B.Sc. Mathematics (Hons.)
In New Delhi
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The existing B.A./B.Sc. (Honours) Mathematics course is being replaced by a new course called B.Sc. (Honours) Mathematics with effect from July 2009. Students from all streams are eligible for it, provided that they have offered Mathematics at Class XII, which will be counted as one of the best four subjects, along with a least one language.
The course has twelve 100-mark papers from mathematics and four 50 mark papers to be chosen by the student from a list of courses other than mathematics, as well as one qualifying paper. Of the twelve mathematics papers, three are done in the first year, four in the second year and and five in the third year. Of the papers other than mathematics, three (including the qualifying) are done in the first year, and two in the second year.
The twelve papers in mathematics cover a wide range of subjects from very abstract topics to those that are more applied. Of the eleven compulsory papers, three are from Abstract Algebra (including Linear Algebra) and three from Analysis (including Complex Analysis), which amongst others lay the foundations for this degree programme. The courses on Probability Theory, C++ Programming and Numerical Methods, Differential Equations and Mathematical Modelling provide platforms for applications. The choices for the optional paper in the final year cover both the abstract and applied aspects of mathematics. The emphasis in BSc (Honours) Mathematics is on why results hold or on why the mathematics works rather than on just learning the methods and tools of solving mathematical problems. A recurring theme in the mathematics to be taught is the aspect of visualization using computer aided software.
Students will also have a wide range of options for the five papers they will study from the disciplines other than mathematics. The choice of papers is from a variety of disciplines and several of the courses are interdisciplinary in nature. Some of the disciplines are Physics, Chemistry, Economics, English, Hindi, History, Political Science, Philosophy and Sanskrit. The broad range of subjects studied, the methodology of learning, and computing skills developed during the three years will leave a BSc (Hons) Mathematics student with a large number of career options to choose from.
On the whole, the content and treatment of the mathematics is quite different from that studied in school. The approach followed in school is mostly computational, whereas in BSc (Hons) Mathematics, especially in the abstract algebra, analysis and probability courses, what is required is essentially an ability to think logically and reason in a systematic way. This is somewhat similar to the kind of reasoning employed in the theorems in school geometry. For the more classical papers, familiarity with school-level differential and integral calculus, trigonometry, plane graphs, elementary geometry, algebra (logs, linear and quadratic equations, binomial theorem, AP and GP), permutations and combinations and vectors is required. Aspirants for this course would need to develop a habit of regular, systematic and organized work. Time management would be crucial, especially if they want to combine academics with some extra-curricular activities.
B.Sc. Mathematics (Hons.)