Mathematics and Actuarial Science Mathematics and Actuarial Science Mathematics and Actuarial Science Mathematics and Actuarial Science Mathematics and Actuarial Science
College of Arts & Sciences

Mathematics and Actuarial Science

Questions?

Dr. Matthew Pons
630-637-5231
mapons@noctrl.edu

Originally created to keep track of sheep or compute the taxes due on a tract of land, mathematics has evolved into one of the most beautiful expressions of the human spirit.

You probably know that mathematics is essential for work in physics, chemistry and computer science. Did you know it’s also used in business, psychology and sociology? In fact, the North Central College mathematics faculty have wide-ranging interests and make majors available in

Whether you qualify as a mathematical "tourist," a major, or somewhere in between, we’ll help you find the right coursework in mathematics to be sure you have the tools to be successful. We offer a wide range of courses, each designed for a specific audience, and course credit for scores of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement Calculus Exams (AB or BC).

We know that not all students find math as much fun and as interesting as we do.  We also know that many students will need mathematics to succeed in their chosen profession.  We're committed to making sure that all students in each of our classes are successful in learning the mathematics they need to know for their chosen careers.

As a mathematics major, you’ll develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of both theoretical and applied mathematics.

Keep up with department activities by clicking on Math News!  Have a question about mathematics at North Central College? Contact Dr. Matthew Pons (mapons@noctrl.edu) or call him at 630-637-5231.

MATH PLACEMENT

Mathematics placement at North Central College is designed to find the appropriate math course for you depending on your mathematics background and what quantitative skills your intended major requires.  In lieu of a placement test, your math placement will be determined by taking into account your ACT, SAT, and/or AP test scores, your grades in your high school (or previous college) math courses, your intended major(s), and discussions with your academic advisor.

  • To place into a calculus course, students need to have taken 4 years of high school mathematics, including geometry, trigonometry, and algebra/precalculus, with good grades in each course.
  • Students who receive a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP calculus test can receive credit for one or more calculus courses and be placed into Calculus II, III, or IV.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Matthew Pons at 630-637-5231 or mapons@noctrl.edu.

For students in middle or high school, click here to register for the American Mathematics Contest (AMC).

Mathematics Student Handbook -- For current students, select the handbook corresponding to your catalog year.  For prospective students, select the most recent version.

Mathematics, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Mathematics and Actuarial Science.

Major Requirements

Two of the following:

Note:

Students seeking teaching licensure must also complete the Secondary Education major requirements as well as the following courses:

  • MATH 305 - College Geometry 
  • MATH 260 - Introduction to Mathematical Statistics

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Mathematics, B.S.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Mathematics and Actuarial Science.

Major Requirements

One of the following:

Two of the following:

One of the following:

Computer Science

A minor in Computer Science.

Physics
Chemistry

Applied Mathematics, B.S.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Mathematics and Actuarial Science.

Major Requirements

One of the following sequences:

This choice should pair with the applied area; please consult the department.

Actuarial Science, B.S.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Mathematics.

Major Requirements

Additional Requirements for the B.S. Degree

Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that Actuarial Science majors pass at least one actuarial exam (preferably in the summer following their second year) and complete an internship before graduation.

Mathematics Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Mathematics and Actuarial Science.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 24 credit hours, including:

Elective Options

One of the preapproved options listed below. The set of courses should be cohesive with respect to each other and should be based on the student's area of applied study. Other options may be available to students with departmental approval. The Mathematics Department must be consulted in the planning process.

Option A
One of the following:
Option B
One of the following:
One of the following:
Option C
One of the following:
One of the following:
Option D

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

Mathematics and Actuarial Science

Courses below calculus may not be taken for credit once calculus has been successfully completed.

MATH 106 - Mathematics for Elementary Education I

2.00 credit hours - College algebra for the prospective elementary teacher, to include linear, quadratic, and absolute value equations and inequalities, graphs and applications of linear, quadratic, rational, exponential and logarithmic functions, conic sections, and use of augmented matrices to solve systems of linear equations. Emphasis on both the procedural and conceptual nature of the material.

Prerequisite(s): Elementary Education major and placement; Three years of math including algebra and geometry recommended.

MATH 107 - Mathematics for Elementary Education II

2.00 credit hours - Essentials of mathematics for the prospective elementary teacher to include cognitive reasoning, sets, logic and structure of arithmetic through the real numbers including numeration systems, fractions, and number theory. Emphasis on problem solving techniques.

Prerequisite(s): Elementary Education major; Minimum grade of C- in MATH 106 or placement.

MATH 108 - Elementary Mathematics III

4.00 credit hours - Continuation of MATH 107 to include Euclidean and transformational geometry, measurement and the metric system, integers, rational numbers, real numbers, decimals, percent, proportions, probability and applied statistics. Emphasis on problem solving.

Prerequisite(s): Elementary Education major and minimum grade of C- in MATH 107.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Quantitative Analysis.

MATH 120 - Mathematics for the Liberal Arts

4.00 credit hours - A course designed for students in the liberal arts disciplines whose major does not require specific mathematical skills. The course focuses on mathematical reasoning and applications by exploring the mathematics inherent in the world around us.

Prerequisite(s): Placement; Two years of math recommended.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Quantitative Analysis.

MATH 130 - Finite Mathematics

4.00 credit hours - An introduction to mathematical and critical thinking skills with applications. Topics include symbolic logic, set theory, elementary combinatorics, probability and statistics, mathematics of finance, applications of linear functions and equations, and may include applications of matrices.

Prerequisite(s): Placement; Two years of algebra recommended.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Quantitative Analysis.

MATH 140 - Precalculus

4.00 credit hours - A review of the major topics from algebra necessary for the study of calculus (including polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions), an investigation of trigonometric functions, and a brief introduction to differentiation and anti-differentiation.

Prerequisite(s): Placement; Three years of math including algebra and geometry recommended.

MATH 151 - Calculus I

4.00 credit hours - An exploration of the fundamental concepts of single-variable calculus including limits, continuity, differentiation and integration with applications.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum grade of C- in MATH 140 or placement; Four years of math including algebra, geometry and trigonometry recommended.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Quantitative Analysis.

MATH 152 - Calculus II

4.00 credit hours - A continuation of single-variable calculus with emphasis on advanced integration techniques and applications, parametric equations, polar coordinates, and infinite series.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum grade of C- in MATH 151.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Quantitative Analysis.

MATH 253 - Calculus III

4.00 credit hours - A continuation of calculus with an emphasis on vectors, vector-valued and multiple-variable functions, partial derivatives, line and multiple integrals, vector analysis, Green’s, divergence and Stokes’ theorems.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum grade of C- in MATH 152.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Quantitative Analysis.

MATH 255 - Linear Algebra and Differential Equation

4.00 credit hours - First and second order differential equations, systems of differential equations, matrix and vector algebra, systems of linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Students may not receive credit for both MATH 255 and either MATH 300 or MATH 315.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 253.

MATH 260 - Introduction to Mathematical Statistics

4.00 credit hours - This course provides a calculus-based introduction to probability and the beginning of statistical inference. Topics included: Descriptive statistics, elements of probability theory, random variables, central limit theorem, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and simple linear regression.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 152.

MATH 265 - The Theory of Interest

4.00 credit hours - Topics in the mathematics of finance that are required for the FM (Financial Mathematics) Exam in actuarial science. Includes the study of Microsoft Excel macros.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 152.

MATH 270 - Financial Mathematics

2.00 credit hours - Advanced topics in financial mathematics including discounted cash flow analysis, asset management strategies, swaps,pricing, and amortizing bonds and annuities.

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent enrollment in MATH 265.

MATH 280 - The Nature of Proof in Mathematics

4.00 credit hours - A study of the nature of proof in mathematics. Specific proof techniques are taught within the context of number theory, set theory, functions, and cardinality.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 152.

MATH 297 - Internship

0.00-12.00 credit hours

MATH 299 - Independent Study

1.00-12.00 credit hours

MATH 300 - Linear Algebra

4.00 credit hours - Vector spaces, linear transformations, inner products, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, Gram-Schmidt process and orthogonal transformations. Students may not receive credit for MATH 300 and MATH 255.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 253MATH 280 recommended.

MATH 305 - College Geometry

4.00 credit hours - Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry in two and three dimensions via the axiomatic approach. Other topics include transformations, isometries and symmetries of the plane.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 280.

MATH 310 - History of Mathematics

4.00 credit hours - An examination of the historical origins of important mathematical concepts leading up to the calculus. Emphasis on the methodologies and motivations of those involved in the creative process. Students will complete several projects to illustrate key concepts from the course.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 152.

MATH 315 - Ordinary Differential Equations

4.00 credit hours - First and second order differential equations; algebraic, numerical and graphical solutions; series solutions; Laplace transforms; applications. Students may not receive credit for MATH 315 and MATH 255.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 253MATH 300 recommended.

MATH 320 - Complex Variables

4.00 credit hours - Algebra of the complex numbers, geometry and transformations of the complex plane, analytic functions, Cauchy theory of integration, power series and residue theory.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 253.

MATH 340 - Probability

4.00 credit hours - Basic laws of probability, discrete and continuous distributions of random variables, mathematical expectation, moment generating functions and transformations, random variables with multivariate probability distributions.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 253.

MATH 350 - Data Analytics

4.00 credit hours - An overview of the field of statistical learning. Survey of techniques for predictive analytics including model selection and validation methods, linear and non-linear models and supervised and unsupervised learning. Implementation of all techniques will employ appropriate software.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 260 or MATH 340CSCE 210.

MATH 370 - Probability for Risk Management

2.00 credit hours - Fundamental probabilistic tools for the quantitative assessment of risk.

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent enrollment in MATH 340.

MATH 390 - Research Methods

2.00 credit hours - An intensive seminar intended to introduce research methods in mathematics, develop processes for approaching and solving non-routine problems, and exploring advanced written and oral presentation of solutions.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 253 and MATH 280.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Writing Intensive.

MATH 397 - Internship

0.00-12.00 credit hours

MATH 399 - Independent Study

1.00-12.00 credit hours

MATH 410 - Models for Financial Economics

4.00 credit hours - Theoretical basis of financial models and the application of those models to insurance and other financial risks.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 265 and MATH 340.

MATH 421 - Abstract Algebra I

4.00 credit hours - Introduction to the theory of rings, fields and groups. Topics include modular arithmetic, polynomial rings, factorization and tests for irreducibility, ideals, quotient rings, morphisms and subgroups.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 280 and MATH 300.

MATH 422 - Abstract Algebra II

4.00 credit hours - Advanced theory of rings, fields and groups, including symmetric and alternating groups, structure theorems for finite abelian groups, vector spaces, extension fields, finite fields and Galois theory.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 421.

MATH 461 - Real Analysis I

4.00 credit hours - A study of sets, functions, properties and elementary topology of the real number system, sequences, series, continuity, differentiation and integration.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 280 and MATH 300.

MATH 462 - Real Analysis II

4.00 credit hours - A continuation of the topics from MATH 461 including sequences and series of functions, Riemann and Lebesgue integration, elementary measure theory, and an introduction to basic concepts in functional analysis.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 461.

MATH 470 - Topology

4 credit hours - Set theory, metric spaces, general topological spaces, continuous functions, connectedness, compactness, separation axioms and metrization.

Prerequisite(s):  MATH 280MATH 300.

MATH 490 - Seminar in Advanced Mathematics

2.00 credit hours - A critical evaluation, including modern-day and historical applications, of advanced topics not included in other mathematics courses. Emphasis is placed on reflecting upon and further developing each student’s philosophical view of mathematics as a discipline.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 421 or MATH 461.
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Writing Intensive.

MATH 497 - Internship

0.00-12.00 credit hours

MATH 499 - Independent Study

1.00-12.00 credit hours

Katherine Heller

Associate Professor of Mathematics
Math & Actuarial Science
+1 630 637 5226
Marco Martinez

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Actuarial Science; Coordinator of Actuarial Science Program
Math & Actuarial Science
+1 630 637 5228
Mary McMahon

Associate Professor of Mathematics; Mathematics Education Coordinator
Math & Actuarial Science
+1 630 637 5229
Neil Nicholson

Associate Professor of Mathematics
Math & Actuarial Science
+1 630 637 5233
Matthew A. Pons

Professor of Mathematics; Chairperson, Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Science
Math & Actuarial Science
+1 630 637 5231
David Schmitz

Professor of Mathematics; Coordinator of Actuarial Science Program
Math & Actuarial Science
+1 630 637 5232
Maria Orjuela Garavito

Half-time Instructor of Mathematics
Math & Actuarial Science
+1 630 637 5237

 

Faculty Emeriti

Linda Qinglin Gao
Professor of Mathematics
lqgao@noctrl.onmicrosoft.com

Donald E. Johnson
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
dejohnson@noctrl.edu

R. Devadoss Pandian
Professor of Mathematics and Dean of Faculty

rdpandian@noctrl.edu

Richard J. Wilders
Marie and Bernice Gantzert Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Emeritus
rjwilders@noctrl.edu

Shirley Anne Wilson
Professor of Mathematics

sawilson@noctrl.edu

Become involved and see how fun Math can be!

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