Mathematics has been a central feature of humanity’s intellectual achievements over the past several centuries. Its role in the physical sciences and engineering is well established and continues to aid in their development. Mathematics is also becoming increasingly important in the social and life sciences with a wide range of new applications requiring sophisticated mathematical techniques. Thus, the field of applied mathematical sciences is undergoing remarkable growth.
UC Merced offers an undergraduate major leading to a B.S. degree in the Applied Mathematical Sciences. This educational experience provides students with knowledge of the foundations of mathematics and the skills needed to apply mathematics to real-world phenomena in the social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. The curriculum is composed of courses in the fundamentals while allowing for building expertise in an application area through the emphasis tracks. There is a core set of courses all mathematical sciences students take. Beyond these classes, students complete an emphasis track consisting of courses in other fields. Some examples of emphasis tracks include physics, computational biology, economics, computer science and engineering, and engineering mechanics. New emphasis tracks will be added alongside new programs developing at UC Merced. Students may also design their own emphasis track with the approval of the faculty program leads for the Applied Mathematical Sciences major.
A degree in applied mathematical sciences opens the door to a wide variety of careers. Employers understand that a degree in mathematics means a student has been trained well in analytical reasoning and problem solving. Moreover, applied mathematical sciences majors with skills in scientific computing have the additional leverage of substantial computing experience. The market for applied mathematicians has usually been good, especially for those who can relate their mathematics to real world problems. In particular, applied mathematics majors familiar with concepts in management, biology, engineering, economics or the environmental sciences among others are well suited for many specialized positions. In addition, the breadth and rigor of this program provide an excellent preparation to teach mathematics at the elementary or high school levels.
The student must complete between 12 and 17 units of approved course work toward the completion of an emphasis track. At least 4 units of the 12 to 17 units must be upper division courses. Some examples of emphasis tracks include physics, computational biology, economics, computer science, engineering, environmental, and computational and data sciences. More application themes will become available as new programs on campus develop. Students may design a custom emphasis track with approval from the faculty program leads for the Applied Mathematical Sciences major.
Applied Mathematical Sciences Program Learning Outcomes
The over-arching goal of the Applied Mathematical Sciences program is to build a community of life-long learners that use the analytical and computational tools of mathematics to solve real world problems.
Upon graduating, we expect students completing the Applied Mathematical Sciences major to have become effective problem solvers, meaning that student will be able to
- Solve mathematical problems using analytical methods.
- Solve mathematical problems using computational methods.
- Recognize the relationships between different areas of mathematics and the connections between mathematics and other disciplines.
- Give clear and organized written and verbal explanations of mathematical ideas to a variety of audiences.
- Model real-world problems mathematically and analyze those models using their mastery of the core concepts.
Sample plans of study for the Applied Mathematical Sciences degree may be found in the School of Natural Sciences website ns-advising.ucmerced.edu.
- Applied Mathematical Sciences, Computational and Data Sciences Emphasis, B.S.
- Applied Mathematical Sciences, Computational Biology Emphasis, B.S.
- Applied Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science Emphasis, B.S.
- Applied Mathematical Sciences, Custom Emphasis, B.S.
- Applied Mathematical Sciences, Economics Emphasis, B.S.
- Applied Mathematical Sciences, Engineering Emphasis, B.S.
- Applied Mathematical Sciences, Environmental Emphasis, B.S.
- Applied Mathematical Sciences, Physics Emphasis, B.S.