2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog

Mathematics and Statistics Department / 17

Chairperson: Christine Benson

Faculty:  Russell Euler, Kurtis Fink, Brian Haile, Christina Heintz, Justin Hoffmeier, Lynda Hollingsworth, Cheryl Gregorson Malm, Jawad Sadek, Mary Shepherd, Brian Swink, Csilla Tasi, David Vlieger, Jennifer Wall, Han Yu

Statement of Mission

The mission of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is to offer students opportunities to see and explore the beauty and utility of mathematics. Degree programs emphasizing mathematics, statistics, or mathematics education provide focused experiences, both in and out of the classroom, with sufficient breadth to facilitate lifelong learning.

A goal of each degree program is to provide a quality curriculum enabling each student to compete successfully in the job market or continue in graduate studies.

Mathematics and statistics courses, including those in The Northwest Core, empower students to be productive citizens, to make informed decisions and add value to society.

Degree Programs

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers programs leading to both comprehensive and non-comprehensive Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mathematics and the Bachelor of Science degrees in the areas of mathematics, including the options for an emphasis in Data Science. For students interested in teaching mathematics in grades 9-12, the department offers the Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a major in mathematics education. In addition, there are minors in mathematics education (grades 9-12), mathematics education (middle school), mathematics (calculus based), mathematics (non-calculus based), and statistics.

Students in the mathematics major develop their abilities to interpret, solve, and explain problems. Through a balanced selection of coursework from both pure and applied mathematics, students expand their understanding of how data analysis and mathematical modeling impact aspects of contemporary society. Education majors also learn how to help students understand these aspects of mathematics. Students who incorporate preparatory work in actuarial science into a mathematics major (with a possible economics minor) can choose courses leading to VEE credit from the Society of Actuaries in Economics, Corporate Finance, and Applied Statistical Methods, as well as courses preparing them for three actuarial exams (administered by the Society of Actuaries).

In all of these programs, students learn fundamental concepts while engaging in activities similar to those encountered in the workplace. Small classes taught by full-time faculty using active learning instructional paradigms focus on the student’s learning process, with the teacher’s role that of guide, facilitator and mentor.

All of these programs are supported by a wide variety of computing facilities ranging from local area networks of microcomputers to campus--wide access to an international network of computing services.

Test-Out Policy

Undergraduate students may test out of certain lower division courses in mathematics. Examinations are available each trimester. See the department chairperson for courses that are available for test-out.

Advanced Standing Requirement

In order to achieve advanced standing in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, a student must have a grade of “C” or better in each of the courses MATH 17120 Calculus I, MATH 17121 Calculus II, MATH 17215 Discrete Mathematics and MATH 17319 Graph Theory. As long as proper prerequisites are satisfied, all mathematics courses are open to enrollment, regardless of whether or not advanced standing has been granted. In exceptional cases, a student who has not met the criteria may appeal to a departmental committee. The committee will hear the appeal and decide whether advanced standing should be granted.

Co-requisites Mathematics

A minimum math ACT score of 22 or a minimum high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for admission to most Northwest Core Mathematical Reasoning courses.  For each Mathematical Reasoning course in The Northwest Core, students who lack the prerequisite requirements must also take concurrently a co-requisite STRATEGIES course designed to help them be successful in the content of the college credit-bearing course.  Co-requisite pairings are as follows:

MATH 17115 Concepts of Mathematics

MATH 17015 Strategies for Concepts of Mathematics

MATH 17114 General Statistics

MATH 17014 Strategies for General Statistics

MATH 17118 College Algebra

MATH 17018 Strategies for College Algebra

MATH 17171 Fundamentals of Mathematics

MATH 17071 Strategies for Fundamentals of Mathematics

See MATH 17117 Precalculus and MATH 17120 Calculus I course descriptions for prerequisites, which are greater.

Senior Assessment

For each of the majors in Mathematics, a senior-level major field assessment must be completed by each student.