UMass Boston

Student Resources

NEW: Those in need of Department support for a repeat waiver request should click here to send an email requesting departmental support. Please explain the circumstances behind your past attempts at the course and what you will do to find success in this next attempt.

Mathematics Department Policies

  • Mathematics ALEKS Score PolicyALEKS scores must be earned within one (1) calendar year of the first day of classes. For a visual that outlines how this policy works, see our placement test expiration grid.
    • For Summer 2024 Session 1, ALEKS scores must have been earned on or after 5/28/2023.
    • For Summer 2024 Session 2, ALEKS scores must have been earned on or after 7/15/2023.
    • For Fall 2024, ALEKS scores must have been earned on or after 9/3/2023.
    • For Spring 2025, ALEKS scores must have been earned on or after 1/27/2024.
    • For Summer 2025, Session 1, ALEKS scores must have been earned on or after 5/27/2024.
    • For Summer 2025, Session 2, ALEKS scores must have been earned on or after 7/14/2024.
  • Mathematics Course Permission Policy - In MATH114QR - MATH242/R, students must wait to be admitted via the WISER waitlist system if they wish to join a full course section. Instructors will not issue permission numbers to allow you entry into those courses. As noted in WISER, students looking for information on registering for a course (including a full one) should contact the Mathematics Department (email: math@umb.edu, phone: 617-287-6440, in-person: W03-154)
  • Mathematics Remote/Online Course Examination Policy - REMOTE (i.e., synchronous) courses must give their exams in-person on campus, including midterm and final examinations. ONLINE (i.e., asynchronous/via Blackboard) courses must have live virtual proctoring for all exams (e.g., Honorlock, Respondus, or another Department-approved alternative).
  • Mathematics Department Advising Policy - Students with fewer than fifty (50) credits should seek advising from a professional/staff advisor (e.g., CSM Student Success Center), though they are welcome to speak with faculty members for guidance. After reaching the credit threshold, students should begin consulting with a faculty advisor in the Mathematics Department. Note: By the time a student who is a mathematics major has earned sixty (60) credits, they should declare their concentration using the General Program Add/Change Form (see: Registrar's Office). This will allow their degree audit to provide the most accurate information on program requirements while there is enough time to plan for a smooth passage to on-time completion. More information on concentrations is available on our tutoring and advising page.

Student Aids

Student Forms

  • Credit Transfer Permission Form (DocuSign)- Use this form to request permission to take a course at another institution and have it transferred into UMass Boston for credit. This is required if you have already matriculated to UMass Boston. You should make this request before taking the course, or there is not a guarantee the credits will be approved for transfer. Note that your major/program department must ultimately determine whether the transferred course will be valid for your major/program.
  • Transfer Credit Appeal Form (Link)- Use this to initiate an appeal of a course that has been transferred in for credit. Note: This is currently done through Admissions.
  • Tanimoto Center Application - Use this form if you are looking to apply for a position in the Tanimoto Center. You will only be able to access/submit the form if there are openings.

Math Text Editor

Below are free software solutions for producing mathematical and scientific documents:

  • LaTeX is one of the most used software for producing scientific documents. Common TeX distributions like MikTeX and TexLive are available on all computing platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux). For those using Mac OSX, TeXShop is highly recommended. Additional LaTeX packages can be downloaded on the CTAN (Comprehensive Tex Archive Network).
  • WinEdit is a powerful text editor for Windows geared towards LaTeX.

Math Computing

Below are free resources for mathematical computing:

  • Mathematical software like Mathematica and Matlab is freely available through the University.
  • CloudPC is a new service that gives streaming access to a cloud-based PC machine. CloudPC makes it possible to use software like Matlab, Mathematica, SAS, STATA, and SPSS remotely. 
  • Python is a widely used (free) programming language for all-purpose scientific computing.
  • R is a popular free programming environment geared towards statistics. RStudio provides a convenient interface to base-R with additional features.

Problem-Solving Seminar

Each fall semester Professor Catalin Zara convenes and leads a student group focusing on the enjoyment, challenges and strategies of mathematics problem solving, with the aim of participation in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. This is an exciting opportunity to further your mathematical experience, collaborate with other students, and reap benefits that will remain long after the Competition takes place. Please contact Professor Zara if you are interested in participating in the Putnam and in joining the problem-solving student group.

Undergraduate Research

Math Associations

  • American Mathematical Society (AMS). The AMS is the primary professional organization in mathematics in the USA. Its offerings are vast. The link above takes one directly to pages for students; we encourage exploration of other aspects of the AMS, including conferences, employment guides  and free publications.
  • Mathematical Association of America (MAA). The MAA works together with the AMS and places particularly strong emphasis on students, especially college mathematics students. 

Math Conferences

  • The University of Massachusetts at Amherst hosts an annual undergraduate research conference. For more information, click here.

  • The Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (HRUMC) is an annual conference where undergraduates can present their mathematics research. In 2023, it took place at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. For more information, click here.
  • The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) has valuable resources on meetings and conferences accessible to students, for example MathFest.

Math Journals

  • Quanta Magazine - This is a relatively new magazine, offering articles on recent developments in mathematics and various sciences. It is distinguished in offering material covered in depth and, at the same time, in a widely accessible format.

  • Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12 - This is a publication from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) that chronicles practices and policies related to mathematics education.

Math Tutoring

  • The Taffee Tanimoto Mathematics Resource Center is our own in-house tutoring service. For more information on the Tanimoto Center, contact TanimotoCenter@umb.edu or visit our tutoring and advising page.
  • The Office of Student Equity, Access, and Success (SEAS) offers a variety of services to support student learning. Check out their tutoring programs page for more information.

Math Club

This Fall 2023, the Math Club will meet on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30pm in M-1-420. Activities will include problem-solving sessions (with problems in math, probability, statistics and programming), presentations by students on math-related topics, interviews of faculty members about their research, Q&A with professionals from actuarial science, data science, finance, and more.

Officers: Donna Kimmel (President), Kayla Vu (Vice President), Michael Nee (Treasurer), Shreya Namana (Event Planner)

Recent Math Club Activities and Resources

Here are math challenges for this week - courtesy of the Riddler at fivethirtyeight.com:

  1. The Fibonacci sequence begins with the numbers 1 and 1,2 with each new term in the sequence equal to the sum of the preceding two. The first few numbers of the Fibonacci sequence are 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and so on. One can also make variations of the Fibonacci sequence by starting with a different pair of numbers. For example, the sequence that starts with 1 and 3 is 1, 3, 4, 7, 11, 18, 29, 47, 76 and so on. Generalizing further, a “tribonacci” sequence starts with three whole numbers, with each new term equal to the sum of the preceding three. Many tribonacci sequences include the number 2023. For example, if you start with 23, 1000 and 1000, then the very next term will be 2023. Your challenge is to find starting whole numbers a, b and c so that 2023 is somewhere in their tribonacci sequence, a ≤ b ≤ c, and the sum a + b + c is as small as possible.
     
  2. Every Christmas, Gary’s family has a gift exchange. There are 20 people in the gift exchange. In the first round, everyone writes down the name of a random person (other than themselves) and the names go in a hat. Then if two people randomly pick each other’s names out of that hat, they will exchange gifts, and they no longer participate in the drawing. The remaining family members go on to round two. Again, they write down the name of anyone left, and again, any two people who pick each other exchange gifts. This continues until everyone is paired up. And yes, if exactly two people remain, they still go through the process of selecting each other, even though they know who their partner will be. On average, what is the expected number of rounds until everyone is paired up?

Professional Development

Students pursue mathematics at UMass Boston to engage their love for the subject when they choose it as their major, to support their work in other disciplines, to prepare for careers in teaching, to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement, or to meet college distribution requirements.

Careers in Mathematics

Scholarships & Aid

Brann Scholarships

Two scholarships, established by Alton J. Brann, are awarded to Biology, Biology Medical Technology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics majors who have a minimum of 30 credits but no more than 90 credits. The selection of the scholarship winners will be based primarily upon the student's scholastic achievement and character. Financial need will not be a primary factor.

Qualified students may apply directly or may be nominated by a faculty member. Applications and nominations must contain both a letter from the student stating his or her goals and aspirations and a letter from a faculty member who has reviewed the student's qualifications for the award.

Alton Brann is the Chairman and CEO of Western Atlas, Inc., which is one of the major branches of Litton Industries. He was a member of the first graduating class of this University, receiving his degree in mathematics in 1969. He has gone on to become one of America's leading corporate executives. In that capacity he has assumed a leadership role in the support of public higher education in California. These scholarships demonstrate the loyalty and affection of this alumnus for his own public undergraduate institution, the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Litton Scholarships

Two scholarships, available to mathematics, computer science, and physical science majors, are awarded to undergraduate students who will be at the junior or senior level in the coming fall semester. The scholarship winners will be based primarily upon the student's scholastic achievement and character. Financial need will not be a primary factor.

Qualified students may apply directly or may be nominated by a faculty member. Applications and nominations must contain both a letter from the student stating his or her goals and aspirations and a letter from a faculty member who has reviewed the student's qualifications for the award.

Litton Industries, based in California, is a technology based company applying advanced electronic products and services worldwide to defense, industrial automation, and geophysical markets.

National SMART Grants

"The SMART [Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation] Program provides STEM students with the tools needed to pursue higher education and begin a career with the DoD [Department of Defense]. With a full scholarship, students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees will be able to focus on complex research to further the DoD’s mission and create lasting impact. SMART is a one-for-one commitment; for every year of degree funding, the scholar commits to working for a year with the DoD as a civilian employee.  Summer internships prepare scholars for full-time employment and get them accustomed to working with the DoD."

When to apply? The SMART application is open August through December of every year, with awards being granted the following spring.

Eligibility requirements. All applicants must be:

  • A citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or United Kingdom at time of application,
  • 18 years of age or older as of August 1, 2022
  • Requesting at least 1 year of degree funding prior to graduation (which starts at the program start date),
  • Able to complete at least one summer internship (multi-year scholars only)
  • Willing to accept post-graduation employment with the DoD,
  • A student in good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale,
  • Pursuing a technical undergraduate or graduate degree in one of 21 STEM disciplines listed here,
  • Able to produce a fall 2021 college transcript from a regionally accredited US college or university, OR be pursuing a graduate degree at a regionally accredited US college or university.

For more information please contact the Financial Aid Services office.

Undergraduate Awards

The Taffee Tanimoto Award for Outstanding Service in Mathematics

This prize is awarded annually to a graduating senior who has particularly distinguished him or herself by being of service to classmates and the department. The prize honors Professor Taffee Tanimoto, who founded the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at UMass Boston in 1965 and was its chair for 11 years.

  • 2024: Kayla Vu, Dov Ellenbogen
  • 2023: Jackson Pierce
  • 2022: Paul F. Maynard
  • 2021: Oghosa Ohiomoba
  • 2020: Shuha Liu
  • 2017: Rory Martin-Hagemeyer
  • 2014: Phong Truong
  • 2013: Shira Kaminsky
  • 2012: Yuting Zeng
  • 2011: Doris E. Gilbert
  • 2010: Deanna Marie Crocker
  • 2009: Gregory Walsh Loftus
  • 2007: Alla Shved
  • 2005: Omid Fallahazad
  • 2004: Judith Freedman
  • 2003: Jovica Vuletic
  • 2002: Sarkis Daghlian, Naing Naing Maw
  • 2001: Angela Lilleystone
  • 1999: Eric A. Rich
  • 1998: Eric Michael Martin
  • 1996: Lara Kristin Wolf
  • 1995: William P. Perry
  • 1994: Shoshana Kostant
  • 1993: Tho Dinh Can
  • 1991: Yasuhiro Endo

The Juan Carlos Merlo Memorial Prize in Mathematics

This prize is awarded annually to a graduating mathematics student for outstanding achievement. The prize honors the memory of Professor Juan Carlos Merlo, a distinguished teacher and scholar who died in 1974 while in the service of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

  • 2024: Dov Ellenbogen
  • 2023: Jackson Pierce
  • 2022: Paul Rampino
  • 2021: Alexander Scott Killian
  • 2020: Jordan Cudmore Boswell
  • 2019: Jonah Stanley Greenberg
  • 2018: Isabel Frances Hancock, Yu Ling, Brian K. Lynn
  • 2017: Devon Elizabeth Hand, Rory Martin-Hagemeyer
  • 2016: Vincent Timothy Luczkow
  • 2015: Xuezhu Luan
  • 2014: Rob Moray
  • 2013: Shira Kaminsky, Michelle Grace Benoit
  • 2012: Joshua R. Rosenberg
  • 2011: Shosha Kamholtz, Aaron M. Welles
  • 2010: Jessica Gregory
  • 2009: Andrew Kenneth MacLeay, Maryam Madhavi
  • 2008: Ian J. Maxwell
  • 2007: Evan Lowell Ray
  • 2005: Omid Fallahazad
  • 2004: Judith Freedman
  • 2003: Dalcione Marie Reis
  • 2002: Nicole Michelle Perez
  • 2001: Thomas G. Capizzi
  • 2000: Francesco Peri
  • 1999: Joseph S. Churchman Jr., Anna L. Varvak
  • 1998: Victor Tecson Abaya
  • 1997: Bruce U. Romano
  • 1996: Randall G. Malbone
  • 1995: Alexander M. Fraser
  • 1994: John A. Gmelch
  • 1993: Chrysanthe Spyropoulos
  • 1992: Masashi Nemoto
  • 1991: Mark Edward Zimarowski
  • 1990: Long Nguyen
  • 1989: Sidney Sterling Atwood
  • 1988: Trung T. Dung
  • 1987: Photini Anastopoulos
  • 1986: Jane-Sarah O'Brien
  • 1985: Christina Maria Crawford
  • 1983: Douglas Hayden
  • 1982: Jean Ruth Elrick
  • 1981: Richard S. Palmer
  • 1980: Terry N. Turner
  • 1978: Emily Miriam Stone
  • 1977: Jelena Z. Blumenberg
  • 1975: Shirley A. Hayden, Elizabeth C. Lee

Senior Honors in Mathematics

Senior Honors in Mathematics is given to an undergraduate senior who has completed their bachelors program with excellent grades and who has prepared and defended a senior honors thesis.

Past Winners:

  • 2023: Jackson Pierce, Constrained Motion Spaces of Robotic Arms, Advisor: Oleg Lazarev
  • 2014: Rob Moray, Modeling the Post-Transcriptional Regulation of the Tumor Suppressor Gene PTEN and It's Role in Cancer, Advisors: Kourosh Zarringhalam, Rahul Kulkarni