GT Math Students

Program Overview , Applied Math Degree, Discrete Math Degree ,
Business Option, Mathematics Minor , Teaching Assistants and Graders , Awards , Emails , Placement

Overview of GT Math Programs of Study

The undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at Georgia Tech offers students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and technical skills in mathematics, a discipline that is central to advances in science and technology, at one of the nation's leading scientific and technological universities.

The B.S. in applied mathematics lets you study a variety of areas of mathematics, while taking advanced courses in other areas of science and engineering. This degree provides the student with a broad background in mathematics.

The B.S. in discrete mathematics specializes in areas of mathematics that have gained importance because of their close connection to computing. These areas are graph theory, combinatorics, number theory and some areas of algebra. In addition, the degree requires more courses in computing and industrial systems--that is issues related to increased productivity. Currently about one third of our majors are pursuing this degree.

- Both degrees can be taken with a business option which replaces some of the science and engineering requirements with selected courses in economics and management. This option is new, with the 2001-2002 catalog.

Each year the School has about 15 to 20% of its students in the COOP program. These students are employees for a company one semester and return to their studies the next. Currently, students are co-oping at software and energy companies, among others.

There are other exceptional opportunities for enriching your undergraduate program, such as the ACE lab, only one of a handful of experimental mathematics labarotory in the US. This lab has lead to some quite interesting projects, including a research publication between Professor McCuan, and undergraduates Roberto Lopez, Jeffrey Elms, and Ryan Hynds.

Regardless of the degree you are interested in, the School encourages you to seek a level of academic performance that challenges you. There are opportunities for taking on pursuits outside of the classroom too. Work in the Coop program. Attend a seminar, be an undergraduate TA, take the Senior project (required for Discrete Math, but available to all students), attend an REU, join the math club, attend a regular research seminar or participate in an undergraduate research program. See the Blog Files for a partial list of the activities that the majors have been up to recently.

One of the best assests of studies at Georgia Tech is the strength of the other students here. In mathematics, many of the majors are double majors, in fields as diverse as CS, Physics, Engineering disciplines, and Management. These are a very bright and ambitious group of students, who help and encourage each other. A current list of the majors, with several statistics, is availible.

Contact the academic advisors Michael Lacey or Enid Steinbart for more information.

Updated Dec 2002

Applied Mathematics Bachelor of Science

The School's Applied Mathematics degree provides a certification of an extensive training in mathematics and the development of an expertise in another area of science or engineering. The holders of this degree are well qualified for a variety of careers in applied mathematics and further study in a variety of graduate programs requiring mathematical expertise.

Most of our majors are in applied math, so that they can take more classes in math, it seems. They are busy pursuing a wide range of classes, study abroads, fellowships, and research opportunities. I try to keep up with their activities, and record them on the blog files.

What are the key courses in the degree? Besides the calculus plus diff eq curriculum, the next key course in M2406, the Abstract Vector Spaces course. It serves as the gateway course to much of the upper division 4XXX courses. For many (but not those who have taken the honors courses) it serves as the first serious introduction to proof writing, which is the most essential part of the upper division courses.

After that, many students find that M4317 Analysis I, is a fundamental course to them. The careful and rigorous study of the familiar subject of Calculus opens their eyes to a more theoretical view of mathematics. The Cantor diagonalization theorem, and the study of compactness are central to the course.

The next fundamental course is Algebra I, as the objects studied, in some sense are less complicated, the view point is more abstract, which is the main stumbling block to the students. Algebra, nevertheless, is a very much applied topic these days, and an important ingredient to many topics of interest to Computer Science. Both this and Analysis have to be passed with a grade of C or higher to count towards the degree.

After than, there are more gems, depending upon the students interests. I have heard some majors talk about Topology (not required!) as "analysis on crack." Not exactly the description that I would use, but I see their point. Error Correcting Codes, Parallel Computation, Dynamics and Bifurcation, Number Theory. The course offerings at the 4XXX level are rich and varied, due to the large number of engineering majors. There is plenty to explore.

The Discrete Mathematics Bachelor of Science

The Discrete Math major is a rigorous interdisciplinary degree program that gives the students substantial exposure to computing and those areas of mathematics that are most closely associated with computation. These branches of mathematics are devoted to the study of "discrete" as opposed to "continuous" structures.

The curriculum for this bachelors degree program combines basic work in mathematics and science and advanced studies in discrete mathematics with substantial training in these areas of application.

Students who earn the Bachelor of Science in Discrete Mathematics have demonstrated a high level of competency in the analytical and technical skills in both computing and mathematics.

Currently, there are about 16 students pursing only the Discrete Math degree. There are 27 double majors. Probably half of those are also pursing the Discret Math degree. Some discrete math majors include David Egers, Eric Robinson, Patty Pichardo, Michael Tiffany, and Claire Conner. See the complete list of majors

For the list of technical electives for the Discrete Math Major, go to the FAQ page. See the discussion of Ordinary Differential Equations. And the discussion of the Senior Project in the FAQ, and the List of past senior projects.

Business Option for the Bachelors of Science

The Business Option for either the Applied or Discrete Math degree develops both scientific and engineering expertise in students, as well as developing the skills and knowledge needed for success in business environments. For students seeking this degree, social science options are specified to be courses in industrial psychology and microeconomics. The 3XXX elective is replaced by a required sequence of management courses.

Precise details and suggested schedules for courses are in the catalog. This option is new with the 2001--2003 catalog. It should prove popular with those students in the Coop program.

To be specific:

Students electing this option complete the degree requirement for either the applied math or discrete math degree, as listed in the catalog, except that two of their social science electives must be

  • PSYC 2220 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3hrs)
  • ECON 2106 Principles of Microeconomics (3hrs)

    Students must also take, in place of six hours of 3XXX electives

  • MGT 3000 Accounting (3hrs) MGT 3300 Marketing Management, I (3hrs)

    In place of three hours of elective students must take

  • MGT 3150 Principles of Management (3hrs)

  • The Minor in Mathematics

    The Minor in Mathematics consists of fulfilling the general Georgia Institute of Technology requirements for some degree (other than math, duh) and the requirements in one of the two tracks specified below, that is, one of I or II. But the bottom line is that a student needs to take 18 hours of math, beyond the core.

    Obtaining the Math minor documents the students knowledge, in depth knowledge of mathematics and the analytical reasoning skills that the study of mathematics promotes.

    Track I consists of a broad core coverage of mathematics at an advanced level, while Track II is built around one of 6 distinct choices of core specializations. Both tracks entail 9 hours of Mathematics electives, beyond the core, at the 3000 level or higher (a total of 18 hours). All courses must be taken on a Letter Grade Basis. No Pass/Fail

    Every student, but especially Computing majors, should be aware of the warning at the bottom of this box.

    Math Minor: The Full Details

    The Minor in Mathematics consists of fulfilling the general Georgia Institute of Technology requirements for some degree and the requirements in one of the two tracks specified below, that is, one of I or II. The first track consists of a broad core coverage of mathematics at an advanced level, while the second track is built around 6 distinct choices of core specializations. Both tracks entail 9 hours of Mathematics electives, beyond the core, at the 3000 level or higher (a total of 18 hours).

    Track I: Math 4317, Math 4107, Math 4305 and 9 additional hours of Mathematics courses at the 3000 level or above.

    Track II: 9 hours in one of the following fields:

  • [(i)] Analysis: Math 4317, 4318, 4320, 4581, 4640, 4641
  • [(ii)] Algebra and Number Theory: Math 4107, 4108, 4150, 4305, 4012
  • [(iii)] Probability Statistics: Math 3215, 3770, 4221, 4222, 4225, 4261, 4262, 4280
  • [(iv)] Dynamics and Differential Equations: Math 4347, 4348, 4541, 4542, 4581
  • [(v)] Discrete Mathematics: Math 3012, 4012, 4022, 4032, 4580
  • [(vi)] Geometry and Topology: Math 4431, 4432, 4441 
  • and 9 additional hours of Mathematics courses at the 3000 level or above.

    A Caution 

    A course required by name and number for the major can not count towards the minor.

    For a minor in mathematics, this caution applies to Computing, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering majors.

    The Computing major requires by name and number MATH 3012 Applied Combinatorics and MATH 3215 Probability and Statistics.
    You cannot count this course towards the minor.  NO course that you use to satisfy this requirement  for your major can count towards the minor.
    This includes Math 3225 and Math 4215.

    Bottom line:  These six hours, no matter how you satisfy them, can't be used for the Math minor.

    TA for the School of Mathematics

    The School has a very sizable teaching load, and each semester it hires about twenty undergraduates to TA for its courses. This is a paying job, and can frequently be a very rewarding experience for them.

    We begin our undergraduate TA search each spring by sending applications to juniors and seniors in engineering, CS, and science programs (no biology majors because they only take 2 math courses) with GPAs 3.6 or higher. This year we sent out over 600 applications.

    The application process consists of (1) a homework assigment of questions from the Calculus (2) a half an hour interview with Rena Brakebill, a Graduate TA, and a faculty member (3) A 20 minute teaching demo which is taped for evaluation. Factors in the hiring decisions include general GPAs, math courses and grades, maturity level, attitudes, communication skills, and references. The hiring decision is made in July for the fall term. They are appointed on the term-by-term basis. The future term employment is based on satisfactory performances and available sections. We don't normally hire undergraduate TAs in the summer.

    Undergraduate Math Majors who are interested in TAing in the Spring term can contact Rena Brakebill in October.

    An undergraduate TA receives a stipend and a 1 hour P/F credit for Math 4801, TA Development Seminar.

    The School of Math also uses Graders for many of it's courses. Klara Grodzinsky is heading up the Grader program. Students should have at least taken Math 3215 and 3012. Some 4XXX level courses also helps. The greatest need is for graders in Math 3012, and 3215. There are no graders for the Calculus.

    School of Mathematics Awards

    Each year the School of Mathematics recognizes its outstanding junior and seniors with prizes, including a check for some $$$. Past winners are

    Senior:  Ryan Hynd. Bell Labs Fellowship. NSF Grad Fellowship. 
    Junior: Thomas Callaghan. Goldwater Fellowhship. 
    Senior:  Blair Dowling.  Double  major in Math and CS. 
    Homeland Security Fellowship.  Princeton Grad School, 
    Fall 2003. 
    Junior:  Andrew Stimpson.  Double major in Math and Physics. 
    Senior: Anup Rao. Double major in Math and Computer Science. 
    Continuing graduate
    studies in CS.
    Junior: Yakov Kerzhner.
    Grad School at Courant/NYU Fall 2003.
    Senior: Jacent Tokaz 
    grad school in math at UIUC
    Junior: Blair Dowling
    Senior Prize  David Vener  (now at  grad school in Math  at MIT )
     NSF Grad Fellowship.
    Junior Prize  Jacent Tokaz.  See above.