One semester left for my Math BA - Which courses to take?

In summary, the conversation is about a student who is about to graduate with a BA in Math and is planning on getting a MA in Secondary Math Education. They have some freedom in choosing their remaining courses, including one 400-level math course and two electives. The conversation touches on various math courses, including numerical computations, numerical analysis, factorization and primality testing, linear programming, graph theory, and mathematical theory of games. The student is seeking suggestions for interesting and useful courses, particularly ones that would make them more marketable for potential industry jobs.
  • #1
One semester left for my Math BA -- Which courses to take?

I'm going to graduate this Fall with my BA in Math from Penn State, and I have a really open-ended schedule. I'm planning on getting a MA in Secondary Math Education after I graduate, so that makes things pretty interesting when it comes to choosing classes. The only 400-level math course I HAVE to take is Classical Analysis (the second course in the Real-Analysis sequence). I also have to take another 400-level math course, but I have a lot of freedom in this area. Here's pretty much what I can choose from:

MATH 451 (CMPSC 451) Numerical Computations (3) Algorithms for interpolation, approximation, integration, nonlinear equations,linear systems, fast FOURIER transform, and differential equations emphasizingcomputational properties and implementation.

MATH 455 (CMPSC 455) Introduction to Numerical Analysis I (3) Floating point computation, numerical rootfinding, interpolation, numerical quadrature, direct methods for linear systems.

MATH 467 (CSE 467) Factorization and Primality Testing (3) Prime sieves, factoring, computer numeration systems, congruences, multiplicative functions, primitive roots, cryptography, quadratic residues.

MATH 484 Linear Programs and Related Problems (3) Introduction to theory and applications of linear programming; the simplex algorithm and newer methods of solution; duality theory.

MATH 485 Graph Theory (3) Introduction to the theory and applications of graphs and directed graphs. Emphasis on the fundamental theorems and their proofs.

MATH 486 Mathematical Theory of Games (3) Basic theorems, concepts, and methods in the mathematical study of games of strategy; determination of optimal play when possible.Besides math, I have two more electives which I can use on pretty much anything I want (except lower-level math courses). I'm not really sure what to use these credits on. I'm planning on going into education after I get my BA, but it would make me feel good to take some courses that might make me more marketable if I eventually chose to try to get an industry job. Any courses that might jump out at me as really interesting (or really useful)? My non-math interests include computer programming and playing music (I play the piano and some other instruments).

Sorry for the long list of course descriptions. I hope that didn't scare too many of you away! :redface:
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  • #2
Numerical analysis is seen as a pretty useful skill and you get to program a bit too. It looks like Numerical computation falls into the same boat of NA.

Never had a class like math 467 and same with 484.

Graph theory is fun if you are interested in something rather pure. It can be pretty difficult too, so if you aren't interested in path way and circuits or Konigsberg type problems, you might now enjoy it too much.

I also liked theory of games. It helped me a lot in understanding economic theory and I magically became a better risk player. Interesting class all around.
  • #3
wow math 486 really looks very very interesting!
  • #4
PowerIso, thanks for your input. I was actually considering graph theory, but it might be a little too abstract and not applied enough for me.

I'm leaning towards taking either 484 or 486. I'm kind of interested in both classes, but the professor for 484 is supposed to be really good. Any other opinions on not only the math classes, but for some other electives as well?
  • #5
Everything on that list=:zzz: except for game theory.

What are the required courses for a Math BA?

The required courses for a Math BA vary depending on the university or college you are attending. However, most programs will include courses in calculus, linear algebra, abstract algebra, real analysis, and differential equations.

What electives should I take for my Math BA?

Elective courses for a Math BA will depend on your personal interests and career goals. Some popular electives include number theory, topology, statistics, and computer science courses such as programming or data analysis.

Can I take courses outside of the math department for my Math BA?

Yes, it is often encouraged to take courses outside of the math department to broaden your knowledge and skills. Some common departments to take courses in include physics, economics, and engineering.

What courses should I take to prepare for graduate school?

If you are planning on attending graduate school for math, it is recommended to take advanced courses in your chosen field of study. This may include courses in complex analysis, differential geometry, or number theory.

What courses should I take to prepare for a career in industry?

If you are interested in pursuing a career in industry, it is helpful to take courses that focus on practical applications of math, such as numerical analysis, optimization, or data science. Additionally, courses in computer science or business can also be beneficial.

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