Mathematics is celebrated as the “Queen of the Sciences”. It provides the language for science (both natural and social) to understand and predict the world around us. It is used to describe the precise interactions between particles at the atomic level, the motions of planets, the inner workings of computer algorithms and architectures, and the fluctuations in stock prices in modern markets. Today's deep discoveries in pure mathematics provide frameworks for the science and technology of tomorrow.
Mathematics studies the concepts of quantity and number, geometry and shape, and functions and change. It provides an approach to problem solving which emphasizes abstraction as a key tool, where rigor and intuition come together. Students majoring in mathematics have the opportunity to learn about its diverse applications, as well as acquiring an understanding of both the foundations and frontiers of the discipline.
Our courses span the spectrum from introductory level to advanced, and from computational to theoretical. In calculus, students learn about the mathematics of change; in linear algebra, about the mathematics of vectors and matrices; in analysis, about the theoretical foundations behind the study of functions; in abstract algebra, about the mathematics of symmetry and algebraic structure; and in topology, about continuity and shape. Each course we offer serves a specific purpose, and fits into a larger, cohesive narrative.
Beyond coursework, students have opportunities to become involved in our enrichment programs and organizations. We encourage students to take part in undergraduate research and independent study with our world-leading faculty. We aim to provide an environment where all are welcome and can make real contributions to our mathematical community.
The mission of the undergraduate program of the Northwestern University Department of Mathematics is to foster the intellectual and personal growth of our students through the study of mathematics.
What Students Say about Our Department
"The math department is smaller and more intimate than many others... When you meet someone you're brought together by the fact that you're both math majors and the classes are awesome" (Sameera Kumar)
"All the professors I've had cared about their students. I've become friendly with many of the people in my math classes" (Jonah Leshin)
"My thesis experience was both enlightening and enjoyable–I was able to tackle advanced subject matter outside of the classroom, under the guidance of an excellent teacher and mathematician. The quality of the mathematical education I obtained directly enabled me to get my current job" (Angelo Mancini)
"I have been impressed by the flexibility of the department. Since I am a double major, the willingness of the math department to work with me means a lot" (Michael Kasa)