Applied Math Major FAQ

The Applied Math Major mailing list.

If you are an Applied Math major or are thinking of becoming one, you should be on our mailing list.  
We will use this list to let you know about opportunities for jobs and internships, 
and to let you know when we will be available for advising.

How does one arrange a meeting with the DUS?

Dan Spielman and Sekhar Tatikonda are the DUSes through Spring 2017.
As for Fall 2017, John Wettlaufer will become DUS.
If you are a Freshman in need of a Sophomore advisor, you should contact John.

If you are a current applied math student and need to schedule a meeting with Dan or Sekhar,
send them an email to or

What is happening with Data Science?

Do CPSC 100 and ENAS 151 counts towards the prerequisites?

Yes.  CPSC 100 counts towards the programming requirements, and ENAS 151 counts towards the multivariate calc requirement.

What are the requirements of the major?

See the description in the Yale College Programs of Study.
We divide the requirements into 4 categories:
  1. The core courses (Differential Equations, Probability, Data Analysis and Discrete Math).
  2. The breadth requirement (the courses in 3 different areas).
  3. The concentration requirement (3 courses in an area of specialty).
  4. The senior thesis.

Does your concentration appear on your transcript?

No.  Yale does not acknowledge your concentration in any official way. 

Should I take Stat 238 or Stat 241?

You should probably take Stat 241.  It is a prerequisite for many more courses.
Stat 238 is designed for students who will not take another stat course again.
That said, there are sometimes good reasons to take Stat 238.

Should I take CPSC 202 or MATH 244?

Unless you are in a very unusual situation, you should take Math 244.
Math 244 will prepare you better for other courses in the Applied Math major.
CPSC 202 is intended for students who have poor (or no) math backgrounds.

What are the requirements for the concentration courses?

All concentration courses should be mathematical. Your concentration must be approved by the DUS.  
If the DUS is not familiar with a course you would like to use, he will ask for the syllabus of that course.
Please do not assume that a course will count towards the concentration unless you have confirmed this
with the DUS.

Here are some guidelines for particular concentrations:

Computer Science: CPSC 223 and 201 do not count.
  Some that do count are 365, 440, 445, 457, 462, 465, 467, 468, 469, 475, and 479.
  Some others can count too.

Economics: Intermediate Micro and Macro are not mathematical.
  Applied Math majors should take the theory versions of these courses.
  Financial Theory is barely mathematical.
  The bottom line: Applied Math majors should take at least two of
    ECON 125, 126, 136, 253, 350 and 351.  
  ECPN 252 does not count towards the Applied Math Major.

Physics: Most courses numbered 3xx are not particularly mathematical.

If you are doing a double major and only counting two courses towards the concentration, then both of those courses should be advanced.

What is the senior requirement in Applied Math?

All seniors in Applied Math must do a research project.
They can either do this by taking AMTH 491 (Special Projects)
or AMTH 490 (Senior Seminar).  
There will be no senior seminar in 2015-2016.
Either way, each student must find
a faculty member to advise them on a research project.  I recommend
that students find this faculty member as early as possible.  I also
recommend that most students take 490 instead of 491, unless they have
very clear ideas about their research project.

There are two ways that students usually find projects and advisors.
The first is to have an idea for a research project, and then get in touch
with a faculty member who is knowledgable about the area of the project.
That faculty member will usually be able to help a student refine their ideas
for a project and to choose goals that can be achieved within one semester.
Other students get in touch with professors they have met through classes,
and ask the professors if they have any suggestions for projects.  Sometimes they do.

If you would like to see what senior research projects look like, you can
get a packet containing excerpts from past projects from either the DUS (Dan Spielman)
or Karen Kavanaugh (in AKW 107a).

Will my schedule satisfy the requirements of two majors?

You should definitely consult with the DUSes of both majors.

But first, you should make lists of the course that will be used to
satisfy each major, excluding the prerequisites.  You are allowed
to have at most two courses on both lists.  Bring these lists
to your consultation with the DUSes.

If you are doing a double major and only counting two courses towards the concentration, then both of those courses should be advanced.

How does one get distinction in the Applied Math major?

The same way one does in every other major.  Consult the YCPS.  The prereqs do not count.