Mathematics is a living subject with new processes, techniques and theories constantly being devised, tested and explored.
The extensive use of computers in a wide range of academic areas has led to an increasing demand for statistical and mathematical analysis in many new fields.
This means that mathematicians and statisticians are being asked to develop new tools and techniques to deal with problems in areas from business management to biology. New insights are also being opened up in the more traditional areas of physical science and engineering. All this activity leads to new applications of mathematics and statistics, as well as new theoretical work on the structure of the mathematics involved.
Mathematics does not just consist of formulae, it consists of ideas. To fully appreciate mathematics you must pass from the bare formulae to the ideas that lie behind them. Mathematical thought is one of the truly great human achievements. Mathematics has been around for some 4,000 years and has flourished in many countries. It has created an impressive order or structure which has a lasting quality.
The study of these ideas, both past and present, contributes a great deal to your education and will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of how to work through arguments and solve problems logically. Mathematics provides skills in independent thinking and problem solving, which are of use in many fields of employment and in Engineering, Commerce, and other Science subjects.
Entry into most 100-level Mathematics courses is open to all students with entry to the University. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers a choice of courses designed to cater for students with a range of backgrounds and interests.
Detailed entry recommendations are available on the department website (follow the link for Prospective Students).
Students who have performed very well in NCEA Level 3 mathematics with statistics and/or mathematics with calculus may be eligible for direct entry into a 200-level Mathematics course.
UC also offers Science Headstart summer preparatory courses in January/February for students who have not studied mathematics or statistics for some time or who lack confidence in their skills.
The core of the 100-level (first-year) programme consists of linear algebra and calculus, found in the two courses MATH 102 and MATH 103. MATH 103 follows on from MATH 102 and has MATH 102 as a prerequisite. Together, these courses will let you into almost any 200-level Mathematics course.
If you want to major in Mathematics, you should include MATH 102 and MATH 103 in your first year. In addition, anyone wanting to do a significant amount of Mathematics in their degree should take both these courses. MATH 102 is also required or recommended for people intending to major in any of several subjects, including Economics, Statistics, Physics and Management Science. Anyone planning to do Engineering will require the Engineering Mathematics courses EMTH 118 and EMTH 119.
Students who have not passed a substantial amount of Year 13 mathematics, or its equivalent, are strongly advised to enrol in MATH 101 before advancing to MATH 102. MATH 120 can be taken alone or credited with any other 100-level core Mathematics course. MATH 170 is intended for students who want to progress in applied mathematics. It is recommended that students who enrol in MATH 170 either have already been credited with, or are concurrently enrolled in, MATH 103. MATH 130 is a course on logic and explores formal and informal reasoning, aspects of symbolic logic and patterns of inference, and is valuable in any undergraduate degree.
We offer a wide variety of courses at 200 and 300-level. These include courses in discrete mathematics, linear algebra, calculus, differential equations, mathematical modelling and statistics. If you are majoring in Mathematics, you need 45 points from selected MATH 200-level courses and at least 60 points from MATH 302–394. In exceptional situations students can get direct entry from Year 13 into the 200-level courses. If you are unsure which papers best suit your needs, contact one of the Department's course advisors. It is good to include other subjects at 200-level. Popular choices include Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Management and Economics.
Following a BSc or a BA you can proceed to a BSc(Hons), BA(Hons), MSc, MA, PGDipSc or PhD. If you achieve well in Mathematics, seriously consider aiming for a BSc(Hons) or BA(Hons) degree in Mathematics. This involves one year's study after your BSc or BA. To do this degree you need to do an extra two courses from MATH 310–399 or STAT 310–399, and to get a B+ average in your 300-level courses.
Perhaps the most important quality that a Mathematics graduate develops is the ability to reason logically and in depth. Vocational courses provide expertise which seems to have an immediate usefulness, but technological change is rapid and what is learnt one year may be superseded within a decade. On the other hand, the habits of thought promoted by a study of mathematics are of permanent value.
Many Mathematics graduates move into teaching and significant numbers are absorbed by computing, finance, commerce, insurance and scientific establishments, such as the Crown Research Institutes. Employment opportunities are particularly good for people who combine qualifications in Mathematics with qualifications in other disciplines such as the physical sciences, Statistics, Computer Science, Engineering, Management and Economics.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers