Arkady Vaintrob and Christopher B. Wilson, Advisors
The undergraduate major in mathematics and computer science leads to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. The major combines elements of the mathematics and computer and information science curricula into a four-year program that offers an alternative to the undergraduate degree programs in either field. It serves students who want knowledge in both fields but are not ready to specialize in either. The courses selected for the program provide a solid foundation for professional work or for advanced study.
The program is designed to develop team players for information-based occupations. Its graduates have the tools to analyze complex problems and compute the answers to them. Consistent with its emphasis on teamwork and communication, the program requires college-level exposure to an additional scientific field and an upper-division writing course.
Students with strong mathematics backgrounds in high school are frequently advised to major in computer science at the university, often without a clear idea of what the field of study is actually like. The joint major program offers such students the chance to experiment with computer science while retaining the anchor to mathematics. It also allows students the possibility of changing easily to the single-major program in either mathematics or CIS with no loss of credit and, at least through the junior year, without jeopardizing degree completion in four years.
Graduates with this major can enter industrial positions that require computer science skills and mathematical problem-solving ability. They are particularly well suited for positions in the high-performance computing industry, developing the software tools for large-scale scientific computation. The combination of mathematics and computer science forms an excellent professional background for secondary-school mathematics teachers, and the major program also provides a solid foundation for actuarial, financial, and related professions. Graduates are also prepared to enter advanced programs of study in either mathematics or computer science, or in applied areas such as biological computational science.
A high school student planning to major in mathematics and computer science should pursue a strong academic program with four years of mathematics. Courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and more advanced topics should be included. Experience preparing substantial written reports is highly desirable.
Transfer Students. College transfer students who have completed a year of calculus should be able to fit the remaining mathematics courses for the degree into just two years, provided that they have already completed the bulk of their general-education requirements before they transfer.
Transfer students should call or write to the Department of Computer and Information Science to determine whether computer courses they have taken can be counted toward the joint major requirements. Sequential subjects such as mathematics and computer science typically require several years to progress from introductory to senior-level courses. The joint program lets students move forward in both fields at once with limited prerequisites, making it relatively accessible to transfer students and to students who change from other major programs. Students who want to pursue the material in greater depth need to consider prerequisite paths carefully.
Students attending community college in Oregon are encouraged to obtain the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree before entering the University of Oregon. While earning this degree, community college transfer students should take as much discrete mathematics, calculus, and computer science as possible, and also try to complete the science requirement for the major. The associate degree does not automatically satisfy the science requirement for this major.
The faculties and facilities in both the mathematics and the computer and information science departments are available to students in the combined major program. For detailed descriptions, see those sections of this catalog. Information is also available online.
Computer Science I,II,III (CIS 210, 211, 212), Elements of Discrete Mathematics I,II (MATH 231, 232) and Calculus I,II,III (MATH 251, 252, 253) or Calculus with Theory I,II,III (MATH 261, 262, 263). Students must earn no grade below a mid-C for automatic advancement. The remaining requirements fall into four categories: mathematics, computer and information science, writing, and science, with 24 credits taken in mathematics, 28 credits in computer and information science, and 16 credits in the other departments. A total of 100 credits are required for the mathematics and computer science major.
Elementary Analysis (MATH 315)
Elementary Linear Algebra (MATH 341, 342)
Elementary Numerical Analysis I,II (MATH 351, 352) or Introduction to Mathematical Methods of Statistics I,II (MATH 461, 462)
One other upper-division mathematics course excluding Statistical Methods I,II (MATH 425, 426), and Multivariate Statistical Methods (MATH 427)
Mathematics courses used to satisfy major requirements must be taken for letter grades and passed with grades of C– or better. At least 12 of the upper-division credits applied to the degree must be taken in residence at the university.
Introduction to Data Structures (CIS 313), Computer Organization (CIS 314), Introduction to Algorithms (CIS 315), Principles of Programming Languages (CIS 425)
Choose one from Software Methodology I (CIS 422), Introduction to Computer Graphics (CIS 441), and Modeling and Simulation (CIS 445)
Two other 4-credit upper-division CIS courses. CIS 399 and CIS 410 courses used as electives must have a prerequisite of CIS 313 and have regular weekly class meetings and homework assignments. At least one course must be numbered 410 or above
Computer and information science courses used to satisfy degree requirements must be passed with letter grades of C– or better.
In addition to the university’s two-course writing requirement, mathematics and computer science majors must take Scientific and Technical Writing (WR 320) or Business Writing (WR 321).
At least 12 credits selected from one of the following four options; the courses may be taken pass/no pass (P/N) or for letter grades, and students are encouraged to complete the accompanying laboratory courses:
Each major is assigned two advisors, one in the Department of Mathematics and one in the Department of Computer and Information Science. One of the two is designated as the advisor of record for the student, but both cooperate in planning the student’s program. Because of the interrelationship between mathematics and computer science courses, it is especially important that a student planning for the combined major consult closely with both advisors. Since both mathematics and computer science are sequential subjects, prerequisite planning should be discussed with the student’s advisors.
Programming Experience. Students who take CIS 210, 211, 212 are expected to have programming experience, which may have been acquired in a high school course, through employment, or in a course such as CIS 122. Students who are unsure about their level of preparation should meet with a CIS advisor.
Sequence of Courses. Elements of Discrete Mathematics I,II (MATH 231, 232) and Computer Science I,II,III (CIS 210–212) go well together, as do calculus and physics. Students with advanced placement credit in calculus and programming experience may want to take MATH 231, 232, and CIS 210–212 in the freshman year. Students with little or no programming experience should plan to take Introduction to Programming and Algorithms (CIS 122), Calculus I,II,III (MATH 251, 252, 253), and the major science requirement in the freshman year. In the sophomore year, students should take whichever of calculus or computer science was not taken freshman year, and continue into the 300 level of the branch that was taken.
Each major must meet with a CIS advisor to file a Major Progress Review form after completing 12 credits of the upper-division core—MATH 315, 341, 342; CIS 313, 314, 315, 425, and one among 422, 441, or 445—including at least one course from each department. Mathematics and computer science courses used to satisfy major requirements must be taken for letter grades and passed with grades of C– or better. At least 12 of the upper-division mathematics credits and 12 of the upper-division computer and information science credits applied to the degree must be taken in residence at the university. A student who receives two grades below C– in the upper-division core is removed from the major.
Both of the cooperating departments offer departmental honors programs to their undergraduate majors. After obtaining advance approval from both of their advisors, students in the joint degree program are eligible to attain honors in mathematics and computer science by meeting the honors requirements of either department, including writing a thesis.
The College of Education offers a fifth-year program for middle-secondary licensure in mathematics and for elementary teaching. More information is available from the mathematics department’s education advisor, Shlomo Libeskind; see also the College of Education section of this catalog.
Minors are offered by the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computer and Information Science. There is no joint minor in mathematics and computer science.