Mathematics and Computer Science
It is the purpose of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department to prepare our students for success in an increasingly technological and competitive global society. Engaging abstract and real-life mathematics and computer science problems using a hands-on approach, our students realize an appreciation for the power, orderliness of thought, and precision of expression in mathematics, and develop skills essential for quantitative analysis in other fields of study. In addition to offering majors and minors in mathematics and computer science, the department offers service courses to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Students develop algebraic skills necessary for success in a variety of increasingly quantitative majors such as criminal justice and psychology. The Mathematics General Education Requirement (GER) and other service courses meet the needs of students in such majors as Management Science, Elementary Education, English, nursing, and social science. Through this broad spectrum of courses, the department seeks to provide educational access and diverse opportunities for all students. Faculty members are strongly committed to excellence in teaching and availability to students outside of class time for tutoring and advisement.
The Mathematics Major prepares students for:
- The study of Mathematics on the graduate level;
- Employment in business, government, or industry;
- Teaching Mathematics at the secondary level;
- Study in subject areas requiring a strong Mathematics background, such as chemistry, economics, engineering, operations research, and actuarial science.
Within the Mathematics Major the student has a choice of two programs:
- Liberal Arts, and
- Mathematics Secondary Education.
The Computer Science Major is intended to provide students with the knowledge, aptitudes, and skills required for successful employment in computer-related fields, and for the study of computer science on the graduate level. Our program emphasizes software development; web programming, and GUI programming for PCs and mainframes. While our base language is Java, students study Visual Basic, C++, and various scripting languages. They also get well-rounded exposure to various non-programming aspects of computer science with courses in database theory, computer networks, operating systems, and computer graphics. Both majors provide opportunities for students to pursue for-credit internships and engage in one-on-one, directed undergraduate research with faculty mentors.
Although there are no specific requirements for admission to the major, prospective mathematics majors who do not complete Calculus I (MATH 201 ) with at least a C within two attempts and prospective computer science majors who do not complete Computer Science I (COSC 220 ) with at least a C within two attempts will be required to change to another major.
Students who are interested in our majors or minors should see the department chairperson as soon as possible to declare the major and be assigned an advisor. As many of our courses have prerequisites, it is necessary to start course work in the major as early as possible.
General Education Requirements in Mathematics
The General Education Requirements of the University include three semester credit hours in Mathematics, excluding credits earned for MATH 97 and MATH 98. Each entering student (except those transferring a college-level Mathematics course) is required to take a Mathematics placement exam. The student’s achievement level on this exam and his/her high school Mathematics records are used to place the student in MATH 97, MATH 98, or a course to satisfy the General Education Requirement.
Depending on the student’s major academic program, s/he must complete one of the following courses to satisfy the General Education Requirement.
Any Mathematics course for which MATH 131 is a prerequisite.
Each student should consult his/her major academic advisor determine which course to take from the above list in order to satisfy the Mathematics General Education Requirement.
Students majoring in Education must complete:
For other departments and schools, the chart below is provided only as a guide.
Science, prerequisites are specified. It is department policy that these prerequisites must be completed with a grade of C or better. Some major Mathematics and Computer Science courses are offered once a year. The semester in which these courses are offered is provided in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog and on the website of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.
Assessment of Majors
The extent to which students majoring in both Mathematics (Liberal Arts) and Computer Science have met the goals of the program will be measured before each student graduates. Mechanism to determine the levels at which these objectives have been met:
This assessment will take place within a capstone course (MATH 417 or COSC 417 ) to be taken in the senior year. The course is intended to cover current and advanced topics in Mathematics or Computer Science. It will draw together all of the material the students have encountered in their earlier training. The assessment will involve either a project undertaken by a student or group of students and/or a test developed by members of the Mathematics and Computer Science department to measure knowledge of topics taught in the major-requirement courses.