Mathematical Thinking & Visualization

students around table in conference roomMathematical Thinking & Visualization (MTV) draws on mathematics, statistics, and visual studies to develop new practices and tools for discovering, analyzing, and representing data. The major allows students to link mathematical thinking – the ability to recognize mathematical forms in relation to real-world phenomena – and data and information visualization – the ability to communicate and think about data in visualized form across contexts. Students graduating with an MTV major may enter into the wide variety of fields focused on data analysis and visualization, including statistics, visual analytics, and geographic information systems and sciences.

MTV Major Requirements


In addition to the general admission requirements, students must have completed the following prerequisites to be considered for admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Mathematical Thinking & Visualization:

  • one quarter of calculus
  • one quarter of linear algebra

Students can complete these regularly taught courses at UW Bothell or at another institution. These courses provide underpinnings of the quantitative models and essential mathematical ideas.

Degree Requirements

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry* (5 credits)
  • BIS 209 Engaging Visual and Media Arts (5 credits)
  • BIS 232 Visualizing Quantitative Data (5 credits)
  • BIS 315 Understanding Statistics (5 credits)
  • Mathematical Reasoning Courses (10 credits)
  • Visualization Practice and  Methods Courses (10 credits)
  • Mathematical Reasoning Course OR Visualization Practice and Methods Course (5 credits)
  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone - min. 2.5 grade (3 credits)
  • Additional IAS Coursework (20 credits)

Total = 68 credits

*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.
Note: Classes in this major will be offered primarily during day-time hours.

Mathematical Reasoning Courses: Students will choose at least two courses that will help them develop the mathematical tools gained in their prerequisite and core courses. This list will evolve as curricula across UWB change; courses in this category explicitly study mathematical principles. That emphasis is manifest in their readings, assignments, and evaluation.  This criterion does not exclude courses with substantial application, but a student finishing a course in this category should be able to reflect critically on the mathematical principles learned, in a way that aids their thoughtful application elsewhere.

These courses will include:

  • BIS 230 Mathematical Thinking for the Liberal Arts
  • BIS 302 Issues in Mathematics Across Cultures
  • BIS 329 Topics in Mathematics Across the Curriculum
  • BIS 350 The Concept of Number
  • BIS 447 Topics in Quantitative Inquiry
  • CSS 107 Introduction to Programming through Animated Storytelling
  • CSS 161 Fundamentals of Computing
  • CSS 162 Programming Methodology
  • STMATH 125 Calculus II
  • STMATH 126 Calculus III
  • STMATH 300 Foundations of Modern Mathematics
  • STMATH 310 Mathematical Game Theory

Visualization Practice and Methods Courses: Students will choose at least two courses that extend their capacities in visualization and communication. Visualization practices and methods may include modeling and tools for exploring and examining data sets. It includes interactive presentation through the simultaneous display of multimedia data such as numbers, words, and images, and informal modes of communication, along with polished presentations to specific audiences. Courses in this category develop means of representing, and critically examining data and arguments.

These courses will include:

  • BES 440 Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • BIS 218 The Power of Maps
  • BIS 342 Geographic Information Systems
  • BIS 343 Geographic Visualization
  • BIS 344 Intermediate Geographic Analysis and Applications
  • BIS 352 Mapping Communities
  • BIS 382 The Visual Art of Biology
  • BIS 442 Advanced GIS Analysis and Applications
  • BIS 434 Psychology and theVisual Arts
  • BISMCS 473 Visual Communication
  • B IMD 233 Fundamentals of Web Media Technology
  • B IMD 250 Intro to Interaction Design

School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

Within the above-listed 68 credits, students must complete the IPR requirement.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and a MTV major requirement.

Upper Division Credit Policy

Of the credits applying to MTV major requirements, a minimum of 48 must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.

Matriculated status

Courses taken to satisfy MTV major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted Prior to Autumn Quarter, 2016?

Students admitted to the MTV major prior to Autumn 2016 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. For more information, please check Requirement Changes Autumn 2016 page.

Research Librarian
Alyssa Berger

MTV Major

For more information about the MTV major, contact Professor Rebecca Price

MTV Resources