Department of Mathematics
100 & 200 Level Math Courses
Mathematics 101: Finite Mathematics (one section in the fall, one in the spring):
This is a course designed to introduce students to mathematical thinking as it applies to everyday life, to develop problem-solving skills, and to increase students’ mathematical literacy. This course covers a variety of topics, which may include (but are not limited to) probability, counting methods (such as the number of codes in a combination lock), routing methods (such as the traveling salesman problem), symmetry (such as the mathematics involved in architectural patterns of buildings or the shape of snowflakes), and the mathematics of voting in a democratic society. This course does not lead naturally to any other specific course in our curriculum.
Mathematics 115: Elementary Statistics (one section in the fall, one in the spring):
This is a first college course in statistics, and as such there is no specific prerequisite. Students are expected to become comfortable collecting, computing, and analyzing data, both numerically and graphically, and using the statistical software Fathom. Students will find the ideas developed in this course applicable to many majors, especially in the sciences and social sciences.
Mathematics 117: Functions and Modeling (one section in the fall):
This course is designed both to consolidate the background needed for a calculus course, and to study mathematical modeling as a tool for applications in the sciences. It presupposes good control of high school algebra skills. While many of the topics are similar to those encountered in a high school precalculus class, the emphasis is on conceptual understanding, problem solving, modeling and applications. The approach and style are consistent with that of the calculus courses we offer at Agnes Scott. Students can certainly take this course even if they are not now planning to continue into calculus. It is a much better preparation for their science lab courses than is Math 101. A graphing calculator is required for this course.
Mathematics 118: Calculus I (two sections in the fall, one in the spring):
Calculus is a great course for anyone with an interest in profound mathematical ideas, and is the gateway to all upper division mathematics courses. Background for this course is a good control of high school algebra and trigonometry, and an understanding of functions. Calculus in high school is not a prerequisite for calculus in college, although some students in Math 118 will have seen some calculus before. A student who is thinking of majoring in mathematics is encouraged to take calculus in the fall semester. Any student interested in economics or one of the sciences should carefully plan with her advisors the appropriate time to take calculus. Any student interested in this course should take the Calculus Readiness Test. A graphing calculator is required for this course.
Mathematics 119: Calculus II (one section in the fall, one in the spring):
This course continues the single variable calculus development begun in Math 118, and is designed for students who have had a good calculus course in high school, or have completed Math 118. A student may be placed in this course with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam or a 3 on the AP Calculus BC exam. A student who did well in a high school calculus course but did not write the AP exam, or who earned a 3 on the AB exam, may also be ready for Math 119. She should chat with a member of the math department – she needs written permission to register for this course. A student with a 3 on the AP calculus AB exam who completes Math 119 with a C or better will also earn 4 hours of AP credit. This is meant to be an incentive to take Math 119 rather than Math 118 if the student is ready. A graphing calculator is required for this course.
Mathematics 204: The Art of Mathematical Thinking (one section, fall):
This is our introductory proof course, the bridge to many of our advanced courses, and a pivotal course in our program for mathematics majors. Students begin their journey into the world of abstract mathematics while developing their intuition, mathematical writing and problem solving skills, and mathematical imaginations. Collaborative problem solving is encouraged. Prerequisite: MAT 119 with a C– or better.
Mathematics 206: Linear Algebra (one section, spring):
Linear algebra is the algebra of systems of linear equations. We develop techniques to solve several equations in several variables using matrices, and study higher-dimensional geometry, linear transformations, determinants, vector spaces, and other related topics, and unify these topics in a single theory. Linear algebra is essential background for almost all advanced mathematics, and is used liberally in applied areas like engineering, physics and economics. Prerequisite: MAT 119 with a C– or better.
Mathematics 220: Multivariable Calculus (one section, spring):
Multivariable calculus is the study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables. This course investigates the geometry and properties of surfaces and curves in space, develops the ideas and techniques of differentiation and integration of functions of several variables, and explores the applications of these tools to areas of mathematics, economics, and science. Computer software is used for visualization and computations. Prerequisite: MAT 119 with a C– or better.
Note: Entering students with a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam are encouraged to consider at least one of the courses MAT 204, MAT 206 or MAT 220 in their first year.