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Undergraduate: Mathematics

  • Program Overview

    Mathematics (MAT)

    Mathematics is an essential element in a wide range of human activities. It is the language of the physical sciences, and as such is an indispensable tool in the formulation of the laws of nature. In the social and biological sciences, it plays an increasingly important role in modeling complicated, large-scale phenomena. In addition, ma­the­matics has an aesthetic side: awareness of the possibility of elegance and beauty in mathematical arguments has been a significant feature of human culture throughout history. Today more mathematics is being done, and more needs to be done, than ever before.

    The undergraduate course offerings in Mathematics allow students to set up individualized programs of study consistent with their academic interests and career plans. Students should consider majoring in Mathematics even if they do not plan to become mathematicians or teachers of mathematics. The training in abstract reasoning and problem-solving is an excellent foundation for many different careers, such as law, graduate health professions, and business. Com­pletion of a major in Mathematics points to a thinking person.

    Students are encouraged to explore the various branches of pure and applied mathematics, as well as other mathematically oriented disciplines, to gain both breadth of knowledge and insight into career options. Mathematics majors can use their training as the foundation for advanced professional study, leading to research and teaching in universities or research in industrial research laboratories; they can use it also in secondary school teaching. In industry, undergraduate training in mathematics is excellent preparation for the important task of liaison work between the technological arm of a company and its marketing arm. A major in Mathematics is particularly appropriate for work in computer applications, operations research, and actuarial science. Double majors in Mathe­­matics and another field, such as physics, computer science, applied mathematics and statistics, or economics, are common and are encouraged.

    The Mathematics Majors Program, which leads to the B.S. Degree in Mathematics, has two special options: Advanced Track option and Secondary Teacher Education option.

    The advanced track option is designed for students open to the challenges of  advanced mathematics. State-of-the-art courses are taught in small classes by leading faculty and cover a broad range of material. The advanced track students are encouraged to take advantage of our top-ranked graduate program; qualified students are welcome to take graduate courses. All in all, the advanced track will prepare a student well for the  challenge of a graduate or professional school at the finest universities  in the country or a career in a variety of fields. 

    The secondary teacher education option is designed for students planning a career teaching mathematics in a secondary school. This option is described in detail in the "Education and Teacher Certification" entry in the alphabetical listings of Approved Majors, Minors, and Programs.

    The Department of Mathematics offers tutorial help to all undergraduate students in its 100-level courses in the Mathematics Learning Center. Since the Center's staff consists of faculty and graduate students in mathematics as well as undergraduate tutors, students in more advanced courses can also find assistance there.

    The Department encourages students to seek information and advice on appropriate mathematics courses, programs, and career goals. Professors in mathematics are available as advisors in the Under­graduate Mathematics Office to help with these matters. Advising hours can be obtained by calling the Department of Mathematics.

  • Degrees and Requirements

    Requirements for the Major and Minor in Mathematics (MAT)

    Requirements for the  Major in Mathematics (MAT)

    The major in Mathematics leads to the Bachelor of Science degree.

    Completion of the major typically requires approximately 40 credits, depending on student preparation and choices made. Students can select one of the  following options:

    • Regular mathematics major
    • Mathematics major with Advanced Track program
    • Mathematics major with the Secondary Teacher Education option

    Requirements for regular mathematics major.

    1. Single-variable Calculus: Either MAT 131 and MAT 132, or MAT 125 and MAT 126 and MAT 127, or AMS 151 and AMS 161.  Some or all of this requirement may be fulfilled by an appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Exam, by AP credit, or by comparable means. If students do not place into MAT 125 or 131 on the basis of the math placement examination, MAT 123 (or MAT 119/MAT 123) is a required course for the major.
    2. Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations: One course in multivariable calculus (MAT 203 or MAT 307 or AMS 261), one course in introductory linear algebra (MAT 211 or MAT 220 or AMS 210), and one course in differential equations (MAT 303 or MAT 308 or AMS 361).  Students who take both MAT 307 and MAT 308 do not need to take a separate course in linear algebra, since this material is included in those courses. 
    3. Preparation in the language and logic of mathematics: this requirement can be met by either passing MAT 200 or MAT 250 or  by passing the MAT 200 challenge examination. (Note: the writing intensive course MAT 200 is a requirement for students in the Secondary Teacher Education Program.) 
    4. One course in computer literacy: MAT 331 or PHY 277 or CSE 101 or CSE 110 or CSE 114 or ESG 111 or (for students graduating with the Secondary Teacher Education option) MAE 330. Note: MAT 331 and MAE 330 may be used both here and in Requirement 8.
    5. Advanced linear algebra course: MAT 310 or MAT 315.
    6. A course in abstract algebra: MAT 312 or MAT 313.
    7. Analysis: Students must satisfy all three items below:
      1. MAT 319 or 320
      2. MAT 342
      3. One more course in analysis, to chosen from MAT 322MAT 324MAT 341
    8. Four mathematics-related courses beyond those taken to satisfy Requirements 5, 6, and 7 (three will suffice if all of them are MAT courses), to be chosen from the following list. Note that MAE 330 and MAT 331 may be used to satisfy both requirement 4 as well as requirement 8. 
    1. Writing requirement: Students following the Stony Brook Curriculum will fulfill the upper division writing requirement by completing the objectives for Writing within the Discipline (WRTD) and successful completion of MAT 319 or MAT 320 with a grade of C or better.

    Notes:
    1. Under special circumstances a student may request the director of undergraduate studies to allow substitution of an equivalent individual program for some or all of these requirements.
    2. All courses used to fulfill the requirements for the major must be taken for a letter grade and must be completed with a grade of C or higher.
    3. Students whose scores on the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement Examination are documented earn credits as follows:

    • 4 or 5 on BC examination: credit for MAT 131MAT 132 (8 credits);
    • 4 or 5 on AB examination: credit for MAT 131 (4 credits);
    • 3 on either examination: 3 credits applicable o graduation but not the major.

    4. Students who learned some linear algebra or multivariate calculus before entering Stony Brook should see an advisor in the Undergraduate Mathematics Office. For a student who has had some linear algebra, it may be appropriate to skip MAT 211and to enroll directly in MAT 310.
    5. Six credits of graduate MAT courses may be used in place of un­der­graduate courses in Requirement 7.

    Advanced Track program

    The advanced track program is intended for better prepared students, who already have credit for Calculus I, Calculus II (or AP Calculus BC). The courses in the program are more rigorous and concentrate on logic and proofs rather than on computational methods. This program allows students to take graduate classes in their senior year (or possibly even in their junior year). In particular, this program is recommended for students considering graduate school in Mathematics.

    To enroll in the program, students need to complete  a form available from the Mathematics Department.

    List of required courses for Advanced Track program is different from the regular Mathematics major and is given below.

    1. Single-variable Calculus: Either MAT 131 and MAT 132, or level 9 on Math Placement exam, or AP Calculus BC credit (with score 4 or 5). This requirement must be satisfied before enrolling in Advanced Track program.
    2. Introductory Linear algebra: MAT 211 or MAT 307
    3. Preparation in the language and logic of mathematics: MAT 250 (recommended) or MAT 200
    4. Advanced Linear algebra: MAT 315
    5. Analysis: MAT 320 and MAT 322
    6. Abstract algebra: MAT 313 and MAT 314
    7. Complex analysis, MAT 342
    8. A course in differential equations: MAT 308 or MAT 303
    9. One course in computer literacy (see requirement 4 of regular math major)
    10. Four mathematics-related courses beyond those taken to satisfy Requirements 1 through 7 (three will suffice if all of them are MAT courses), to be chosen from the following:

          Note that MAT 331 may be used both here and in requirement 9

          11. Writing requirement: Students following the Stony Brook Curriculum will fulfill the upper division writing requirement by          completing the objectives for Writing within the Discipline (WRTD) and successful completion of MAT 319 or MAT 320 with a          grade of C or better.

    A suggested sequence of courses for the first two years of study  for students in Advanced Track program is given below. (This sequence assumes that the student already has credit for Calculus I, Calculus II).

    Semester 1: MAT 220, MAT 250

    Semester 2: MAT 320, MAT 315

    Semester 3: MAT 322, MAT 313

    Semester 4: MAT 314, MAT 308

    The remaining semesters will be used to satisfy the remaining Advanced Track requirements (MAT 342, computer literacy requirement, elective courses)  and SBC requirements, and graduate level classes. 

    Honors Program in Mathematics

    The honors program is open to junior and senior Mathematics majors who have completed at least two upper-division MAT courses with grades of B or higher and who have maintained a 3.00 overall grade point average. A prospective honors major must declare to the director of undergraduate studies an intention to participate in the program before registering for the senior year. 

    The program consists of a set of seven MAT courses, at least three of which are not used to fulfill the MAT major requirements. These courses must include: MAT 322 or MAT 324MAT 401 or MAT 402; a course in algebra other than MAT 310; and MAT 495. Substitution of appropriate graduate courses is permitted, and other substitutions are possible at the discretion of the undergraduate director. Conferral of honors is contingent upon: 

    1. Completion of the set of seven courses with a grade point average of at least 3.50;
    2. Approval for honors by the faculty member or members who supervise MAT 495.

    Mathematics Secondary Teacher Education Program

    See the Education and Teacher Certi­fication entry.

    Requirements for the Minor in Mathematics (MAT)

    The minor in Mathematics is available for those students who want their formal university records to emphasize a serious amount of upper-division work in mathematics. Although a one-variable calculus sequence is not a requirement, it is a prerequisite for some of the courses listed below. The requirements listed below do not include single variable calculus or MAT 200 Logic, Language, and Proof; these are prerequisites for some of the courses listed below. 

    1. Either MAT 131 and MAT 132, or MAT 125 and MAT 126 and MAT 127, or AMS 151 and AMS 161, or MAT 141 and MAT 142, or MAT 171. Some or all of this requirement may be fulfilled by an appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Exam, by AP credit, or by comparable means.
    2. MAT 211 or AMS 210 or MAT 308
    3. MAT 203 or AMS 261 or MAT 307
    4. MAT 310 or MAT 312 or MAT 313
    5. MAT 319 or MAT 320 or MAT 341 or MAT 342
    6. Three additional MAT courses numbered 300 or higher (excluding 475)

    All courses used to fulfill the requirements for the minor must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher

     Beginning Mathematics Courses

    The Mathematics curriculum begins with a choice of calculus sequences, some including preparatory material from 12th-year mathematics in high school and some not. The three first-term calculus courses that assume knowledge of 12th-year mathematics are MAT 125MAT 131MAT 141 and AMS 151. A student may start any of these with the same background.

    The three-semester sequence of one-variable calculus, MAT 125MAT 126MAT 127, is academically equivalent to the two-semester sequence MAT 131MAT 132. Engineering students normally take the faster-paced MAT 131, MAT 132, or AMS 151AMS 161 rather than MAT 125MAT 126MAT 127 because of the many requirements they must meet. MAT 141MAT 142 is an enriched version of MAT 131MAT 132MAT 171 is a version of MAT 142 for students who have not taken MAT 141; offered only in the fall semester. 

    MAT 122 and MAT 123 combine precalculus and calculus for students who have not had a precalculus course in high school. A student who completes MAT 122 will have learned some precalculus material and will have a good idea of what calculus is and how it is used. MAT 123 is designed to lead into MAT 125 or MAT 131. Although MAT 122 is not designed as preparation for further calculus courses, students may follow that course with MAT 125 or MAT 131 if they take the one-credit course MAT 130 in the same semester as MAT 125 or MAT 131

    MAT 118 is a non-calculus course that surveys various topics in mathematics that do not require a background in precalculus or calculus; it is designed for students who do not intend to take further courses in mathematics. 

    For students whose high school preparation is insufficient to begin the MAT curriculum, or to enroll in another course applicable to the D.E.C. category C requirement, Mathematical and Statis­tical Reasoning, there are two review courses numbered MAP 101 and MAP 103. These courses do not carry graduation credit. MAP 103, a skills course, is for students who need further work in high school algebra and related topics before continuing with calculus or other mathematics. Some students, upon completing MAP 103, are able to pass the Mathe­matics Placement Examination at a level that allows them to go directly into MAT 125 or MAT 131.

    Placement

    The Department of Mathematics offers a placement examination which indicates the level of mathematical preparation of each student. The score on the examination is used to place the student in appropriate courses in mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics, biology, computer science, chemistry, and physics. It tests the student's skills at the time the test is taken; students are advised to review their mathematics beforehand. 

    A student who wishes to use the placement examination to fulfill D.E.C. Category C, the QPS objective of the S.B.C, or other graduation-related requirements or Skill 1, or if they have been or wish to be accepted into a major in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, must take a proctored version of the examination. This examination is given regularly to incoming students prior to orientation, as well as several times during the academic year and by appointment with the Mathematics Department.  An unproctored, online version of the exam can be given in the case where taking the proctored version prior to orientation is impractical; this version of the exam can be used only for registration purposes and may not be used to fulfill graduation requirements.

    The placement exam consists of several parts; not all students will take all parts of the exam. Part I covers high school algebra, Part II deals with 12th year high school Mathematics (precalculus), and Part III covers single-variable calculus. The outcome of the test is one of nine levels: 

    Outcome                                             Placement

    Level 1                                     MAP 101 
    Level 2                                     MAP 103 
    Level 2+                                   MAT 118 and Skill 1 or statistics or MAT 119 taken with MAT 123
    Level 3                                     MAT 118MAT 123 or statistics 
    Level 4                                     MAT 125 
    Level 5                                     MAT 131 or MAT 141 or AMS 151 
    Level 6                                     MAT 126 
    Level 7                                     MAT 132 or MAT 142 or MAT 171 or AMS 161 
    Level 8                                     MAT 127 or MAT 132 or MAT 171 or MAT 142 or AMS 161 
    Level 9                                     Beyond 100-level calculus

    Levels 1-3 can be achieved by a sufficiently high score on Part I, and levels 4-5 can be achieved by a sufficiently high score on Part II, and attaining levels 6-9 requires sufficiently high scores on Parts II and III. The entry skill in mathematics requirement may be satisfied by attaining a score of level 3 or higher on the proctored exam. The general education requirement for Mathematics (the Stony Brook Curriculum QPS objective, or D.E.C. category C) may be satisfied by attaining a score of level 6 or higher on the proctored exam. Certain majors will also accept a sufficiently high score on the proctored exam in lieu of required math courses. 

    A student who achieves a particular level is free to begin with a mathematics course corresponding to a lower level, so long as taking the course does not mean that credit is given for the same material twice.

     Transfer Credit

    When they enter, transfer students automatically receive credit toward graduation at Stony Brook for any courses they have already successfully completed at accredited institutions of higher education and that count toward graduation at that institution. The number of credits transferred appears on the Stony Brook transcript with no courses or grades indicated, and the number of transferred credits is unaffected by the student's score on the Mathematics Placement Examination. In some cases, a course designator ending in PQ (such as MAT 131PQ) may be placed on the student's transcript. In addition, transferred mathematics courses are automatically evaluated for applicability to the entry skill in mathematics requirement and the D.E.C. category C requirement or SBC requirement QPS; this evaluation does not depend on the result of the placement examination.

     

     

     

  • Sequence

    Sample Course Sequence for the Major in Mathematics

    A course planning guide for this major may be found hereThe major course planning guides are not part of the official Undergraduate Bulletin, and are only updated periodically for use as an advising tool. The Undergraduate Bulletin supersedes any errors or omissions in the major course planning guides.  

    FRESHMAN

    FALL Credits
    First Year Seminar 101 1
    WRT 101 3
    MAT 131 or MAT 141 or MAT 125  3-4
    SBC 3
    SBC 3
    SBC
     3
     Total 16-17
     
    SPRING Credits
    First Year Seminar 102 1
    WRT 102
    3
    MAT 132 or MAT 142 or MAT 171 or MAT 126  3-4
    MAT 200 or Elective 3
    SBC 3
    SBC  3
     Total 16-17
     
    SOPHOMORE

    FALL Credits
    MAT 203 or MAT 205 or AMS 261 3
    MAT 211 or AMS 210 3
    SBC 3
    SBC 3
    SBC  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    MAT 303 or MAT 305 or AMS 361 3
    MAT 331 3
    SBC 3
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
     Total 15
     
    JUNIOR

    FALL Credits
    MAT 312 or MAT 313 3
    MAT 319 or MAT 320 3
    MAT 336
    3
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    MAT 322 or MAT 341 or MAT 342 or MAT 324 3
    MAT 310 3
    SBC 3
    Upper-division elective 3
    Upper-division elective 3
     Total 15
     
    SENIOR

    FALL Credits
    Upper-division MAT elective  3
    Upper-division MAT elective  3
    Upper-division MAT elective  3
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    Upper-division MAT elective 3
    Upper-division MAT elective  3
    Upper-division MAT elective   3 
    Elective  3
    Elective 3
     Total 15

     

  • Contact

    Mathematics (MAT)

    Major and Minor in Mathematics

    Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences

    Chair: Robert Lazarsfeld

    Director of Undergraduate Study: Sasha Kirillov

    Assistant to the Chair: Lucille Meci

    Office: Mathematics P143 

    Phone: (631) 632-8250

    Email: lucille.meci@stonybrook.edu

    Website: http://www.math.sunysb.edu

    Minors of particular interest to students majoring in Mathematics: Applied Mathematics and Statistics (AMS), Computer Science (CSE), Economics (ECO), Physics (PHY)

     

     

     

  • Courses
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