3-2 Engineering

Students who are interested in majoring in mathematics and participating in the 3-2 Program in Engineering should consult with the director of that program and the chair of the department.


The Gertrude McBrien Prize in Mathematics

The McBrien prize is awarded to the outstanding mathematics major (or majors) in each graduating class. The selection is based on whether students have chosen challenging course programs, the grades they have earned in their mathematics courses, and also takes into account any research projects they may have worked on and their plans after graduation.

2024: Lindsay Marjanski
2023: Isabella Giaquinta
2022: MaryClare Martin
2021: Anbo Wu
2020: Yuwei Cheng
2019: Rui Qiang
2018: Michelle Yu
2017: Sarah Tymochko; Emily T. Winn
2016: Tim Arnold
2015: Melissa McGuirl; Gopal Yalla
2014: Molly Lynch
2013: Emma Colbert
2012: Rebecca Moran
2011: M. Zemsky
2010: Jonathan Root
2009: Jonathon D. Madore
2008: Katherine Fitzpatrick
2007: Candida L. Desjardins; Renee A. Laverdiere
2006: Ellen K. Gasparovic
2005: Trevor M. O'Brien
2004: Richard D. Ghiorse; Catherine A. Ballway
2003: Daniel M. Conti; Nora K. Newman
2002: Thomas J. Emmerling; Alison C. McCarthy
2001: Kelly M. Dease; Kevin W. Germino
2000: Melissa A. Boyle
1999: Jennifer R. Paulhus
1998: Lauren M. Estvanik; Aaron M. Qureshi
1997: Michael S. Glode; Rebecca Y. Martel; Gregory L. Cate
1996: Patricia M. Cordeiro; Joseph D. DiRocco
1995: Elimari Sanchez
1994: Meghan A. Gillin
1993: Meredith R. Putnam
1992: Steven P. Levandosky
1991: Maureen A. Cavanaugh
1990: Tamara S. Trombetta
1989: David M. Banach; John G. Birge
1988: Carol A. Markey
1987: Ruth M. Eberle; Peter J. Manyin; Christopher A. Butler
1986: Joseph A. Iaia
1985: Melissa L. McCormack; Michael E. Manyin
1984: Stephen L. Parente
1983: Donald L. Farley
1982: Joseph J. Nicosia
1981: Richard M. Freije
1980: Kathleen M. Shannon; James W. Smith
1979: Sharon A. Oppelt; Veronica G. Falcao
1978: Robert N. Hinckley; Juanita I. Fernandez
1977: Thomas M. DiScipio; Peter H. Fontaine; Michael P. Malanoski
1976: Gary B. Page
1975: Paul Michael Hurley
1974: Henry P. Miranda; Roger J. Seminara
1973: John D. Cutting; Michael P. Lilly; William M. Waters
1972: No Prize Awarded
1971: Frank L. Capobianco; Richard H. Lady
1970: John M. DeCiccio; Kevin J. Leary; Robert J. Stokes
1969: Peter A. Bloniarz; Robert L. Devaney
1968: Richard J. Bonneau
1967: John D. McInerney; Charles F. Peltier
1966: C. Samuel Sinnett; Joseph M. Fitzgerald
1965: Peter J. Kiernan; Michael A. Thoma
1964: Dennis H. O’Brien
1963: Anthony D. Fanning
1962: Raymond J. Cannon
1961: Charles H. Clemens

The Rev. John J. MacDonnell Prize in Computer Science

The MacDonnell prize may be awarded to the outstanding computer science major in each graduating class.  The selection is based on whether students have chosen challenging course programs, the grades they have earned in their courses, and also takes into account any research projects they may have worked on and their plans after graduation.

2024: Tan Le
2023: Eleanor Mengel
2022: Tess Conroy;
            Margaret Haley
2021: Matt Elacqua
2020: Ryan Forger
2019: Chris Roy
2018: Lucca Eloy
2017: Olivia Lau
2016: Joe DiSabito
2015: Sam Silberstein
2014: Stephen Pettinati
2013: Michael Pettinati
2012: No Prize Awarded
2011: Christina D'Ambrogio
2010: Stephen Kondak
2009: John G. "Jack" Singleton
2008: No Prize Awarded
2007: John R. Speer
2006: Robert T. Truxler
2005: Elizabeth M. VomScheidt

Honors Programs

Honors Program in Mathematics

The program has two levels of distinction, Honors and High Honors. High Honors is distinguished from Honors by the successful completion of an honors thesis. Any questions concerning the program should be directed to the department chair.

GPA requirements for Honors and High Honors: The average GPA for mathematics courses above the level of Mathematics 136 must be at least 3.50 at the end of the fall semester of the fourth year.

Course Requirements for Honors and High Honors: All regular course requirements for the mathematics major. In addition, for Honors, students must take at least seven courses numbered above 300. Students in the classes of 2018 and 2019 must take at least one course in each of the areas of Analysis, Algebra, Geometry/Topology, and Applied Mathematics/Statistics.

Fourth-Year Honors Presentation: During the fourth year all Honors majors must give an oral presentation open to the department. This may be related to their course work but it is not intended to duplicate material normally in the curriculum. It may be a presentation that originated in a project course. The goal is to ensure a certain degree of mathematical literacy among the Honors majors.

Fourth-Year Honors Thesis for High Honors: This is a large project typically extending over the course of the fourth year. The thesis can either consist of original research or be of an expository nature and is written under the guidance of one or more members of the department. It will culminate in an oral presentation during the spring term of the fourth year, which will be accompanied by a written report of the year’s work. Typically, a student earns one unit in each semester of the fourth year for completion of the thesis.

Honors Program in Computer Science

Course Requirements for High Honors: Students must complete all regular course requirements for the computer science major. In addition, for High Honors, students must take six courses numbered above 300 and complete a fourth-year honors thesis. This is a large project extending over the course of the fourth year. The thesis can either consist of original research or be of an expository nature and is written under the guidance of one or more members of the department.

GPA Requirement for High Honors: The average GPA for courses in computer science must be at least 3.50 at the end of the fall semester of the fourth year.


Many of our students find meaningful summer internships that let them explore different career options and build contacts.

Mathematics and Computer Science Club

The Mathematics and Computer Science Club is a place for students and faculty to gather. Led by an elected student president and vice-president, along with two volunteer faculty advisors, the club hosts a number computer-science and math-related events throughout the year, including programming contests, a Pi Day celebration, and a yearly "amazing race" in which teams compete to solve puzzles while exploring campus.

The club meets weekly for tea and games, and holds special events throughout the year, such as holiday parties, movie nights, and an annual department banquet. The club also serves as a meeting place for discussions about summer internships, careers, and graduate school, and study abroad opportunities for math and computer science students.

All are welcome to join!

National Mathematics Honor Society

Holy Cross has an active chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society.  Students are elected each year based on their achievement in their mathematics courses.  There is an induction ceremony each April in conjunction with a Department Colloquium and a banquet for all mathematics and computer science majors. 

Peer Tutoring

Computer Science

Our introductory sequence in the computer science program (CSCI 131 and CSCI 132) include an important computer programming component through weekly lab sessions and programming assignments.

Computer science majors and minors who have completed these courses and done well have the opportunity to become teaching assistants. Our teaching assistants are assigned to a particular course and work with the professor during lab to answer student questions as well as assist in grading assignments.

In addition to in-class teaching assistants, students have the opportunity to be teaching assistants who hold evening office hours in the computer lab where students can ask questions on assignments for the introductory courses. From answering student questions and grading assignments, our teaching assistants see different approaches to solving problems and learn to explain important concepts from computer science in many different ways. These are valuable skills that advance their development both as a programmer and a computer science student.

Seminars and Colloquia

Speakers frequently visit campus to give talks to students and faculty about relevant subject matter.

  • Francesca Bernardi, WPI, “Small-Scale Fluid Dynamics: From Microfluidics to Microfiltration” Pi Mu Epsilon Colloquium, May 2, 2024.
  • Mohit Pal, University of Bergen, Norway, “On Quasi-planar Monomials over Finite Fields” , April 22, 2024.
  • Carrie Diaz Eaton, Bates College, “VECINA: Making a Difference Locally” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., April 18, 2024.
  • Tim McEldowney, West Virginia University, "The Knowledge-GAP in Applying to Graduate School" (virtual), April 15, 2024.
  • Farhad Mohsin, College of the Holy Cross, “Computational Aspects of Voting Paradoxes” , April 8, 2024.
  • Bill Martin, WPI, “Quantum Isomorphic Graphs from Association Schemes” , March 18, 2024.
  • Allen Broughton, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, “Constructing Riemann Surface from Puzzle Pieces” , February 19, 2024.
  • John Little, College of the Holy Cross, "Pappus on the Delian Problem (Doubling the Cube)" , November 13, 2023.
  • Maggie Regan, College of the Holy Cross, "Exploring the Real Parameter Space" , November 20, 2023.
  • Gareth Roberts, College of the Holy Cross, "On Kite Central Configurations" , November 29, 2023.
  • Mohamed Elhamdadi, University of South Florida, "A gentle Introduction to Quandle Theory" , April 4, 2023.
  • Cristina Ballantine, College of the Holy Cross, "Parity Results for 3-Regular Partitions and Quadratic Forms" , February 14, 2023.


  • Truong-Son Van, Fulbright University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, "On the Multiplicative Coagulation Equation" , November 15, 2022.
  • Alex Martsinkowsky, Northeastern University, "A Functorial Approach to Torsion" , October 18, 2022.
  • John Little, College of the Holy Cross, "Halving a Triangle, or One Result That Clavius Got Wrong" , September 20, 2022.
  • Shelby Wilson, Johns Hopkins University, “Real-Time Mathematical Modeling of the COVID-19 Pandemic” Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) ceremony and colloquium,, 4:00 p.m., (virtual) May 5, 2022.
  • Tim Chartier, Davidson College, “Unforgettably Improbable: Recognizing Historic Moments In Sports With Analytics” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., (virtual) April 21, 2022.
  • Sarah Tymochko HC'17, Michigan State University, “Topological Signal Processing: Quantifying the Shape of Time Series Data” (virtual) February 14, 2022.
  • Dr. Farrah Sadre-Marandi, qPharmetra, “Mathematical Modeling for Optimal Drug Development” (virtual) December 8, 2021.
  • Tamas Darvas, University of Maryland, “What is Curvature and How to Optimize It?” (virtual) November 17, 2021.
  • Anisah Nu'Man, Spellman College, “Construction of Normal Forms for Diestel-Leader Groups” Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) ceremony and colloquium, (virtual) May 6, 2021.
  •  Heather Zinn-Brooks, Harvey Mudd College, “Bounded-Confidence Models for Opinion Dynamics on Online Social Networks” (virtual) April 21, 2021.
  • Lillian Pierce, Duke University, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Math”
    Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m.,  (virtual) March 11, 2021.
  • Chad Topaz, Williams College, “Quantitative Approaches to Social Justice”
    (virtual) February 22, 2021.
  •  Zajj Daugherty, City College of New York, The CUNY Graduate Center, “Permutations, partitions, and posets: a taste of combinatorial representation theory” (virtual) December 2, 2020.
  •  Beth Malmskog, Colorado College, “Mathematics, Context, and Fair Redistricting: How Mathematics Can Detect and Prevent Gerrymandering in Colorado and Beyond” (virtual) October 21, 2020.
  • Cathy O'Neil, O'Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing, “Weapons of Math Destruction”
    Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., (virtual) April 2, 2020.
  • Scott Field, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, “Discovering Black Holes and Gravitational Waves: Simulation and Data Science” February 19, 2020.
  • Carrie Diaz Eaton, Bates College, “VECINA: Making a Difference Locally” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., April 18, 2024.
  • Tim Chartier, Davidson College, “Unforgettably Improbable: Recognizing Historic Moments In Sports With Analytics” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., April 21, 2022.
  • Lillian Pierce, Duke University, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Math” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., March 11, 2021.
  • Cathy O'Neil, O'Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing, “Weapons of Math Destruction” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., April 2, 2020.
  • Melody Chan, Brown University, “What is a Moduli Space?” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., April 25, 2019.
  • Carl Pomerance, Dartmouth College, “What We Still Don't Know About Addition and Multiplication” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., April 23, 2018.
  • Jordan Ellenberg, University of Wisconsin, “How to use math to get rich in the lottery”* *will not actually help you get rich in the lottery Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture in Mathematics, April 19, 2017.
  •  Jeff Weeks, geometrygames.org,  “The Shape of Space” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., April 11, 2016.
  • Catherine Roberts,  “Math for Planet Earth” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m, April 16, 2015.
  • Joseph H. Silverman, Brown University,  “Dynamical Systems from a Number Theorist's Perspective” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, 4:30 p.m., March 20, 2014.
  • Nancy R. Cook (HC 1976), Harvard Medical School,  “Statistics in Medicine: Risk Prediction Models for Cardiovascular Disease in Women” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, April 11, 2013.
  • Davide Cervone, Union College,  “The Hypercube and Hypersphere: Breaking Them Down and Building Them Up” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, March 20, 2012.
  • Carolyn Gordon, Dartmouth College,  “You Can't Hear the Shape of a Drum” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, March 16, 2011.
  • Rick Miranda, Colorado State University,  “Musical, Physical, and Mathematical Intervals - how fretting a guitar is more complicated (and more simple) than one might think” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, April 12, 2010.
  • Paul A. Schweitzer, S. J., Pontificia Universidade Catolica, Rio deJaneiro, “Surfaces and 3-dimensional Manifolds: How Geometry Comes to the Aid of Topology ” Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture, March 24, 2009.
  • Donal O'Shea, Mount Holyoke College, “The Shape We're In: The Poincare Conjecture” April 22, 2008.
  • Richard Stanley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Plane Tilings” April 24, 2007.
  • Michele Intermont (HC 1989), Kalamazoo College, “The Sound of Algebra” March 22, 2006.
  • Frank Morgan, Williams College,  “Soap Bubble Geometry, 200 BC - 2005 AD” April 7, 2005.
  •  Frank Farris, Santa Clara University,  “The Edge of the Universe: Noneuclidean Wallpaper” March 22, 2004.
  • Kathleen Shannon (HC 1980), Salisbury University,  “Pascal's Triangle, Cellular Automata and Serendipity: A Mathematical Tale” April 2, 2003.
  • Dennis DeTurck, University of Pennsylvania,  “Coiling and writhing in geometry, biology and physics” April 18, 2002.
  • Jane Hawkins (HC 1976), University of North Carolina,  “Smoothing out the rough edges of fractals” March 29, 2001.
  • Daniel Kennedy (HC 1968), Baylor School, “Mathematical Paradoxes” March 23, 2000.
  • Lawrence Conlon, Washington University,  “Sighting the Infinite Loch Ness Monster in the 3-sphere” April 15, 1999.
  • Colin Adams, Williams College, “Bus Tours of the Universe and Beyond” April 16, 1998.
  • Peter Bushell, University of Sussex, England, “Prime Numbers: The search for a formula giving every prime number. A story with a happy ending?” April 9, 1997.
  • Michael Rosen, Brown University,  “Some Historical Remarks on Fermat's Last Theorem” April 18, 1996
  • Thomas Banchoff, Brown University, “Visualizing Across Dimensions: From Flatland to Interactive Hypergraphics” April 20, 1995.
  • Robert Devaney (HC 1969), Boston University, “The Fractal Geometry of the Mandelbrot Set” April 14, 1994.

For a list of past seminars and colloquia, view the archive list.

Student Presentations

The following talks, given by senior students in the departmental honors programs, reported on work done over the course of an academic year.  In some cases, the work began as summer research and continued to a thesis project.

  • Grace Cerrato '24, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano), "Assessing the Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries on Neurodegenerative Disease Onset: Insights from Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Data Analysis," May 7, 2024.
  • Jiaqi Fang '24, (Advisor: Professor Neranga Fernando), "Complete Permutation Polynomials over Finite Fields," May 7, 2024.
  • Max He '24, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano), "Optimizing Warehouse Operations: Single Robot Navigation and Future Multi-Agent Coordination," May 7, 2024.
  • Lindsay Marjanksi '24, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano), "Network Analysis of Face Recognition EEG Data," May 7, 2024.
  • Diana Sefransky '24, (Advisor: Professor Becca Winarski), "Hyperbolic Voronoi Diagrams of Horocycles," May 7, 2024.
  • Rebecca Henion '22, (Advisor: Professor Ed Soares), “Principles of Experimental Design,” April 27, 2022.
  • Leo Kahan '22, (Advisor: Professor Cristina Ballantine), “Intro to Networks and the Optimization of Networks,” April 27, 2022.
  • MaryClare Martin '22, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano), “Topological Analysis of Transfer Learning,” April 27, 2022.
  • Sarah Vermette '22, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano), “Discourse Sheaves and Opinion Dynamics on Watts-Strogatz Networks,” April 27, 2022.
  • Max Watson '22, (REU presentation), “On the Security of the CGL Hash Function,” April 27, 2022.
  • Anbo (Amber) Wu '21, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano), “Application of Topological Data Analysis in an Economic Context: Property Tax Maps,” May 10, 2021.
  • Emily Devine '21, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano), “Understanding Behavioral Synchrony: Differences in Functional EEG Networks in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” May 10, 2021.
  • Molly Oyer '21, (Advisor: Professor Gareth Roberts), “Ocean’s Deadliest: Modeling White Shark and Grey Seal Populations off the Coast of Cape Cod,” May 10, 2021.
  • Grace Longwell '21, (Advisor: Professor Steven Levandosky), “Solving the Wave Equation in 1, 2, and 3 Dimensions,” May 10, 2021.
  • Xinyi (Elena) Wang '20, (Advisor: Professor John Little), “Investigations on Invariant Theory,” May 5, 2020.
  • John Graf '20, (Advisor: Professor Cristina Ballantine), “Partitions With Distinct Parts and the Parity of Their Rank,” May 5, 2020.
  • Piotr Pogorzelski '20, (Advisor: Professor Eric Ruggieri), “Predicting NCAA March Madness Games Using Bayesian Logistic Regression Techniques,” May 5, 2020.
  •  Jinghan (Damon) Chen '20, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano), “Persistent Homology in a Dynamic Deposition Model based on Ballistic Depositions,” May 6, 2020.
  • Yuwei Cheng '20, (Advisor: Professor Shannon Stock), “Understanding Genetic Risk in Schizophrenia: A Machine Learning Approach to Variable Selection in a High-Dimensional Bayesian Path Analysis,” February 25, 2020.
  • Caroline Galvinhill '18, (Advisor: Professor Thomas Cecil), “Exploring Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometry,” May 8, 2018.
  • Katie Heenan '18, (Advisor: Professor David Damiano ), “A Topological and Graphical Data Analysis of Simulated Ballistic Deposition,” May 8, 2018.
  •  Michell Yu '18, (Advisor: Professor Eric Ruggieri), “Detecting Change Points in Climate Records,” May 7, 2018.
  • Lucca Eloy '18, (Advisor: Professor Stanzi Royden), “A Computational Model of Heading and Object Detection using Real-World Scenes,” May 7, 2018.
  • Rich Bielak '18, (Advisor: Professor Cristina Ballantine), “A Combinatorial Proof of an Euler Type Identity due to Andrews,” May 4, 2018.
  • Caitlin Harty '18, (Advisor: Professor Eric Ruggieri), “Analyzing Monopoly Using Statistical Computing,” May 2 2018.
  • Cara Donovan '18, (Advisor: Professor ), “A Dynamical Systems Approach to Climate Modeling,” May 2, 2018.

Study Abroad

Mathematics and computer science majors are encouraged to consider study abroad. Careful planning will usually be necessary in order to satisfy requirements for the major. A dedicated study abroad faculty advisor within each departmental program can help find and evaluate opportunities at universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, and elsewhere. Interested students are strongly encouraged to consult with the study abroad faculty advisor early in the process, before applying for study abroad.

Visit the Study Abroad website for more information.

Teacher Education Program

Mathematics majors frequently participate in the Teacher Education Program (TEP), which prepares students for licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to taking courses in the major, students enroll in education courses specifically designed to promote excellence in teaching. The Holy Cross TEP places a special emphasis on issues surrounding urban education. 

Visit the Teacher Education Program website for more information.