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Mathematical and Computational Science

Co-Directors: Bradley Efron, Susan Holmes

Committee in Charge: Takeshi Amemiya (Economics, emeritus), Emmanuel Candes (Mathematics, Statistics), Gunnar Carlsson (Mathematics), Richard Cottle (Management Science and Engineering, emeritus), Thomas M. Cover (Electrical Engineering, Statistics), Bradley Efron (Statistics), J. Michael Harrison (Graduate School of Business), Susan Holmes (Statistics), Parviz Moin (Engineering), George Papanicolaou (Mathematics), Eric Roberts (Computer Science), David Rogosa (Education), Tim Roughgarden (Computer Science), Amin Saberi (Management Science and Engineering), David Siegmund (Statistics), Jonathan Taylor (Statistics), Arthur F. Veinott, Jr. (Management Science and Engineering, emeritus), Brian White (Mathematics).

Program Offices: Sequoia Hall, 390 Serra Mall

Mail Code: 94305-4065

Phone: (650) 723-2620


Web Site:

Courses offered by the Program in Mathematical and Computational Science are listed under the subject code MCS on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

This interdepartmental interschool undergraduate program provides a major for students interested in the mathematical and computational sciences, or in the use of mathematical ideas and analysis in problems in the social or management sciences. It provides a core of mathematics basic to all the mathematical sciences and an introduction to concepts and techniques of computation, optimal decision making, probabilistic modeling, and statistical inference. It also provides an opportunity for elective work in any of Stanford's mathematical science disciplines.

The program uses the faculty and courses of the departments of Computer Science, Management Science and Engineering, Mathematics, and Statistics. It prepares students for graduate study or employment in the mathematical and computational sciences or in those areas of applied mathematics which center around the use of computers and are concerned with the problems of the social and management sciences.

A biology option is offered for students interested in applications of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to the biological sciences (bioinformatics, computational biology, statistical genetics, neurosciences); and in a similar spirit, an engineering option.

Undergraduate Mission Statement for Mathematical and Computational Science

The mission of the Mathematical and Computational Science Program is to provide students with a core of mathematics basic to all the mathematical sciences and an introduction to concepts and techniques of computation, optimal decision making, probabilistic modeling and statistical inference. The program is interdisciplinary in its focus, and students are required to complete course work in mathematics, computer science, statistics, and management science and engineering. A computational biology track is available for students interested in biomedical applications. The program prepares students for careers in academic, financial and government settings as well as for study in graduate or professional schools.

Learning Outcomes

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate:

  1. understanding of principles and tools of statistics.
  2. command of optimization and its applications and to be able to analyze and interpret problems from various disciplines.
  3. an understanding of computer applications emphasizing modern software engineering principles.
  4. an understanding of multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and algebraic and geometric proofs.

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