What is ACME?
ACME is an undergraduate major in the theory and practice of twenty-first-century applied and computational mathematics. It provides a rigorous and challenging liberal education in mathematics that delivers on the promise that mathematics is useful. It gives students the knowledge, understanding, and skills in mathematics, statistics, and computing that they need to flourish in their careers and to solve the hard problems facing this generation.
Key aspects of the program are:
- A challenging and rigorous curriculum in mathematics.
- Lockstep cohorts for the junior and senior years.
- Computer labs for all advanced theory classes.
- A student-chosen concentration in an area of application.
For more about what ACME is, see Program Details.
One of the major benefits of the ACME program is that it is very intentional in its build-up of essential topics in analysis, optimization, data science, and control theory. Within the text, the topics are well-explained and are demonstrated with very helpful examples and notes. The motivation for each topic is given and further justified as topics are integrated throughout the progression of the curriculum. I find myself often going back to my ACME textbooks for references and examples as I run across topics in grad school that I need a refresher on.
Why Adopt (or Adapt) a Program Like ACME at Your School?
It brings resources to the department because of boosted enrollments. Good students are attracted because
- It helps them get rewarding jobs.
- They like the social aspects of the cohort system
- It allows them to combine their study of mathematics with another subject of their choosing, rather than having to choose between the two.
- They like the rigor and the challenge of a demanding program.
- Lockstep cohorts use scarce faculty and TA resources efficiently, enable cross-course curricular interactions and interconnections, encourage student collaboration, and support student mental wellness.
- Computer labs improve mathematical learning, show relevant applications that motivate students to learn more mathematics, and teach students practical coding skills.
- It builds loyal, dedicated alumni. After developing a strong sense of community in our cohorts and moving on to a rewarding job, alumni are eager to give back to the ACME program. They mentor current students, help us develop job and internship pipelines, and donate funds for scholarships.
For more about why you should adopt an ACME-style program see Benefits and Challenges.
How to Bring Some of the Benefits of ACME to Your School?
While we believe that the full ACME program is best for both students and faculty, it may not be feasible for your department to adopt the entire program immediately. But you can bring significant benefit to students by adopting some aspects of ACME. For more details, see
How Can I Adopt/Adapt ACME?