Oxford University Computing Laboratory

Undergraduate Courses

The BA in Mathematics and Computation

The BA in Mathematics and Computation was the first undergraduate course at Oxford to be devoted substantially to computing science. It enrolled its first students in October 1985. The syllabus was substantially revised for the October 1994 entry, coinciding with the first entry for the BA in Computation.

The course aims to concentrate on those areas in which the mathematical intellect is most directly engaged in computing practice, to explore mathematical methods of understanding complex phenomena, and to provide a thorough education in the theory that underlies good engineering practice. It is split roughly equally between mathematics and computation and lasts three years. There are two sets of examinations: Moderations, at the end of the first year; and Finals, at the end of the course.

Entry to the course is via the usual undergraduate admission procedures for Oxford, involving college interviews. There is an overall target of about 30 students each year.

The syllabus of the first year is identical to that of the BA in Computation, allowing undergraduates to switch between the two courses up to the beginning of their second year, subject to college approval.

The first year has two computation modules:

together with the courses on Algebra, Analysis and Non-Physical Applied Mathematics that are taken by first-year Mathematics undergraduates.

The second-year and third-year computation options are the same as those for the BA in Computation, but students take no more than four of the second-year options together with one or two third-year options and possibly a project. In addition, they must take at least four and at most six of the courses offered for the BA in Mathematics.

In the second year, a selection of courses will be offered, including

In the third year during 1999/2000, a selection of courses are offered, such as: Subjects marked (*) are taught by mathematical colleagues in the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences.

The best candidate in Moderations is awarded the Addison-Wesley Prize in Computer Science, and the best candidate in the Final Honours School is awarded the BT Research & Technology Prize.

The equipment used to support the course consists principally of a laboratory of networked Sun workstations.

The first year course is governed by formal Regulations. The subsequent degree course is governed by a formal Decree and Regulations.

There are also Rough Guides (FHS 99) and (FHS 2000) available to aid interpretation of all this.

Updated March 1999 and HTML 2.0 checked