Jul 29, 2021  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
    
College Catalog 2021-2022

Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science


Full Time Faculty: Vittorio Addona, Andrew Beveridge, Paul Cantrell, Lian Duan, Taryn Flock, Susan Fox (Chair), Kelsey Grinde, Thomas Halverson, Brianna Heggeseth, Kristin Heysse, Bret Jackson, Alicia Johnson, Esra Kadioglu Urtis, Lisa Lendway, Abigail Marsh, Lauren Milne, William Mitchell, Leslie Myint, Lisa Naples, Getiria Onsongo, Joslenne Peña, Shilad Sen, Elizabeth Shoop, David Shuman, Lori Ziegelmeier

Part Time Faculty: David Ehren, Elizabeth Ernst

The MSCS department combines several disciplines: theoretical mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics, data science, and computer science. These disciplines are highly connected, and we seek to build a curricula that embodies those synergies. We are committed to collaborating across disciplinary boundaries, both in research and in education. Students with all levels of preparation can find success and a home in our department.  Our curriculum is designed to be inclusive and accessible to all.

Mission Statement: Our mission in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science is to contribute to the broad education of Macalester students with a particular emphasis on critical analysis, founded on methods and communication skills that are quantitative, logical, computational, and analytic in character. For our majors, we give a deep grounding that can support a variety of future professional activities. For non-majors from quantitative and analytic disciplines, we provide the foundational concepts and skills that assist them to progress in those fields. We help all students - the general education student as well as majors in our own and partner disciplines -  to acquire an appreciation of the beauty and significance of our disciplines, including their relation to ongoing events in the broader world.

The MSCS department offers courses in theoretical and applied computer science, theoretical and applied mathematics, theoretical and applied statistics, and data science. The program is firmly committed to the principles and ideals of a liberal arts education. An important goal of the program is to produce graduates who are self-educators and life-long learners, characteristics that are so important in rapidly changing disciplines.

Note: MSCS majors have undergone a major revision for Fall 2021. For current/past students looking for the “old” Mathematics and Applied Math & Statistics major requirements, see the MSCS web page.

Mathematics

Mathematics area coordinator: David Shuman

The MSCS department offers courses in theoretical and applied mathematics and a Macalester graduate in mathematics would be prepared for:

  • careers with quantitative work and problem-solving; 

  • secondary school teaching;

  • graduate work in mathematics, applied mathematics, and related fields such as engineering, theoretical statistics or biostatistics. 

The MSCS department offers a Mathematics major and minor.

Placement

Entering students should consult the Entry Courses in MSCS link on the department webpage to determine where to start in the mathematics curriculum. 

Statistics

Statistics area coordinator: Vittorio Addona

The MSCS department offers courses in theoretical and applied statistics and a Macalester graduate in statistics would be prepared for:

  • data-focused careers in industry, non-profits, and government;

  • graduate work in statistics, biostatistics, data science, and related fields. 

The MSCS department offers a Statistics major and a Statistics minor.

Placement

Entering students should consult the Entry Courses in MSCS link on the department webpage to determine where to start in the statistics curriculum. 

Data Science

The MSCS department offers courses in data science and a Macalester graduate in data science would be prepared for:

  • data-focused careers in industry, non-profits, and government;

  • advanced study in data science and related fields. 

The MSCS department offers a Data Science major and a Data Science minor.

Placement

Entering students should consult the Entry Courses in MSCS link on the department webpage to determine where to start in the data science curriculum. 

Computer Science

Computer Science area coordinator (and MSCS department chair): Susan Fox

The MSCS department offers courses in theoretical and applied computer science, and data science and a Macalester graduate in computer science is prepared for:

  • advanced study in computer science or related fields,

  • software development and other technical work in the industry. 

The MSCS department offers a Computer Science major and a Computer Science minor.

Placement

Entering students should consult the Entry Courses in MSCS link on the department webpage to determine where to start in the computer science or data science curricula.

Completing Multiple Programs in MSCS

Because MSCS offers multiple programs, we restrict some combinations of programs, due to excessive overlap. Our policies are:

  • Students may double-major in Computer Science and Mathematics

  • Students may double-major in Computer Science and Statistics

  • Students may not double-major in Math and Statistics

  • Students may not double-major in Data Science and any other MSCS major

  • Students who complete any MSCS minor may count no more than two courses that count toward any other major, minor, or concentration 

  • Students may not pursue any more than two MSCS programs. Within MSCS, students can have: two majors, one major and one minor, or two minors

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the department count toward the general distribution requirement in mathematics and natural science except those numbered COMP 154  and MATH 212 . Both COMP 154  and MATH 212  count toward the humanities general distribution requirement.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and US identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The MSCS department participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations can be found on the department webpage or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Topics Courses

COMP 194  , COMP 294  , COMP 394  , COMP 494  , MATH 194 , MATH 294 , MATH 394 , MATH 494 , STAT 194 , STAT 294 STAT 394 , STAT 494  

Selected topics in computer science, mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics. When the course is offered, the topic and prerequisites for that semester will be announced and posted prior to registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The MSCS department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.

Programs