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The Bridge to Calculus Program

Two planes are heading for the same destination 8000 miles away.

Plane A leaves at 1:00 pm, averaging 450 mph. Plane B leaves at 6:00 pm, averaging 400 mph. Which plane gets there first? 

You’ve heard a problem like this before, but never outside a classroom. Because in the real world, it’s much less black and white. 

That’s because life has invisible variables. For instance, it will depend on the accuracy of weather pattern predictions to account for delays. It will depend on assessments about the plane’s material parts and fuel efficiency. It will depend on the air traffic controllers issuing course corrections in real time. All these factors will contribute to when the planes will arrive.

So what’s the answer? The truth is that the answer is too small for the real question. The world depends on more than just calculations — it requires people who have the foresight and perspective necessary to keep the planes arriving on time. 

The College of Science mathematics degree prepares students not only to solve for (x), but to see the whole equation.

Degree Options

Faculty Research

DK Lab
DK Lab research focuses on the theory and fundamentals of complex networks. Research topics of particular interest to the lab are latent network geometry, maximum-entropy random graph ensembles and random geometric graphs, causal sets, navigation in networks, and fundamentals of network dynamics.
Algebra Group
Modern algebra has its roots in the mathematics of the ancient world, arising out of the basic problem of solving equations. Following an explosive development in the twentieth century, it is now a vibrant, multi-faceted and wide-ranging branch of mathematics, having ties with almost every field of..
Partial Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems Group
The Partial Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems Group falls under the field of mathematical analysis, which is a broad branch of mathematics that encompasses many fields, generally sharing a basis in calculus. Historically, analysis has played a crucial role in solving problems in physics ..
Geometric Analysis Group
The Geometric Analysis Group falls under the field of mathematical analysis, which is a broad branch of mathematics that encompasses many fields, generally sharing a basis in calculus. Historically, analysis has played a crucial role in solving problems in physics and engineering; recent years have..
Ergodic Theory Group
The Ergodic Theory Group falls under the field of mathematical analysis, which is a broad branch of mathematics that encompasses many fields, generally sharing a basis in calculus. Historically, analysis has played a crucial role in solving problems in physics and engineering; recent years have see..
Combinatorics and Discrete Math Group
Perhaps the fastest growing area of modern mathematics. It has a wealth of real-world applications, especially in computer science, which have greatly contributed to its rapid growth.
Algebraic Geometry Group
Algebraic geometry generally uses tools from algebra to study objects called algebraic varieties that are solution sets to algebraic equations
Differential Geometry Group
Differential geometry uses tools from analysis to study objects called manifolds that generalize Euclidean space.
Singularities in Analytic Geometry Group
Analytic geometry generalizes algebraic geometry by considering spaces and maps defined locally by analytic functions.
Discrete/Combinatorial Geometry
Discrete geometry studies combinatorial properties of finite or discrete objects.
Symplectic Geometry
Symplectic geometry studies objects with structure generalizing that of the phase space of certain dynamical systems.
Probability and Statistics Group
Encompasses a broad array of topics in pure and applied mathematics, and has applications in almost every field of scientific research. By its nature, the field is driven by real-world applications.
Topology and Singularities Group
The study of those properties that are preserved through continuous deformations of objects. It can be used to abstract the inherent connectivity of objects while ignoring their detailed form.

Applied Mathematics Masters

New applications of mathematics are constantly being discovered, and established techniques are being applied in new ways and in emerging fields. Northeastern’s Master of Science in Applied Mathematics is catered to students who are looking to enter or who are currently working in a variety of applied math careers, such as financial service and investment firms; data science and high-tech firms; computer information and software firms; and academic institutions and research institutes.

Coursework and Requirements
Depending upon your career objectives, mathematics electives are generally selected from one of three tracks:
Interactive Mathematics
MATH 1213

Develops problem-solving skills while simultaneously teaching mathematics concepts. Each unit centers on a particular applied problem, which serves to introduce the relevant mathematical topics.

Mathematics of Art
MATH 1220

Presents mathematical connections and foundations for art. Topics vary and may include aspects of linear perspective and vanishing points, symmetry and patterns, tilings and polygons, Platonic solids and polyhedra, golden ratio, non-Euclidean geometry, hyperbolic geometry, fractals, and other topics.

History of Mathematics
MATH 2201

Traces the development of mathematics from its earliest beginning to the present. Emphasis is on the contributions of various cultures including the Babylonians, Egyptians, Mayans, Greeks, Indians, and Arabs.

Co-Op Stories

Many math students choose to participate in the university’s signature co-operative education program because it offers excellent preparation and exposure to exciting careers. Here’s what our students are saying:

Ruo Yang, Consumer Analytics and Insights Co-op Program, Fidelity Investments

“I am currently doing a co-op with Fidelity Investments. It is an extraordinary experience to learn and apply mathematical skills into the real world rather than with academics only. The fantastic program (co-op in applied mathematics) is the way to transform the abstract mathematical knowledge to the different actual projects which increase the interests with math.”

Xiaofan Liu, Pension Analyst, Towers Watson

“The co-op experience made my MSOR program more colorful as well as is the stepping stone to my future career life.”

Hua Zhao, Sales Analyst, Gryphon Networks

“Co-op is the best way to gain real world experiences off campus! Also a great way to discover the industry and find your real interest before going to the real world.”

Liu Li, Data Modeling, Custom Portfolios

“I encountered new problems every day, learned new theories and practiced new models in every project. Working in industry is not the same thing as doing course projects at school. You have to learn things fast and keep pace with the development of new techniques.”

Shaokang Du, Data Scientist, Omni Claim

“In order to be a strong candidate for co-op I recommend preparing a challenging and skillful project experience if you don’t have much professional experience and keep an attitude and willingness to learn.”

The Minds Behind COS Mathematics
Faculty Spotlight
Ana-Maria Castravet
“Math is not just a game and it’s not as shallow as it looks. There is a scientific theory that can connect different things in profound ways and it’s very beautiful actually, and I just like that,” said Northeastern Math Professor Ana-Maria Castravet. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, she is working on the moduli spaces of rational curves.
Jonathan Mboyo Esole
Assistant professor in the College of Science, grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, studied at top institutions around the world, and has been awarded the Albert Einstein Fellowship. Since arriving in fall 2016, Esole has taught calculus and mathematical methods of quantum mechanics.
Paul Hand
is an assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to figure out how neural networks can be used to construct images, while searching for the mathematical theories behind those networks.


Understanding Networks: The power to predict pandemics, information spread, and quantum gravity

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