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1999 - 2000 MINICALENDAR
 Faculty of Arts
 Faculty of Pure and Applied Science

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Applied Mathematics

The Applied Mathematics Office of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is located in Room 122 of the Petrie Science Building (736-5248).

The Applied Mathematics Programme aims to give students a solid base of knowledge of mathematics which has important applications in fields such as computer science, physics, earth and atmospheric science, chemistry, biology, psychology and also in economics and business. Our graduates have gone into a variety of careers including business, industry and government as well as teaching. In particular, many have found jobs in various aspects of fields relating to computing. Some students have continued their studies in graduate schools of mathematics, physics or other areas of application. Professional qualifications are obtainable by the award of a diploma in Operations Research or by writing the examinations of the Society of Actuaries (see the section on Career Information). There are potential jobs for our students wherever mathematics is employed.

Students in Applied Mathematics in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science may pursue a course of study leading to either a BSc (usually three years) or a BSc (Hons) (usually four years). Students may combine their studies in Applied Mathematics with another subject such as Physics, Earth and Atmospheric Science, Biology, or Computer Science and thereby graduate with a BSc (Hons) Double Major or, in some cases, a BSc (Hons) Major/Minor in two subjects. Applied Mathematics students interested in Economics, Psychology, or another subject offered by the Faculty of Arts may pursue a combined programme by selecting a BA (Hons) Double Major or Major/Minor programme in the Faculty of Arts. For example, an Economics-Applied Mathematics Major/Minor BA (Hons) would be a natural combination. Our students are given the opportunity to take electives in other areas of interest, such as business administration.

All students take a common core of courses in Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Symbolic Computing (Maple), and Numerical Analysis. The core of required courses is larger for Honours students. There is a wide choice of elective courses in Applied Mathematics, including Graph Theory, Operations Research, Partial Differential Equations, Advanced Numerical Analysis, and Complex Variables. In addition, students can select a number of optional courses from outside the programme. Courses in the programme stress applications of mathematics and computing to the solution of problems arising in many facets of science, engineering and commerce.

Some possible areas of concentration and corresponding recommended courses are:

Numerical Analysis:
MATH 4141, MATH 4142, MATH 4470

Discrete Applied Math / Operations Research:
MATH 3170, MATH 3260, MATH 4141, MATH 4160, MATH 4170, MATH 4430

Applied Math in Physical Sciences / Differential Equations:
MATH 3271, MATH 3410, MATH 4141, MATH 4142, MATH 4241, MATH 4270, MATH 4271, MATH 4470, MATH 4830

Statistical Applied Math:
MATH 3131, MATH 3132, MATH 3033, MATH 3034, MATH 3330, MATH 3430, MATH 4230, MATH 4430, MATH 4630, MATH 4730, MATH 4830, MATH 4930.

(In all cases, you should make sure that you satisfy all your degree requirements, given in the checklists towards the back of this minicalendar.)

All students entering Applied Mathematics are carefully advised concerning their course of study by a member of the programme. The instructors in Applied Mathematics courses are available throughout the year for additional advice and help with specific course-related problems.

If you would like further information, please contact the Programme Director, Prof. Martin Muldoon (e-mail:muldoon@yorku.ca), or the Programme Secretary, Gillian Moore (736-5248).

Starting 1 July 1999, the Programme Director will be Professor Buks van Rensburg (e-mail: rensburg@mathstat.yorku.ca).


The Honours Programmes in Mathematics (BA and BSc) are suitable for students who have a special fondness for mathematics. These Programmes provide an excellent background for many occupations demanding skills in mathematical reasoning and techniques. They are ideal for students who intend to pursue graduate study in mathematics. An Honours programme in mathematics emphasizes the understanding of concepts, abstraction and reasoning; these then become the tools for problem-solving, as well as the language and environment in which problems are solved ("proofs"). Most students who creditably complete a York Honours degree in mathematics are routinely accepted (with financial support included!) into Graduate Schools across North America. Taking mathematics in combination with Computer Science, Statistics, or Economics makes for a very impressive curriculum vitae for a graduate seeking a career in Industry, Government, or Business.

Mathematics is one of the oldest academic disciplines. A mathematician is known as one who has exceptional reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. While the public knows of the utility of mathematics, less well known is the fact that most mathematicians do math because they love it. The Honours programmes are designed to help you cultivate this same passion. You will meet like-minded classmates, and you will find that your studies are a rewarding and exciting adventure bringing you to the frontier of scientific discovery.

The Ordinary Programme (BA and BSc) provides a three-year degree in mathematics that is much less demanding than the honours program and is very flexible. It allows the student to select courses in a wide variety of pure and applied mathematical areas. It can also be part of a liberal arts education with a moderate emphasis on mathematics, for example as a Minor in an Honours Major/Minor degree.

Many students find that they are not yet ready to begin an Honours programme in Mathematics in first year. The department has introduced the course MATH 3110 for this reason. A student who completes the regular Calculus sequence MATH 1300/1310/2310 may later take MATH 3110, and use these four half-courses as a substitute for the Honours sequence MATH 1000/1010/2010 (currently, 2310 replaces 2010). There is also an arrangement to allow a substitution for the first Honours course in Algebra (MATH 2021/2022). However, a student considering an Honours degree in Mathematics should seriously consider enrolling in the Honours courses 1000/1010/2021/2022, since they are designed for those with a genuine interest in Mathematics. In addition, Honours students who wish to switch back, in mid-term, to the Ordinary stream will be accommodated to the extent that the Registrar's Office will allow.


Statistics is an interdisciplinary field providing the foundations and techniques to collect, analyze and present information in an effective and efficient manner. Through its applications in almost every branch of modern professional life and research, statistics is a fast-growing discipline which provides a statistician with a variety of career opportunities. A programme in statistics is an exploration of the nature of measurement, relationships amongst measured variables, chance variation, probability, uncertainty, inductive logic and inference. The Honours and Ordinary BA and BSc Programmes in Statistics provide both the mathematical foundations and the methods needed in applications. They also provide exposure to a variety of computing environments, an essential asset for nearly all careers today. Statistics combines naturally with studies in the life, physical or social sciences, economics, administrative studies or environmental studies. The Honours programmes also provide excellent preparation for subsequent graduate studies in statistics.

Mathematics for Commerce

Mathematics for Commerce is an excellent environment for students who wish to obtain a background in the type of mathematics that can be applied in a business-oriented career. Courses such as Introduction to Computer Use, Mathematics of Investment and Actuarial Science, Mathematics with Management Applications, Operations Research, Regression Analysis, and Sample Survey Design provide the student with the necessary mathematical and statistical skills, techniques and confidence to succeed in a very demanding business world.

Graduates of this programme go on to various careers in business, industry, government, schools, colleges and universities. They become actuaries, investment managers, consultants, analysts, or statisticians. Examples of activities in which they may be involved are: optimization problems, project management, inventory control, forecasting, analysing data, investigating patterns and trends, creating mathematical models, evaluating pension funds, and determining premiums for life insurance policies. Of course, many of the programme's students also pursue graduate degrees in areas such as Business Administration, Education, Environmental Studies, and Law.

Mathematics for Commerce offers an Ordinary BA programme, an Honours Major BA programme, and an Honours Minor BA programme. The Honours Major may not be combined with any other Honours Major or Minor. The Honours Minor must be combined with some other Honours Major.

The Ordinary degree is usually completed in three years and requires a total of 90 credits.

The Honours Minor programme is combined with an Honours Major from another department, as part of a programme totalling 120 credits.

The Honours Major degree is usually completed in four years and requires a total of 120 credits.

All three programmes are subject to both Faculty of Arts and Department of Mathematics and Statistics requirements listed on two separate pages toward the back of this minicalendar. The Honours Major degree is offered in two streams:

  • The Actuarial Stream

    An Actuary is a professional concerned with the design and administration of insurance policies, pension plans, government welfare plans, and similar programmes. The main responsibility of actuaries is to ensure that these programmes operate on a sound financial basis. To do this, they use many areas of mathematics and statistics, as well as general principles of economics and finance. In North America, the standard way to become an actuary is to pass the examinations set and administered by either the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society. No university courses can be accepted in place of these examinations, but university courses can do a great deal to prepare the student for them. Additional information can be found at both http://www.math.yorku.ca/Careers/actuary.html and http://www.soa.org/ , and can also be obtained from Professor David Promislow at 736-5250.

  • The Operations Research Stream

    Operations Research is the scientific study of any problem relating to optimal management of a system. The programmes of study at York can provide the student with the diverse background needed to prepare for work in operations research. The Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) offers a diploma to students who complete a prescribed array of courses. At York it is possible to earn a CORS diploma and an Honours degree simultaneously. For additional information, please consult http://www.cors.ca or inquire at the Undergraduate Office (N502 Ross).  For the specific diploma requirements see CORS Diploma in Operational Research on the Career Information page.

Business and Society (BuSo)

There will be a new interdisciplinary degree programme in the Faculty of Arts, starting in September 1999. Called "Business and Society" (BuSo, for short), the programme offers both Ordinary and Honours degrees. BuSo is a collaborative effort on the part of six departments in the Faculty of Arts, of which the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is one.

BuSo degree candidates must complete "Streams" in two of the six participating BuSo departments. Those who choose Mathematics and Statistics as one of their two Streams must, in effect, concentrate either in Operations Research or in Applied Statistics (18 credits for Ordinary, 24 for Honours).

  • Operations Research

    • calculus, or calculus with matrix algebra (MATH 1550 6.0 or (MATH 1530 3.0 + 1540 3.0) or (MATH 1300 + 1310))
    • linear algebra (MATH 2221 3.0)
    • either MATH 2500 3.0 or MATH 2560, or, if statistics was already taken in the student's other Stream, then either MATH 2222 3.0 or 3 "further credits" in statistics
    • operations research (MATH 3170 6.0)
    • (Honours only) further operations research (MATH 4570 6.0)
  • Applied Statistics

    • calculus with matrix algebra (MATH 1550 6.0 or (MATH 1530 3.0 + 1540 3.0))
    • introductory statistics (MATH 2560 3.0 + 2570 3.0)
    • regression analysis (MATH 3330 3.0)
    • applied statistics (MATH 3430 3.0 or MATH 3034 3.0)
    • (Honours only) further applied statistics (MATH 4730 3.0 + MATH 4930 3.0)

Further information about BuSo can be obtained from the Arts Advising Centre (S319 Ross), or from the Division of Social Science (S741 Ross).

Information Technology (ITEC)

The Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics is home to the

Faculty of Arts
Information Technology Programme.

We have designed special programmes for Mathematics, Statistics, and Math for Commerce students which will allow them to take full advantage of their mathematical skills in preparing for a computer-oriented information technology career. Please visit our website: http://itec.yorku.ca.

Please refer to the ITEC minicalendar (available by 15 April in N502 Ross) for more details.

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N520 Ross Building, 4700 Keele Street
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