Mathematics and Statistics

The Department of Mathematics is now The Department of Mathematics and Statistics with majors in both mathematics and statistics.

Ongoing - Math Table every Monday, noon - 1:30, Valentine Terrace Room A MOST weeks    

Past News and Events can be found in the Archive.

New and Immediate Change to Stat 111 for Fall 2014

Due to demand, Stat 135 will be offered BOTH semesters next year, but this has required converting Stat 111 Section 04 to Stat 135 for the Fall. Please check the section you are attempting to pre-register for and adjust your selection as necessary. Stat 135 has a calculus pre-requisite, while Stat 111 does not.

To reiterate: Stat 111 Section 04 in the Fall has been converted to Stat 135. This will be official in the course scheduler in the afternoon on Monday, April 7th. Please plan accordingly!

Clarification on Intro Stats for Math Majors

Due to the introduction of the major in statistics, minor changes were made in the mathematics major. If you read the mathematics major page, you can find all the updated details on the mathematics major, which will appear in the catalog next year. In particular, note that Math 130 has been renamed Stat 111. Stat 111 will NOT count towards the mathematics major. However, students that took the course while it was still Math 130 may count it towards the mathematics major as a mathematics elective.  We strongly encourage students with questions about the mathematics and statistics majors to talk to a faculty member in the Department.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Walker Prize Examination for First Year students and Sophomores

The Walker Prize Examination is an annual Mathematics competition for any interested first and second year students at Amherst College. The competition takes the form of a timed written exam, usually consisting of ten problems over the course of three hours. No calculators, phones, books, notes, or other aids are allowed during the exam.

There are substantial monetary prizes for the top two scorers in each of the two class years eligible. That is, first year students are competing only with other first years, and sophomores are competing only with other sophomores. Ties are rare but possible.

The exam is designed to emphasize mathematical ingenuity rather than possession of specific background material. In particular, no mathematics beyond that covered in MATH 111-121 will be assumed, and many of the problems don't require content even at that level. The problems are intended to be interesting and thought-provoking. The clarity of each participant's written arguments, and not just mathematical correctness of the answers, counts heavily in the scoring.

 For more information about the exam and to see old exams, go to the Prizes and Awards page.

 7:00 - 10:00 pm, Seeley Mudd 206

Amherst mathematics and statistics majors participate in sports analytics.


Nine Amherst students participated in the DataFest event held March 28-30 hosted at UMass Amherst on two teams: Speed Data-ers and Dataminerz. Dataminerz won one of the three awards presented for their work detecting errors in the data. Congratulations to all the students who participated!

Research on Reproducibility in Statistics Curriculum Published

Prof. Nicholas Horton and collaborators (some local, some not) recently published work on incorporating reproducibility in the statistics curriculum. Using R Markdown, students are able to streamline their analysis and presentation of results steps, rather than taking results from a software package and then formatting a document in Word to convey their results. Seeing the entire workflow from start to finish can make it easier to detect mistakes and avoid issues with selective reporting of results, as well as help students understand the analysis process. To read more about this research, visit:

Amherst Students Win First Place in Central Connecticut State University Math Competition!

The 5th CCSU Regional Mathematics Competition was held on April 13, 2013 at Central Connecticut State University. There were 26 participants, from 9 schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. Four Amherst College students participated: Whit Froehlich, Hongye Guo, Darius Onul and Sunny Xiao. Amherst's team placed first in the competition. In individual results, Hongye Guo placed second, and Darius Onul placed third. Congratulations to all participating students!


View a calendar of events in the Five College area.