Page last updated on September 8, 2016
Pitzer’s mathematics courses are designed to serve three purposes: general education; service to courses in social, behavioral and natural sciences; and the basis for the mathematics major.
General Education in Mathematics
What is mathematics? What are its major methods and conclusions? How is it related to other subjects? What do modern mathematicians do? Several Pitzer courses specifically address these questions. These courses (described below) are: MATH001 PZ, Mathematics, Philosophy and the “Real World”; MATH 010 PZ The Mathematical Mystery Tour; MATH 015 PZ Mathematics for Teachers I: Number and Operation; MATH 016 PZ Mathematics for Teachers II: Geometry and Data. These courses cover mathematical material that is exciting and sophisticated and yet accessible to students with a standard high school education in mathematics. As such they offer students an excellent opportunity to break fresh ground in kinds of mathematics they are not likely to have seen before. All of these courses meet Pitzer’s Educational Objective in Formal Reasoning.
The Precalculus and Calculus Sequences
MATH 025 PZ, Precalculus, is designed to prepare students for Calculus I. The course reviews linear, quadratic and polynomial functions, before introducing the exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions. These are the functions most widely used in the quantitative social sciences and natural sciences. MATH 025 PZ does not fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement.
MATH 030 PZ, MATH 031 PZ and MATH 032 PZ comprise the calculus sequence. The calculus, since it studies motion and change, is the key mathematical tool in understanding growth, decay and motion in the physical, biological, and social sciences. Pitzer offers MATH 030 PZ, MATH 031 PZ and MATH 032 PZ each year. Calculus is also offered at the other Claremont Colleges.
We also offer more advanced courses as part of The Claremont Colleges’ Intercollegiate Mathematics program.
Pitzer Advisers: D. Bachman, J. Hoste, J. Lorenat.
Student Learning Outcomes
Pitzer Mathematics Majors should be able to:
- understand mathematics, mastering a range of different topics for breadth and studying some in depth.
- write proofs.
- use mathematics as a problem-solving tool in real-world problems.
- work collaboratively to solve problems.
- organize, connect and communicate mathematical ideas effectively.
- understand the relationship between mathematics and other areas of study.
- use appropriate technologies to explore mathematics.
- be adequately prepared for graduate school in mathematically-related fields, or for employment in such fields.