The mathematics program aims to serve the diverse needs of students in the physical sciences, social sciences, and liberal arts, as well as mathematics.
Study and problem-solving in mathematics at all levels provide a paradigm of critical thinking: identifying and questioning premises, inferring patterns from evidence, deducing conclusions from hypotheses, and expressing ideas clearly. Other disciplines rely on mathematics to provide technical tools for precise reasoning and communication.
Upon graduation, some mathematics majors go on to graduate or professional school, while others begin careers in teaching, business, industry, or government. The major can be structured to provide a solid foundation in the mathematical sciences--pure and applied mathematics, statistics, and operations research--and fields close to mathematics like computer science, actuarial science, and engineering. In addition to the rich offering of courses at Occidental, our students can supplement their study by taking advantage of our unique exchange program with Caltech that allows Occidental students to supplement their study by taking courses at Caltech. A major or minor in mathematics can also provide an excellent technical and theoretical complement to a major or minor in other fields.
The Department of Mathematics believes fervently in the Mission of the College, represented by the cornerstones of equity, excellence, community and service. In the historical conception of a liberal arts education, mathematics plays a central role. Mathematics touches our everyday lives in countless ways, which is why it is vital for mathematics to be available to all students, whether it be just one class or as a major.
The Mathematics Department acknowledges the importance of diversity and inclusion and at Occidental we believe that mathematics is for everyone. We strive to welcome all students to succeed in our mathematics courses, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic background, religion, spirituality, physical ability, mental ability, or any other aspect of one's identity. We will continue our efforts to diversify the student body and staff.
All mathematics courses taken at Occidental are held in the Fowler academic building, located in the center of campus. Our department is on the third floor. All calculus courses include a computer laboratory component to give students the opportunity to experience, test, and personally discover mathematical ideas. Our computer classrooms allow this innovative use of computers to extend to other courses, including multivariate calculus, linear systems, statistical data analysis, and differential equations.
Minor in Mathematics
Please see the College catalog for information on obtaining a minor in mathematics and for information on the courses we offer in mathematics.
Graduate Study at Occidental
A master of arts in teaching is available in mathematics. Consult the section on graduate study, the education department, and the graduate office for overall requirements. The minimum mathematics requirement is 16 units of coursework approved by the mathematics department.