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Majors & Minors

Course Catalog

Mathematics

The study of mathematics encourages the development of skills in analytical thinking and problem solving that have wide applicability. Students who graduate with a major in the department have continued their educations in fields as disparate as mathematics, computer science, physics, operations research, law, business, music, religion, dentistry and medicine; others have accepted employment in a wide variety of occupations. The department has a long tradition of successfully preparing students for the actuarial profession.

Mathematics

A major and minor is offered in Mathematics. The basic sequence of courses for Mathematics majors is MATH 151, 152, 223, 251 and 270. Advanced placement and credit can be granted for satisfactory performance on national or departmental examinations.

Actuarial Science

Actuaries are responsible for determining rates and premiums on insurance policies (e.g. life, health, home and auto) and forecasting future events affecting the soundness of insurance programs. Some actuaries work with consulting firms as advisors to corporations regarding human resource and pension benefits. Government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration or insurance regulatory boards, also employ actuaries. Actuaries can specialize in life and health insurance, in property and casualty insurance, or in pension benefit programs. The department of mathematics encourages the development of skills in analytical thinking and problem solving that prepare our students for life beyond DePauw. Actuarial Science is a collection of mathematical and statistical techniques that make it possible to calculate the monetary value of uncertain future events. Actuaries apply these principles and techniques to solve problems in finance, insurance and related fields. Actuaries are involved with every aspect of the insurance industry and must possess strong mathematical skills and a solid business background to apply their technical knowledge.


Requirements for a major

Actuarial Science

Total courses required Ten
Core courses MATH 151, MATH 152, ECON 100
Other required courses
  • One mathematics course at the 200 level (MATH 223, MATH 247, MATH 251 or MATH 270)
  • MATH 331 & MATH 332
  • MATH 441 & MATH 442
  • Either ECON 294 or ECON 295
  • One elective from the following courses: MATH 336, ECON 393 or ECON 450
Number 300 and 400 level courses Five
Senior requirement and capstone experience The senior requirement consists of MATH 495.
Additional information MATH 332 and MATH 442 are one-half credit courses and will be offered in the same semester as MATH 331 and MATH 441 respectively.

A student may not major in both Actuarial Science and in Mathematics. A student may not major in Actuarial Science and minor in Mathematics.

Recent changes in major This new major will become available in the 2013-14 academic year.
Writing in the Major Actuarial Science majors develop their writing expertise by taking the classes Math 223, or Foundations of Advanced Mathematics, and Math 270, Linear Algebra or Math 336, An introduction to Financial Engineering. In lower level courses, significant emphasis will be placed on what it means to express mathematical thoughts and concepts through writing. In Math 336, emphasis will be placed on writing the project process and analyze the financial data by applying the theorems and techniques learned in class. Students are expected to explain the core mathematical tools and fundamental concepts of financial engineering in their papers. Discussion of writing in Actuarial Science takes place throughout the Actuarial Science curriculum, but receives special emphasis in these courses, where students have many opportunities to revise their writing after receiving feedback from the instructor and to integrate mathematical and financial symbols and prose writing, in the form of a cogent argument. The writing in the major requirement in Actuarial Science culminates in the math senior seminar, where students produce an expository paper of approximately twenty pages.

Mathematics

Total courses required Ten
Core courses MATH 151, MATH 152, MATH 223, MATH 251, MATH 270, MATH 495
Other required courses Students planning graduate work in mathematics should include MATH 361 and MATH 371. Students concentrating in actuarial mathematics should include MATH 331 and MATH 442.
Number 300 and 400 level courses Four (not including MATH 495)
Senior requirement and capstone experience MATH 495
Writing in the Major

Mathematics majors develop their writing expertise by taking the classes Math 223, Foundations of Advanced Mathematics, and Math 270, Linear Algebra. In these courses, significant emphasis will be placed on what it means to express mathematical thoughts and concepts through writing. Discussion of writing in Mathematics takes place throughout the mathematics curriculum, but receives special emphasis in these courses, where students have many opportunities to revise their writing after receiving feedback from the instructor and to integrate mathematical symbols and prose writing, in the form of a cogent argument. The writing in the major requirement in Mathematics culminates in the senior seminar, where students produce an expository paper of approximately twenty pages.


Requirements for a minor

Mathematics

Total courses required Five
Core courses MATH 151, MATH 152, MATH 223, MATH 270
Other required courses
Number 300 and 400 level courses One