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Quantitative Studies

This concentration offers students interested in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or other quantitative methods the opportunity to apply these methods to the study of a wide variety of phenomena, which originate in the natural or social sciences, or for that matter in the arts or in the study of languages and literature. It develops competence in quantitative methods, problem-solving skills, ability to interpret and communicate quantitative results, and understanding of applications of quantitative analysis. The concentration prepares graduates for future training or careers in mathematics, computer science, actuarial sciences, education, medicine, law, and economics, among others.

The goal of the Quantitative Studies concentration is to provide the student with an opportunity to observe and participate in the dialogue between two fields of study which may have very different modes of thought, but find certain problems of common interest. The Senior Thesis is the natural culmination of this process, and it is strongly suggested that the student’s thesis be on a topic associated with this concentration.

Curriculum

The minimum requirements for the concentration are one course in statistics, one year-long sequence in mathematics at the 300-level or above, and two courses at the 300-level or above in the area of application. The minimum number of credits required to complete the concentration is 19.

There are no limits to the suitable areas of application. Art, music, literature, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, political science, psychology, or sociology—any of these would do if the student looked at issues from a quantitative point of view.

Recent Senior Theses

It would be especially suitable if the student had a thesis proposal combining the area of application with mathematics. Past theses have dealt with questions in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, sociology, music, literature, and philosophy. The primary concern is to develop in the student an interdisciplinary approach to problems and an ability to communicate quantitative information to others in the field of application. Past theses in this area include:
“A Test of Marginal Productivity Theory using the Cobb-Douglass Function”
“The Mathematical Structure Associated with the Timbre of Musical Tones”
“Mechanics Problems in Billiards”
“Symbolic and Computational Aspects of Parallel and Perspective Reconstruction”
“Un-Civil War: the Design and Implementation of a Network-Based Distributed Simulation”
“ftTK: A Common Structure for User Interface Elements in Microsoft Windows, X Windows, and Mac OS”

Faculty

William Dunbar, Brian Wynne, and those in the chosen field of application
Faculty Contact: William Dunbar