About MSCS

Mission Statement of the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science

The St. Olaf MSCS Department fosters an inclusive community of students and faculty centered around mathematics, statistics, and computer science; their characteristic modes of thought, reasoning, and problem solving; their beauty, power, and enjoyment; and their importance among the liberal arts.

To this end, we strive:
1.  to cultivate a “big tent” philosophy, welcoming students with a broad range of interests, backgrounds, experiences, and aspirations;
2.  to develop and support leadership and innovation in teaching, learning, and scholarship;
3.  to build forward-looking interactions among our distinct but connected disciplines;
4.  to provide rigorous and stimulating academic and intellectual experiences for students and faculty; and
5.  to engage with larger academic and intellectual communities.
Approved by MSCS on May 22, 2013

Mission Statement of the St. Olaf Mathematics Program

To foster a community of students and faculty that promotes the beauty, power, and enjoyment of mathematical thought, and its importance among the liberal arts.

To this end, we strive:
1.  to provide substantial and stimulating mathematical experiences for students and faculty;
2.  to include a broad range of students–not just a small elite–in our community;
3.  to contribute to and learn from the larger mathematical community through scholarship and other public professional activities;
4.  to support innovation in teaching, learning, and scholarship;
5.  to extend our mathematical horizons beyond the classroom and campus;
6.  to enjoy and celebrate the doing and learning of mathematics.

Mission Statement of the St. Olaf Computer Science Program

Computer Science at St. Olaf

St. Olaf’s Computer Science curriculum offers a breadth-first introduction to CS that makes the fundamental principles of CS available to liberal-arts students of any discipline, and simultaneously develops the analytical thinking skills needed for later courses. Starting with the first course (which satisfies the College’s Mathematical Reasoning [MAR] requirement), the program emphasizes a hands-on approach to teaching, which emphasizes learning intellectual concepts through concrete exercises. The courses span national expectations for CS curricula, and the program embraces its liberal arts context in the organization of its major, its emphasis on teamwork and communication skills, its involvement in interdisciplinary projects, and its distinctive, integrated interest in computing ethics.
Combined with St. Olaf’s approach to the liberal arts and any other interests or major one may have, the thinking skills, ethical analysis, empowering concepts and learning experiences offered by CS courses prepare students to make lifelong contributions to the 21st century world, whether in computing-related areas or in fields not usually associated with computing.