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Summary of Fields of Study

1. Goal(s)

Mathematics is the human expression of pattern and regularity in the world.  It involves the study of structures and relationships among ideal objects, including numbers, shapes, functions, and data.  Logical reasoning and problem solving are the backbone of mathematics.  The mathematics department is committed to empowering students to develop mathematical reasoning and to understand and appreciate the structure and beauty of the discipline.

The department has identified six general goals for students who complete the core mathematics courses of the major:

Communication: Students will be able to read, write, listen and speak mathematically. They will contribute effectively to group efforts; communicate mathematics clearly in ways appropriate to career goals; and make oral and written presentations on various topics. Students will possess skill in expository mathematical writing and have a disposition for questioning. They will be able to listen and engage in mathematical discourse. 

Content: Students will be able to demonstrate that they understand the theory and applications of calculus, the basic techniques of linear and abstract mathematics and the basic concepts associated with probability and statistics. They will be prepared to begin a study of higher-level mathematics.

Connections: Students will possess an understanding of the breadth of the mathematical sciences and their interconnecting principles. They will witness the interplay among applications, problem-solving and theory. They will understand and appreciate connections between different areas of mathematics and with other disciplines and gain awareness of the abstract nature of theoretical mathematics. They will understand the dichotomy of mathematics as an object of study and a tool for application. They will understand the role of technology in the study of mathematics.

Independent Learning/Reading: Students will be able to undertake independent work and will be able to develop ideas and discover mathematics that is new to them. Students should possess an advanced level of critical sophistication; knowledge and skills needed for further study; personal motivation and enthusiasm for studying and applying mathematics; and attitudes of mind and analytical skills required for efficient use, appreciation, and understanding of mathematics.

Problem Solving: Students will be able to perform complex tasks, explore subtly and discern patterns. They will be able to formulate conjectures based on observation and experimentation. They will use appropriate technology to explore mathematics and will recognize the limitations of technology. They will apply mathematics to a broad spectrum of complex problems and issues and will be able to simplify and non-mathematical problem of making reasonable assumptions and then interpret mathematically.

Reasoning/Validation: They will locate, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information; create and document algorithms and undertake intellectually demanding mathematical reasoning. They will demonstrate proficiency to reason rigorously in mathematical arguments.

2. The Major(s)

  • The Department offers a Mathematics Major and two emphases: 1) Statistics, and 2) Secondary Education.

3. The Minor(s)

  • The Department offers five minor(s): 1) Mathematics for Letters and Science or Business Students, 2) Operations Research, 3) Mathematics for Secondary Education Certification, 4) Mathematics for Elementary and Middle School Certification, and 5) Statistics.

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