Why Study CAAM?

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Computational and Applied Mathematics provides foundations of mathematics applicable to the many fields of science and engineering. The skills developed through our program are in enormous demand across industry, including consulting, banking, energy, health, e-commerce, services, and many others. CAAM majors are also well prepared for graduate school in mathematics, or professional schools such as medicine, business or law.

CAAM majors are strong in computational science and engineering. They have deep knowledge of algorithms used to model real-world systems arising from the physical world. CAAM majors learn how to build mathematical and computational models of complex physical phenomena, such as climate modeling and biomedicine. Alumni have successful careers in industry, academia and national laboratories.

CAAM majors take four technical electives that allow considerable freedom to plan a course of study consistent with their particular interests. CAAM undergraduates are engaged in research projects with CAAM faculty. Some of these projects may involve collaborators from industry or the Texas Medical Center.

Be in Demand after Graduation

About half of CAAM graduates work in industry upon graduating and many are management consultants or work at software firms such as Amazon, Google or Microsoft. The other half continues on to graduate school in applied mathematics or computational science and engineering. Several CAAM majors are double majors or pre-med.

What to Expect

If you are considering a CAAM major, you should consult with CAAM faculty to plan your courses. The Matlab/Python programming course CAAM 210 is an introductory project-based course that covers various topics in computational and applied mathematics. The CAAM department also encourages students to take multivariable calculus or honors calculus.

CAAM majors take intermediate courses in numerical differential equations, linear algebra/data science, statistics and analysis. The advanced courses focus on the theoretical understanding of the algorithms used both in modeling physical phenomena and in data science. Electives cover mathematical physics, state-of-the-art numerical methods and programming languages.

A CAAM graduate will:

  1. Apply fundamental mathematics to perform critical analysis of an abstracted version of a real-world problem and to build a model that captures the problem’s salient characteristics.
  2. Design and implement algorithms to solve a computational problem.
  3. Critically analyze a mathematical or computational problem, explore techniques to model and solve the problem, and use mathematical or computational methods to produce one or more solutions.
  4. Interpret a model and its results and communicate the results effectively to non-experts.

For more detailed information about the program, including learning outcomes, requirements and more, visit the Rice University General Announcements.

Apply to Rice

All prospective students should apply through Rice University's Office of Admission. They can also help you schedule a visit to campus.