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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Mathematics (MATH)

MATH 033 (GQ) Mathematics for Sustainability (3) Mathematical analysis of sustainability; measurement, rates of change, risk and probability, networks; examples.

MATH 033 Mathematics for Sustainability (3)

This course is intended to be one of several offered by the mathematics department with the goal of helping students from non-technical majors partially satisfy their general education quantification. It is designed to provide an introduction to various mathematical modeling techniques, with an emphasis on examples related to environmental and economic sustainability. The course may be used to fulfill three credits of the GQ requirement for some majors, but it does not serve as a prerequisite for any mathematics courses and should be treated as a terminal course.

The course will provide students with the mathematical background and quantitative reasoning skills necessary to engage as informed citizens in discussions of sustainability related to resources, pollution, recycling, economic change, and similar matters of public interest. These include the four key ideas of "measuring" (representing
information by numbers, problems of measurement, units, estimation skills); "changing" (quantities changing with time, rates of change, the distinction between stocks and flows, simple models, interest and discount rates); "risking" (probability, expectation, skew distributions and upside vs downside risks, uses and limitations of cost-benefit analysis, risk v. uncertainty); and "networking" (graphs, social networks, the strength of weak ties, social capital).

General Education: GQ
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2014
Prerequisite: one unit of algebra orMATH 004

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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