First cycle degree in Mathematics (or Bachelor’s degree) L35 in summary
The first cycle degree in Mathematics is equal to a Bachelor’s degree of Mathematics (L35 class of Bachelor’s degree of Mathematical Sciences and it will be denoted by BMath for short). It is a three year programme offered at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Catania, and it is designed to develop advanced quantitative and analytical mathematical skills.
The first two years are organized by a common programme to all students. In particular, the first year consists of a well-balanced curriculum and provides a firm mathematical basis for other studies (Algebra, Analysis, Geometry); in the second year, the programme offers courses such as Mathematical Physics and Numerical Calculus to improve basic knowledge and ground students with tools useful for further studies.
In the third year, students decide(s) to continue with a major (curriculum) either in pure or applied mathematics. As students in pure mathematics, they should be into abstract structures, and will surely pursue a career in education or research; as a student in applied mathematics, one should have interests in modelling or applied research. The choice of the curricula is not selective since both majors concur to develop mathematical aspects of a various range of disciplines. Various study tracks and numerous optional courses allow the students to pursue their personal interests.
The students can choose 12 university credits (CFU for short) and can also choose courses among the various ones offered from the University of Catania, accordingly with the aim of the BMath programme. The programme offers also Physics and Computer Science courses to improve mathematical knowledge and to open more career/job opportunities.
Students can perfom their own personal curriculum (study plan) according to their interests. The curricula will be evaluated by a designed committee and approved by the Advisor.
The programme is completed by two further courses: one is “Extra skills in math”, a 3 credits course (in the first year) named “Tools for symbolic and numerical computation”. It was decided since its contents can be useful for Algebra, numerical calculus, analysis and geometry; and the other one is “Skills in English language” (6 credit course).
Each course is completely described on line by the so-called Syllabus.
The teaching approach is a traditional one. The programme offers personal feedback and attention from tutors in order to help students in their studies. They are invited to work in small groups and sometimes to give short talks on a topic based on the professor’s suggestions. In the third year, some courses will be taught in English to both national and international students. Some students can continue their studies abroad with the Erasmus project.
The main aim of the first level degree is to provide a solid basic knowledge for those who wish to continue their studies with a second level degree (Laurea Magistrale), either in theoretical and educational or applied and modelling fields.
At the end of the programme, students will have access to career opportunities spanning many industries, such as business or informatics and technology related sectors, such as actuary, statistician, economist or market researcher, or computer consultant as functional analyst or developer.
Learning Objectives (or Educational Objectives)
The first degree level in Mathematics offered by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Catania aims to give a solid basic knowledge to students who wish to specialize their studies with a second level degree (Laurea Magistrale) either in theoretical and educational or applied modelling fields. Some activities equip students with skills that will aid them in profession or ongoing studies.
The first part of the programme deals with the basic principles of Mathematics, such as Analysis, Algebra, Geometry and also Informatics, where the study of technical programming and calculation methods are supported by a laboratory activity. In the sequel, thanks to the acquired basic skills, the programme will offer advanced courses not only in the previously cited disciplines but also in Physics and Theoretical and Applied Mathematics.
In the third year, the student can decide to continue with a major (curriculum) either in pure or in applied mathematics. The choice of the curricula is not selective since both majors concur to develop mathematical aspects of a various range of disciplines and will allow the student to pursue his personal interests and aspirations.
Some advanced courses and, in particular, the preparation for the individual final exam (for which the programme offers significant teaching support) aims to encourage students to be in direct contact with mathematical literature, beyond textbooks or lecture notes. It will help the students become familiar with reading and referring to teaching/educational texts and scientific papers published in national and/or international journals. It will also give extra effort to the ability to develop and evaluate mathematical arguments.
The students are invited to work together throughout their studies and to engage with lecturers and tutors outside of timetabled classes and during office-hours. Some courses encourage small group discussion to improve students’ understanding of core materials. Sometimes, the students are invited to give short talks where they can demonstrate their intellectual independence as well as the skill to use all their acquired knowledges to other disciplines. A useful tool to promote knowledge and understanding of core mathematics and its applications is given by lectures and classroom exercise. It seems the most efficient method to pass on specific contents of each discipline and their relations; in particular, the classroom exercise are crucial for the students to acquire the principle: understanding rather than just memorisation of information. All courses are mainly assessed on the basis of written and/or oral examinations.
The programme offers a continually evolving range of courses at higher levels which reflect current trends in Mathematics and its applications; in particular, it provides a substantial number of credits for the characterizing disciplines. This is extremely important to ensure a curriculum that ranges in all of the numerous mathematical sectors, that, as we know, are continually growing. Furthermore, many credits are crucial to ensure the mobility of the students coming from other Bachelor’s degrees (same or other Universities).
Each course will contribute to achieve the main programme outcomes, that will be reached step by step at the end of the studies.
Mathematics graduates are highly valued in the fields of new technology for their capacity of analysis, abstraction and rigorousness which allows them to adapt easily to realities that are constantly changing. The logical, analytical and practical problem solving skills that the students learn during their degree are sought after by employers in the financial and business sector, investment analysis, transport logistics and teaching, to give but a few examples. They can:
- Develop and implement mathematical models and tools that are fundamental today in industrial, financial and business sectors.
- Coordinate and/or participate in working and research teams.
- Lead research activities based on mathematical theories and concepts
- Participate at scientific meetings (conference, workshop, seminars, etc).
- Apply mathematical theories and concepts to solve problems.
- Find grants to finance research projects.
- Realize scientific publications (papers, texts, etc).
- Develop and implement algorithms and calculation methods to solve problems.
- Employ in businesses and institutes working with statistics (quality control, exploratory analysis of data, big data, etc).
- Work in companies with interdisciplinary research and development teams.
- Teach mathematics at different educational levels.
- Continue their education by taking a second level degree (master's degree or Laurea Magistrale) to further their professional training or begin a career in either basic or applied research.