The Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics is not only one of the largest departments on campus, but also one of the largest mathematics departments in the country, with approximately 7 000 students enrolled for mathematics modules. The Department prides itself on excelling in both its teaching and research activities, and in community-based activities. The Mathematics Building itself has a classical old-time character, surrounding a quad where the bustle of students adds to the vibrancy of the academic environment.
The diverse and competent staff complement has expertise in various fields. Researchers regularly travel abroad to attend conferences and to pay research visits. The department has 13 NRF-rated researchers in fields ranging from the more traditional abstract analysis to the contemporary epidemiology field where the modelling of biological phenomena leads to exciting options. The Department regularly hosts illustrious visitors, such as the Fields Medallist, Prof Laurent Lafforgue from France.
Mathematically minded students enjoy the stimulating academic atmosphere of the Department and can compete for prestigious awards such as for the Dewald Hattingh prize for the best third-year student. A degree in mathematics trains the student to apply, evaluate and adapt existing problem-solving techniques, or to develop new mathematical models and new techniques to solve problems stemming from natural, technological and financial phenomena.
Compulsory subjects are analysis, continuum mechanics, numerical analysis, partial differential equations, dynamical systems (third-year level), calculus, linear algebra, discrete structures, differential equations (second-year level), mathematical modelling, mathematical statistics and dynamical processes (first-year level).