Academic Departments and Programs

Mathematics and Physical Sciences

The study of mathematics or the physical sciences requires a combination of creative thinking, detailed analysis, and organized problem-solving skills. At The College of Idaho we provide the opportunity to expand and develop these skills as you acquire a broad range of mathematical and scientific knowledge.

Why study Mathematics, Computer Science and Physical Sciences at The College of Idaho?

Our department provides an engaging and pragmatic curriculum that fosters student understanding of the nature and structure of mathematics and physical sciences, and encourages exploration of computational methods and mathematical applications. Our professors are dedicated to helping students develop critical thinking skills that are necessary for understand a rapidly changing and technologically-driven world.

The College offers majors in mathematics, mathematics-computer science and mathematics-physics which both include core coursework incorporating programming, problem-solving, abstract analysis and applications, and additional upper-division courses in mathematics or physics. Minors are offered in mathematics, physics, computer science in the natural sciences. A dual-degree engineering minor provides tracks in biological systems engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering.

Career Opportunities for C of I Mathematics and Physical Science Students

An understanding of mathematics and the nature of matter and energy, along with the ability to think critically and solve problems, is essential to many careers. Our graduates have pursued successful careers in a wide variety of fields including business, computer programming, economics, education, engineering, finance, law and medicine.

Majors

Mathematics Major

Mathematics Major

40-43 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Core Requirements

CSC-150

Computer Science I

4

MAT-150

Applied Calculus (MAT-151 is equivalent)

4

MAT-152

Calculus II

4

MAT-251

Calculus III

4

Complete 1 course from the following:

PHY-230

Digital Electronics

3

PHY-240

Electronics and Laboratory

4

PHY-271

Analytical Physics and Laboratory

4

Additional Requirements

MAT-494

Independent Study

1-3

MAT- ELEC

Mathematics Upper Division (300-level or above) Coursework

18

Elective upper division courses must include at least two of the following courses:

MAT-431

Complex Variables

3

MAT-441

Topology

3

MAT-451

Real Analysis

3

MAT-461

Algebraic Structures

3

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Discover and utilize effective analysis and problem solving skills in mathematics and mathematical applications.
  • Effectively express discipline-specific content and articulate broad connections among disciplines verbally, mathematically and through written works.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the role of mathematics, mathematical applications and technology in the larger community including, but not limited to: knowledge of ethical standards, the ramifications of technological advances and activities, and the role of all mathematics in society.

Note: Students interested in graduate work in mathematics are strongly encouraged to take the following courses:

  • MAT-451 Real Analysis
  • MAT-461 Algebraic Structures

Mathematics - Computer Science Major

Mathematics-Computer Science Major

50 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

CSC-150

Computer Science I

4

CSC-152

Computer Science II

4

CSC-160

Introduction to Computer Architecture

3

CSC-235

Programming Languages

3

CSC-270

Applied Databases

3

CSC-340

Design and Analysis of Algorithms

3

CSC-350

Formal Languages and Automata

3

CSC-440,
CSC-450,
CSC-455 or
CSC-497

Operating Systems,
Advanced Computer Architecture
Numerical Computation
Internship

3

CSC-480

Software Engineering and Senior Design I

2

CSC-481

Software Engineering and Senior Design II

1

CSC-482

Software Engineering and Senior Design III

3

MAT-150 or MAT-152

Applied Calculus (MAT-151 is equivalent) Calculus II

4

MAT-299

Introduction to Proof

1

MAT-252

Discrete Mathematics

3

MAT-361

Linear Algebra

3

PHY-230

Digital Electronics and Laboratory

4

SPE-101

Basic Public Speaking

3

Note: Mathematics-Computer Science majors may not minor in either Computer Studies or Computer Science.

Mathematics - Physics Major

Mathematics-Physics Major

39-43 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Core Requirements

CSC-150

Computer Science I

4

MAT-150

Applied Calculus (MAT-151 is equivalent)

4

MAT-152

Calculus II

4

MAT-251

Calculus III

4

Complete 1 course from the following:

PHY-230

Digital Electronics

3

PHY-240

Electronics and Laboratory

4

PHY-271

Analytical Physics and Laboratory

4

Additional Requirements

PHY-494

Independent Study

1-3

MAT/PHY- ELEC

Mathematics or Physics Upper Division (300-level or above) Coursework (MAT or PHY)

18

Elective upper division courses must include at least two of the following courses:

PHY-301

Theoretical Mechanics

3

PHY-313

Thermal Physics

3

PHY-330

Electricity and Magnetism

3

PHY-400

Quantum Physics

2-3

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Communicates effectively, using the language, concepts, and processes of mathematics and physics.
  • Uses the methodologies of mathematics and physics to define and solve problems independently and collaboratively.
  • Uses a wide variety of laboratory techniques with accuracy and precision.
  • Finds, selects, and uses appropriate scientific and mathematical information to support his/her work.
  • Uses different strategies to analyze and synthesize physical data.
  • Critiques the data, strategies, and models used in mathematics and physics.

Note: Students interested in graduate work in physics are strongly encouraged to take the following courses:

  • PHY-240/240L Analog Electronics and Laboratory
  • MAT-431 Complex Variables
  • PHY All Upper-Division (300/400 level) Physics Courses

Minors

Computer Science Minor

24 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

MAT-150 or
MAT-152

Applied Calculus (MAT-151 is equivalent)
Calculus II

4

MAT-252

Discrete Mathematics

3

CSC-150

Computer Science I

4

CSC-152

Computer Science II

4

CSC-160

Introduction to Computer Architecture

3

CSC-270

Applied Databases

3

CSC-235 or
CSC-340

Programming Languages or
Design and Analysis of Algorithms

3

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Critical Thinking
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Problem Solving

Note: Students may elect to minor in Computer Studies (Natural Sciences and Mathematics PEAK)or in Computer Science (Professional Studies and Enhancements PEAK), but not both. Mathematics-Computer Science majors may not minor in either Computer Studies or Computer Science.

Mathematics Minor

21 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

PREREQUISITES

MAT-150

Applied Calculus (MAT-151 is equivalent)

4

MAT-152

Calculus II

4

MAT-299T

Introduction to Proof

1

MINOR REQUIREMENTS:

Complete 18 credits from the following:

MAT

Mathematics Upper-Division (300 or 400-level) Courses

6

MAT

Mathematics Coursework - any level

12

CSC

4 crs of Computer Science may be substituted in requirement

 

Complete 3 credits from 1 of the following sciences:

BIO

Biology

3

CHE

Chemistry

3

GOL

Geology

3

PHY

Physics

3

Students who wish to satisfy the requirements for a second teaching field in Secondary Education must complete 20 credits of mathematics (MAT) courses including the following courses:

Course Course Title Credits

MAT-125 or MAT-312

Data Analysis & Statistics or Probability & Mathematical Statistics

3

MAT-252

Discrete Mathematics

3

MAT-311

Probability

3

MAT-361

Linear Algebra

3

MAT-370

Geometry

3

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Discover and utilize effective analysis and problem solving skills in mathematics and mathematical applications.
  • Effectively express discipline-specific content and articulate broad connections among disciplines verbally, mathematically and through written works.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the role of mathematics, mathematical applications and technology in the larger community including but not limited to : a knowledge of ethical standards, the ramifications of technological advances and activities and the role of all mathematics in society.

Physics Minor

19 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

PREREQUISITES

MAT-152

Calculus II

4

MAT-251

Calculus III

4

MAT-352

Differential Equations

3

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

PHY-271

Analytical Physics I & Laboratory

5

PHY-272

Analytical Physics II & Laboratory

5

Complete 9 credits from the following:

PHY

Physics Upper-Division (300 or 400-level) Courses

6

PHY

Physics Coursework - any level

3

Completing this minor and 1 additional credit in physics satisfies the state requirements for the secondary education second-teaching field in physics.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will gain skills and concepts necessary to understand modern physics and physics laboratory methods.
  • Students will develop an understanding of modern physics theories.
  • Students will develop problem solving and analysis skills appropriate for the field.
  • Students will communicate physical ideas both orally and in writing.

Dual-Degree Engineering Minor*

Minor credits vary dependent upon chosen path (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

MAT/PHY

Mathematics and/or Physics Upper-Division (300 or 400-level) Courses

9

Acceptance to an approved engineering program

The following courses are required for most fields of engineering and most computer science programs:

CHE-141

General Chemistry I & Laboratory

4

MAT-150

Applied Calculus

4

MAT-152

Calculus II

4

MAT-251

Calculus III

4

PHY-170

Engineering Analysis

2

PHY-271

Analytical Physics I & Laboratory

5

PHY-272

Analytical Physics II & Laboratory

5

Additional Humanities electives as specified by the partner dual-degree institution.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will gain skills and concepts necessary to understand the principles and practice of engineering.
  • Students will develop problem solving and analysis skills appropriate for the field.
  • Students will communicate science and engineering ideas both orally and in writing.

*Note: The required courses specific to the Dual-Degree Engineering Minor depend upon the Engineering field and the engineering institution. Every student completing this Minor should closely consult with a dual-degree engineering advisor to choose appropriate College of Idaho courses.