The Mathematics Colloquium

The Mathematics Colloquium, held nearly every Friday at 3:30 p.m. during the academic year, offers students and faculty the opportunity to learn about each other’s interests and projects and introduces them to professionals from outside Valpo who work in mathematics and related disciplines. It’s also a key part of the math curriculum.

As students progress through the major, they take on increasing responsibility for the colloquium’s content by moderating discussions, giving feedback to their peers, and giving presentations of their own.

The Mathematics Colloquium appears in the course catalog as MATH 199, 299, 399 and 499. These courses are generally taken in the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years, respectively, although the sequence can be accelerated for students who declare a major in mathematics after the freshman year.

  • During the freshman year, students participate in MATH 199 by attending, writing responses to, and acting as moderators for, presentations being given by sophomore and senior students.
  • During the sophomore year, students participate in MATH 299 by developing and delivering a brief (8-to-10-minute) mathematical presentation on a topic of their choice — this is usually done in coordination with MATH 266; in fact, concurrent enrollment in MATH 299 and MATH 266 is recommended.
  • During the junior year, students earn credit for MATH 399 by participating in co-curricular activities, such as attending a mathematics conference, participating in service learning opportunities, or taking the national Putnam Exam. Students identify and begin researching the topics on which they will give presentations for the following year’s colloquium.
  • During their senior year, students earn credit for MATH 499 by delivering a professional-style 18-to-20-minute presentation on an advanced mathematical topic and submitting a companion written paper on the same topic.