Mathematics has evolved to a discipline that is mainly characterized
by its method of proof, its concern for a progressive broadening of its
concepts, and by the search for mathematical entities and operations that
represent aspects of reality. It is a subject that is pursued by many for its
own sake, and regarded as part of the mainstream of human culture. Mathematics
pervades modern society with an impact which, already immense, is rapidly
growing.

The two principal divisions of mathematics are pure mathematics and
applied mathematics. The pure mathematician is interested in abstract
mathematical structures and in mathematics as an intellectual enterprise. The
primary concern may not be with its utilitarian aspects or with the current
needs of science and technology, although many problems in pure mathematics
have developed from the sciences.

The applied mathematician is more interested in how mathematics can
be used to study some aspects of the world. Mathematicians are engaged in the
creation, study, and application of advanced mathematical methods relevant to
scientific problems. Statistical science and methodology today is concerned
with phenomena in which there is a background of uncertainty arising from
inherent variability and the investigator is obliged to arrive at decisions
from limited data. A key tool in statistics is probability.

Some of the fields in which pure mathematicians work are algebra,
analysis, geometry, topology, number theory, and foundations. Applied
mathematics, which once referred to the application of mathematics to such
disciplines as mechanics and fluid dynamics, has currently assumed a much
broader meaning and embraces such diverse fields as communication theory,
theory of optimization, theory of games, and numerical analysis.

Mathematics offers many vocational possibilities. Such fields as
teaching, computing, applied statistics, and actuarial science offer
opportunities for B.Sc. graduates. Opportunities to do original research in
pure and applied mathematics are available in universities and research
institutions. Employment is to be found in financially or technologically
oriented business firms. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics, through
its various programs, attempts to provide courses to suit the diverse interests
within mathematics and statistics.

The Honours program demands of students a talent for abstraction
in addition to a high level of competence in the use of mathematical tools.
This program is intended for students who plan to work in an area where
mathematical innovations may be needed. It is almost essential for students
contemplating a career in mathematical research.

The Major program involves the same subjects as the Honours program,
but is less demanding in terms of abstraction. It is designed primarily for
students who will need mathematical tools in their work but whose creative
activity will involve applications of mathematics to other areas. Within the
framework of the Mathematics Major, various combinations of courses are
suggested to meet the needs of different students. These include course
suggestions for secondary school teachers, careers in management, and for
careers in industry, government, or actuarial sciences.

It is possible for Major students to include a number of Honours
courses in their programs. This will be an advantage for those students who
plan to use their mathematics in graduate studies.

Students interested in a Mathematics program linked to other
disciplines are advised to consider the B.Sc. Liberal program with a core
component in Mathematics or Statistics, or our joint programs with Computer
Science, Physiology, and Physics.

In planning their programs, students are advised to seriously consider
developing some depth in another discipline—preferably one for which
mathematics has some relevance and use. Mathematics has been closely linked to
areas such as computer science, physics, and engineering, but has recently come
to play an increasingly important role in fields such as biology, linguistics,
management, and psychology. Students should consider completing the requirements
for minor programs such as those available in Cognitive Science, Computer
Science, and Statistics.

Students considering programs in Mathematics and Statistics should
contact the Department to arrange for academic advising.

The student's attention is called to the fact that a B.Com. degree
with a Major in Mathematics is available from the Desautels Faculty of
Management. In addition, the Schulich School of Music offers the B.Mus. degree
with Honours in Theory with Mathematics option.