Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
    
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Mathematics and Statistics


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Department Office
Darwin Hall 114
phone: (707) 664-2368
math@sonoma.edu

Chair, Martha Scott


About Mathematics

Mathematics is a rapidly growing discipline whose concepts and applications play an ever-increasing part in modern life. Mathematics has always been an essential tool in the physical sciences, and has more recently been applied extensively in such diverse areas as medical and biological research, environmental studies, economics, management science, behavioral and social sciences, statistics, and computer science.

Our basic curriculum is designed to give students the mathematical skills necessary for success in business, industry, government, and teaching, as well as to provide a sound background for continuation of study toward advanced degrees in mathematics, computer science, statistics, and related fields.

The BA in mathematics provides preparation for teaching, general application of mathematics, and graduate study in mathematics. The bi-disciplinary concentration allows a student to combine mathematics with another discipline.

The BS in mathematics has a concentration in applied mathematics. This program prepares students for graduate study in mathematics and for work in a variety of other fields: computer science, work in government and industry, biostatistics, actuarial work, and consultative problem-solving in modern industry.

About Statistics


Mathematics and statistics are rapidly growing disciplines whose concepts and applications play an ever-increasing part in modern life. Statistics has long been an essential tool in the physical sciences and has more recently been applied extensively in such diverse areas as medical and biological research, environmental studies, management science, behavioral and social sciences, and economics. Our basic curriculum is designed to give students the skills necessary for success in business, industry, government, and teaching. In addition, these degrees will provide a sound background for continuation of study toward advanced degrees in statistics, or a quantitative foundation for graduate school in disciplines such as business, economics, biology, or other fields.

The BA in applied statistics is intended for students pursuing a degree in another discipline such as economics, psychology, biology, or others. These students may be interested in taking more statistics classes to prepare themselves for jobs in industry or success in graduate school in another field. The BA allows upper-division units from another major to count as part of the “area of concentration,” and is focused on developing practical skills such as regression analysis and ANOVA, and on gaining proficiency with statistical software packages commonly used in industry and research. Students are strongly encouraged to earn the BA as part of a double major in a complementary field.

The BS in statistics is a rigorous program for students who intend to pursue a career as a statistician or who wish to go to graduate school in statistics or mathematics. Students earning the BS will learn the same practical skills as those taking the BA Additionally, they will take theoretical courses in linear algebra, analysis, mathematical statistics, and stochastic processes. This program follows the guidelines proposed by the American Statistical Association in the Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs in Statistical Science.

Both programs will prepare students for work in areas including government and industry, biostatistics, actuarial work, and consultative problem-solving in modern industry.

Careers in Statistics and Actuarial Sciences

According to the American Statistical Association the demand for statisticians in the workforce is dramatically increasing. Statisticians can find employment in a variety of fields. Biomedical, pharmaceutical, engineering and marketing companies, and government agencies seek employees with statistical skills to analyze large data sets. Many students find lucrative jobs as SAS programmers.

In addition, statistics students with an interest in finance or economics will be interested in pursuing a career as an actuary. The courses in both the BA and BS provide a solid preparation for the first actuarial exam and the Applied Statistical Methods educational experience credit. Actuaries have been ranked in the top 5 careers in the US for salary and job satisfaction since 1988.

Learning Objectives for the BA in Applied Statistics and BS in Statistics

  • Describe data sets using appropriate numerical and graphical techniques;
  • Develop mathematical tools necessary to perform statistical calculations and to understand distributions and statistical theory;
  • Design experiments and survey sampling methods that allow results to be statistically analyzed to test hypotheses;
  • Determine which statistical analyses are suitable, perform the analyses using technology, and assess the validity of necessary assumptions and interpret the results;
  • Construct and apply probability models for both discrete and continuous random variables; and
  • Communicate with non-statisticians in written and oral formats to learn what a client is interested in ascertaining and to present the results from a statistical analysis.

Additionally, for the BS in statistics:

  • Construct and verify mathematical proofs;
  • Discuss properties of estimators and explain the rationale and assumptions behind statistical procedures; and
  • Apply stochastic models to solve real-world problems.

Grading Policy in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics


Non-majors

All mathematics courses except MATH 103, MATH 104, MATH 105, MATH 111, MATH 131, Math 131B, MATH 141, MATH 150, Math 150B, MATH 160, Math 161, Math 161B, MATH 161X, and MATH 165, Math 165B, MATH 165X are available in the Cr/NC grading mode to non-mathematics majors.

All Students

MATH 131A, MATH 150A, MATH 160W, MATH 161W, MATH 161A, MATH 165A, MATH 175, MATH 211W, MATH 295, MATH 330, MATH 390, MATH 395, MATH 499  are available only as Cr/NC.

Mathematics and Statistics Majors and Minors

A mathematics and statistics major or minor must take all mathematics courses used to meet major requirements in the traditional grading mode, with the exceptions of courses offered only in the CR/NC modes and any course taken as credit by challenge examination (please see more information on this in the Admissions section of this catalog).

Programs

    MajorConcentrationMinorSample Four-Year PlansSample Two-Year Transfer Plans

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