Math 202(102)

Heretofore one of the requirements for the BS degree in economics was Math 212(103). Following discussions among members of the Mathematics and Economics Departments in the spring of 2006, Math 202(102) was created. This new course is not equivalent to Math 212(103), but starting in the 2006-2007 academic year, the Economics Department will replace their Math 212(103) requirement with the requirement that BS majors in economics take Math 202(102). However, because all Engineering majors and some Trinity College majors require Math 212(103), the Economics Department will continue to accept Math 212(103) credit in lieu of Math 202(102) for the sake of students who want to double major in economics and such a major.

First Offering
Math 202(102) was first offered in the spring of 2007.

Course Description of Math 202(102)
Gaussian elimination, matrix algebra, determinants, linear independence. Calculus of several variables, chain rule, implicit differentiation. Optimization, first order conditions, Lagrange multipliers. Integration of functions of several variables. Prerequisite: Mathematics 122(32), 112L(32L) or 122L(41L). Not open to students who have taken Mathematics 212(103).
Here is a recent Math 202(102) syllabus.

Note for Engineering, Science, and Math Majors
Students who are considering a science major, a math major, or an engineering major should take Math 212(103) instead of Math 202(102), even if you're considering a double major with economics.


  1. So, what's the difference between Math 202(102) and Math 212(103)?
    Topics from 212(103) which are not covered in Math 202(102) include: vector fields, line integrals, surface integrals, integral theorems of Green, Gauss and Stokes.  Most of the linear algebra, optimization, and implicit differentiation content of Math 202(102) is not in Math 212(103), nor are the examples from economics.
  2. What if I take Math 212(103), because the major I'm considering requires Math 212(103), and then later I decide that I want to major in econmoics?
    In such a case, the Economics Department will accept credit for Math 212(103) in lieu of Math 202(102).
  3. What if I take Math 202(102), thinking I will definitely major in economics, and then later I change my mind and choose a major that requires Math 212(103)?
    For the math major, you would need to learn on your own the material from Math 212(103) that is not included in Math 202(102). This material includes some integration techniques and the chapter on vector calculus, making up approximately the last third of Math 212(103). Then at the end of the following semester, you will be required to demonstrate your proficiency in that material by taking the relevant portion of the Math 212(103) block final. After you demonstrate proficiency in that material, the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Math will waive the Math 212(103) prerequisite for the major in mathematics. For other majors, such as physics, computer science, and engineering, you would have to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in that department to find out how to proceed.
  4. What if I'm considering an econ major, but I'm not sure about econ because I also have some interest in other majors, some of which require Math 212(103). Should I take Math 202(102) or Math 212(103)?
    You should take Math 212(103) to keep your options open. In fact the combination of Math 212(103) and Math 221(104) will keep open all academic doors which may require mathematics.