Computer Science for Math Students
Are you a student majoring in Mathematics or Actuarial Science?
Have you thought about a minor in Computer Science? Before you
dismiss this as a silly thought, read on.
Why CS is helpful for Math students
There are many good reasons to bolster your mathematics or
actuarial science major with computer science.
- From a certain viewpoint (that is not really that radical),
computer science is mathematics. See below.
- Computer science skills, such as programming and database
design, are very useful in most, if not all, career paths for
- Actuarial Science students are well-served to have knowledge of
programming and database skills for work in the insurance industry,
according to the SOA.
- Mathematics Education majors with a substantial computer
science background are more marketable, as they can (if they
choose) teach, for example, AP computer science courses in high
- Mathematics graduate students make heavy use of computer
science tools in their research, especially in areas such as
numerical analysis, mathematical modeling, operations research/math
programming, graph theory, probability and statistics, number
theory, and others.
The CS Minor Is Easy To Get
The requirements for a minor in computer science are CS151,
CS248, and 12 hours of electives.
- We accept MA205 (Discrete Math) as equivalent to CS151 for the
- These courses can serve as electives in the CS minor:
MA305 Graph Theory
MA341 Theory of Computing (cross-lists as CS451)
MA365 Numerical Methods (cross-lists as CS455)
Several topics courses (cryptography for example) also
Computer Science IS a Mathematical Science
Deep theorems in mathematical logic, recursion theory, and
computation theory show that writing programs and proving theorems
are, at a low level, the same thing. Digital computers are built
from logic gates: and, or, not. Any computer can
be completely designed using combinations of these three logical
operators. Thus, any computer program can be written as an
algebraic, logic expression.
The halting problem, which asks whether a
specific program has an infinite loop, has no general algorithmic
solution. Translating this theorem in computer science into
mathematical logic gives us Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem, which
says that we can't prove or disprove everything (in a loose
Give It a Try!
Come, try computer science out. If you like mathematics, you
probably will like computer science as well, and it can only help
If you have more questions, feel free to browse or search our
website, or contact Jon Sorenson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 317-940-9765) for