The scope of mathematics ranges from computer science to philosophy, from physics to finance, from biology to the fine arts. Mathematics emphasizes precision and logic, but also creativity, elegance and problem-solving. While mathematics is a subject with a rich history (some techniques, results and open problems go back thousands of years), it is also a subject that is very much alive, with new theories and applications continually arising. While mathematical and statistical models and methods form the basis of scientific and engineering fields, they are also used in such diverse areas as modern communication, cryptography, animation, banking and finance, policy development and consultation, public health care, and architecture. With an undergraduate degree in mathematics and statistics, students often go on to pursue an education degree to become a teacher or a graduate degree to become a researcher. However, the career options are much broader. Students with a strong background in mathematics and statistics develop problem-solving skills, logical thinking, and creativity, which serve them well for any career path.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers degrees in both the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Arts. Because of the diversity of programs offered, students are encouraged to consider their academic goals at an early stage in their studies, and to consult the chair and other members of the department regarding course selection.
Statistics is the science of data and is a useful tool for research in virtually all areas of human endeavor. It involves collecting, organizing, summarizing, and analyzing information in order to draw conclusions. The practice of statistics takes into account the notion of uncertainty (variability), which leads to error when estimating something, predicting something, or making a decision. It is important, therefore, to measure and, if possible, control error. The framework for quantifying uncertainty is probability, which is a mathematical theory used to describe and analyze chance events. For this reason, probability is the foundation of statistics. Statistics is used in many different fields: medical studies, economics, GNP growth, forecasting, stock market valuations, futures pricing, sociological studies, social policy, marketing research, opinion polls, political polls, industrial processes, environmental processes, and ecological processes and issues.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers degrees in both the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Arts. Students must meet the general requirements of both the faculty and the department. Please consult the Academic Calendar for additional details.