Asked Questions
I hesitate to call this page frequently asked questions . Here are some questions I have been asked in connection with the math concentration.

summer undergraduate research
Q: Where can I find a list of summer REUs?
A: The AMS website has a listing. click here

Q: I am an international student. Can I get funding for an REU?
A: The US REUs typically do not offer funding for international students. However, Brown does have a program whereby they will give you a stipend as you participate in a US summer internernship. You have to compete for the money, through. See this link

Q: What opportunities are there, at Brown, for undergraduate summer research?
A: One option is to arrange with one of the professors to work, in a supervised way, on a research topic. If you are lucky, the professor will agree, and may even be able to support you with a modest summer stipend. You have to talk to the individual professors to see if this is possible. Another option, much more competitive, is to apply to Brown's new math research institute, ICERM

graduate study
Q: Is it necessary to get a Master's Degree in math before trying for a PhD in math?
A: No. Strong undergraduate math concentrators often go directly into a PhD program. If you want to continue your studies in math beyond the undergraduate stage, you should definitely talk to your professors, or to the concentration advisor, about what would be a good plan for you.

Q: How to I apply for graduate study in math?
A: Here is the procedure, roughly: It is also a good idea to bear in mind some of the major graduate funding opportunities such as the National Science Fellowship Graduate Fellowships.

Q: How do I decide which graduate schools to apply to?
A: This isn't so easy to answer. A good rule of thumb is that, if you are one of the top 5 math graduating math concentrators at Brown, you can expect to go to a graduate school that is about as good as Brown. In general, you should try to pick a few places you have a decent chance of getting accepted to, and then supplement the list with a few safety schools and also a few schools that might be slightly out of range.

calculus placement
Q: How do I find out which calculus class I should take when I come to Brown?
A: Go to the calculus placement page

Q: I got a 5 on my AP BC calculus test, which supposedly gives me credit for Math 0100. However, I don't feel comfortable with what I learned in high school and want to retake the class. Can I do this?
A: Prior to this year (2012), the answer was basically yes. you would talk about this with the math department chairman and, with permission, you could formally relinquish your AP credit and then retake the class. However, just this year the registrar changed the rules so you cannot do this. However, it is still possible to ''vagabond'' the class, which is to say informally sit in it. I think that the new policy of the registrar is a stupid one and I hope it is changed back.

degree requirements
(These are very specific questions, but you should be able to see the general principles from the answers.)

Q: Can I use Physics 30 as a class for the combined concentration?
A: No. Physics 30 is a lower level class. The only classes, outside of mathematics, that apply towards a combined concentration in math are those that are roughly at the same level as those upper level math classes that comprise the concentration.

Q: Can I use Physics 30 as a prerequisite for the combined math concentration.
A: No. For the combined concentration, you need to take the pure math prerequisites, such as Math 52. The idea is that these classes are very helpful for understanding the classes that comprise the actual concentration.

Q: Can APMA 33-34 be used in place of M111 for the concentration requirements?
A: No. While APMA 33-34 and M111 both deal with ordinary differential equations, the mathematical level of this series does not compare to that of our upper-division classes.

Q: Can I use PHYS 0070 and ECON1130 towards the science requirement in the math BS.C. degree?
A: Yes. Any reasonable science course, with a fairly strong math content (e.g. calculus-based physics like PHYS 0070) would count towards this requirement. If the math content of the course of interest to you is far below that of our calculus series, I would need to examine the course before approving it.

honors thesis
Q: How do I go about doing an honors thesis?
A: You usually start this in the beginning of your senior year, through you may have started the work for it earlier. It is important that you find a math professor in the department to sponsor your project, even of you work very independently.

Q: When/where should I turn in my honors thesis?
A: Turn it in before May 1 to your faculty sponsor and also give a copy to the director of undergraduate studies.

Q: What goes in an honors thesis?
A: There are several possibilities. One possibility is for you to read some interesting and substantial piece of mathematics and then give an exposition in your own style. Your exposition should be of a high quality, and should shed some real light on the subject matter. The other main possibility is that you work on an independent research project, and then write up what you have worked out by the time the thesis is due. Often, your faculty sponsor will help guide you towards an interesting and fruitful problem.

transfer credit
Q:I took some advanced math classes (e.g. multivariable calculus) at another university WHILE I was in high school. Can I transfer these credits?
A: The answer depends. If you used these classes to fulfill some requirements for your high school degree, then you cannot. If you did not use these classes for that purpose, you still need to speak to one of the deans about getting transfer credit and the dean will evaluate it on a case by case basis. In general, the bar for this kind of transfer is high.

Q: Can I get transfer credit for a class I have taken over winter term.
A: No. Brown does not allow this.

Q: Can I get transfer credit for an independent study class I have taken at another university.
A: No. There is not a formal rule about this, but it hasn't been done in the past, and it seems like a bad precedent.

Q: Can I get credit for Math 90 based on my performance on the math department placement exam?
A: No. The math placement exam is an informal and self-graded exam whose purpose is to give students a rough idea of which class to take.

Q: I would like to spend a semester studying abroad. Can I get transfer credit for the classes I take while abroad?
A: The classes you take will transfer provided that they pretty well match classes which we offer, in terms of content and level. You should check with the D.U.S. in advance of making plans, to make sure that the classes you want to take will indeed transfer.