Math Has New Numbers

Math has finally renumbered our courses according to difficulty, with Linear Algebra moved from Math 211 to its central spot Math 250 and the core courses moved to the middle of the 300s, with the pre-core electives below and the post-core electives above. (For the full list of our offerings fall 2013, go to the Registrar’s website.)

Precalculus and Courses for non-majors: 
Math 100- Math 129

Math 130             Calculus I
Math 140             Calculus II
Math 150             Multivariable (with series)
Math 151             Multivariable (with Stokes)

Bridge Courses:
Math 200             Discrete Math
Stat 201                Statistics
Math 209             Differential Equations
Math 250             Linear Algebra

Pre-Core Electives (not requiring Analysis or Algebra):
Math 300 – Math 349

Math Core:
Math 350             Real Analysis
Math 351             Applied Real Analysis
Math 355             Abstract Algebra

Post-Core Electives (requiring Analysis or Algebra):
Math 360 – Math 399

Senior Seminars:
Math 400-490

We hope you enjoy the new numbers!

 The Story of our Numbers

Long ago in days of yore in a land that was, well, right here, we had a rock solid system for numbering our prized collection of mathematics courses.

The first of the three digit number was level:  1 for first-year, 2  for sophomore, and so on.

The middle digit represent the subfield of mathematics to which the course belonged:   0=calculus/analysis, 1=algebra/number theory, 2=geometry/topology, 3=applied, 4=probability, 5=discrete, 6=logic, 7=actuarial, 8=miscellaneous.

The last digit could distinguish between courses in an area, and was selected so that Fall courses were odd numbered and Spring courses were even numbered.

And everyone was happy for many years.

Then came a time when Williams’ students, being the clever people they are, discovered what an absolute blast it was to do math.

This naturally led to an increase in the number of courses we offered, leading more students to discover the joys of math, which led to more courses in an exponential feedback loop.

Pretty soon all these courses began bickering over numbers (of all things!). Oddly, some even courses were taught in the Fall.  Even some odd courses were taught in the Spring. Some courses had to adopt a middle digit that had nothing to do with their field! And don’t even get me started on Statistics.

“ENOUGH OF THIS!” a wise and gentle soul finally shouted hysterically, and all the professors scrambled to make a New System.