The Mathematics/Computer Science BA Program

The mathematics/computer science program offers a BA program that combines mathematics with computer science, as well as an undergraduate minor. It is designed to introduce students to the principal areas of mathematics and computer science, with an emphasis on applications. Requirements for the major include some choices (for example, discrete mathematics for students aiming toward careers in computing vs. differential equations for students aiming toward careers in mathematics). However, all students acquire a strong foundation in the traditional areas of both disciplines. This serves to distinguish Purchase graduates from others with narrower backgrounds. Classes typically are small, and computer classes include closed labs (scheduled time to work in a computer lab with faculty present to provide guidance).

The Senior Project
The capstone experience is the senior project, a yearlong required research project undertaken by each senior in conjunction with a faculty mentor. Many of these projects are prepared for formal presention at the annual Natural & Social Sciences Student Symposium. Topics from recent years include:

  • “Extreme Math”: An Introduction to Optimization Theory
  • Use of the Processing Language on Mobile Devices
  • M.C. Escher: Mathematician and Illusionist (Use of Google SketchUp)
  • High Performance Computing with Linux and Beowulf Class Clusters
  • Degree Sequences of Multigraphs
  • Computer Animation: Larry Spotter
  • Programming Android Applications
  • Lessons Learned: Remedies for Today’s Financial Institutions
  • Two Problems in Graph Theory
  • Ancient Egyptian Mathematics: Its Birth and Influence on Today’s Society

In addition, students can gain important experiences as teaching assistants for courses, research assistants on projects, technical assistants in the campus technology services department, and by completing off-campus internships. Student work has appeared in the Annals of Discrete Math, Graph Theory Notes of NY, and Journal of Computing at Small Colleges.

A Dynamic, Innovative Curriculum
The program undergoes continual review and change. Recent additions include:

  • an introductory programming course focusing on games
  • a revised discrete mathematics course with such topics as encryption algorithms
  • a course on server-side programming, including hands-on lab work using open-source software
  • an advanced topics course in mathematics featuring abstract algebra and point-set topology
  • an advanced topics course in computing featuring social media, visualizations, and complexity
  • courses on robotics and mobile media

The program provides a wide variety of courses that satisfy the core curriculum and SUNY general education requirement in mathematics, as well as required and elective courses for students majoring in natural science disciplines and in new media.

About Our Alumni
Recent graduates have earned or are pursuing advanced degrees at such institutions as Columbia University, Binghamton University, the City University of New York Graduate Center, New York University, Pace University, the University of Chicago, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of Pennsylvania. Alumni are also engaged in careers in a variety of fields, including education, software development, and finance.

Mathematics/Computer Science Faculty (Board of Study)
School of Natural and Social Sciences:
Norman Canfield, PhD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
William H. Flank, PhD, University of Delaware
Martin Lewinter, PhD, City University of New York
Jeanine Meyer, PhD, New York University
Barbara E. McMullen, MPA, New York University
John F. McMullen, MSCS, MPA, Marist College
Kenneth Schoeller, MST, Pace University
Irina Shablinsky, PhD, St. Petersburg State University (Russia)
School of Film and Media Studies:
Peter Ohring, PhD, University of Colorado

Research Faculty:
Joel Tenenbaum, PhD, Harvard University

For additional information and updates during 2013–2015, please visit

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