currently four areas of concentration that can be pursued by math majors:

Concentration in Computer Science

It may come as a surprise to some that many of the fundamental questions in Computer Science (including the famous P versus NP problem) are in essence mathematical questions. Conversely, some of the deepest foundational questions about the nature of mathematics (such as: what constitutes a proof?) are inherently computational in nature. Computers have also become a powerful tool in mathematical research and its applications, both theoretical and experimental. A full understanding of their capability and potential can only be realized by formal course work in Computer Science. The concentration is open to math or physics majors.

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Concentration in Mathematical Economics

Mathematics and economics are complementary disciplines. Most branches of modern economics use mathematics and statistics extensively, and some important areas of mathematical research have been motivated by economic problems. Economists and mathematicians have made important contributions to each other's disciplines. Economist Kenneth Arrow, for example, did path-breaking work in the field of mathematical optimization; and in 1994 mathematician John Nash was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for introducing a theory of equilibrium in non-cooperative games that has become central to contemporary economic theory. Haverford's Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics enables students in each of the disciplines not only to gain proficiency in the other, but also to understand the ways in which they are related and complementary.

Students enrolling in the Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics must be majoring in either mathematics or economics. Mathematics majors pursuing the concentration take four economics courses that provide a solid grounding in economic theory, as well as two mathematics electives on topics that have important applications in economics. Economics majors in the concentration take four mathematics courses (all beyond the level of mathematics required for the economics major), and two economics electives that involve significant mathematics.

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Concentration in Mathematics Education

The Bryn Mawr-Haverford Education Program invites students to study the discipline of education; explore the interdisciplinary field of educational studies; begin the path of teacher preparation for traditional classrooms; and participate in teaching experiences in a range of classroom and extra-classroom settings. Focused on teaching and learning as social, political, and cultural activities, the Education Program challenges students to explore the relationships among schooling, human development, and society as they gain knowledge and skills of educational theory and practice. Students who complete one of the Education Program options are prepared to become lifelong learners, educators, researchers, leaders and agents of change.

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Concentration in Scientific Computing

Many disciplines in the natural and social sciences include a significant sub-discipline that is explicitly computational. Examples include astronomy, biology, chemistry, economics, and physics. In some fields, such as biology, the use of computation has become so widespread that basic literacy in computation is increasingly important and may soon become required. The concentration in scientific computing gives students an opportunity to develop a basic facility with the tools and concepts involved in applying computation to a scientific problem, and to explore the specific computational aspects of their own major disciplines.

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Last modified: Wed Aug 31 21:28:12 EDT 2011 by David Lippel.