# Department of Mathematics

**NEWS and HAPPENINGS**

2014 Visiting Exchange Research Scholars in the Department of Mathematics

Left: Dr. Mingliang Qi of the Institute of Policy and Management of the Chinese Academy of Science; Center: Dr. Vladimir Rabinovich of the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico;

Right: Dr. Mustafa Avci of Batman University, Turkey

Drs. Qi and Avci are year-long visitors while Dr. Rabinovich is a short term visitor.

Exchange Research Scholars with their host: Drs. Xiao-Xiong Gan, Alexander Pankov (first two on left) and Dr. Asamoah Nkwanta (Chairman, far right)

**OBJECTIVES OF THE DEPARTMENT**

Mathematical methods have become indispensable to the proper functioning of our increasingly technological society. In view of this, the Department aims to assist students to develop an appreciation for the power and orderliness of logical thought, precision of expression, and the utility of mathematics. By properly selecting a major and supporting courses, the student can prepare for careers in a variety of fields including research, business, government and teaching. Recognizing the symbiosis among academic disciplines, the Department provides courses designed to meet the mathematical needs prescribed for majors in other departments.

The Purpose of the Undergraduate Mathematics Program at Morgan State University

The purpose of the undergraduate mathematics program at Morgan State University is to graduate mathematics majors who:

-are proficient in deductive reasoning,

-have obtained a core knowledge base in algebra (linear and abstract),

analysis, statistics and topology,

-are proficient in mathematical communication (written and oral), and

-are proficient in using technology for computation (numerical and

symbolic).

The department's current undergraduate program contains required mathematics courses in algebra, analysis, statistics and topology that provide the core mathematical knowledge and deductive reasoning skills for mathematical majors.

To develop proficiency in mathematical communication, the department requires (in the senior seminar course) its majors to select and develop a mathematical topic that will be presented to the mathematics faculty in the form of a (mathematical) paper and an oral presentation. To prepare mathematics majors for upper level, theoretical courses, the department has developed a two-semester course in mathematical logic (MATH 215 and MATH 216) that covers theorem proving techniques used in advanced mathematics courses. This two-semester course is a prerequisite for all upper level mathematics courses.

**TECHNOLOGY AND THE TEACHING OF MATHEMATICS**

It is well known [3] that American students have limited success in mathematics courses. Experience has taught us that a major reason students have difficulty succeeding in mathematics is an inability to concretely support the concepts introduced with models (graphs, diagrams, etc.). It is also clear that very involved numerical computations and algebraic manipulations camouflage the underlying concepts.

As a result of pilots run by five mathematics faculty members, the Department has decided to integrate technology into its teaching of mathematics. Graphing calculators will be used as the primary technology in all 100-level courses and Calculus I and II. The computer laboratory will be used for enhancement projects in Calculus I and II. It will be integrated into higher-level courses, including Calculus III, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and all the applications oriented courses. These tools will enable students to study and understand the mathematical foundations of the concepts and ideas of mathematics by exploration and experimentation. By using modern technology, the new curriculum combines graphical, numerical, and algebraic viewpoints of the main ideas in the courses. This approach emphasizes understanding of mathematics without the usual insistence on techniques found in most mathematics texts. Students will then achieve a greater understanding of the subject and acquire greater problem-solving skills [15].

In addition to enhancing the learning experience, the integration of technology into classroom activities will ease our students' transition from the university to the workplace. In many instances, work environments include a computer and a calculator on each desk. Familiarity with these tools will enable our students to quickly become productive team members on their jobs.

**BIBLIOGRAPHY**

[1] A Call for Change: Recommendations for the Mathematical Preparation of Teachers of Mathematics, 1991, Mathematical Association of America, Washington, DC

[2] Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, 1989, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, VA

[3] Everybody Counts: A Report to the Nation on the Future of Mathematics Education, 1989, National Academy Press, Washington, DC

[4] Reshaping School Mathematics - A Philosophy and Framework for Curriculum, 1990, National Academy Press, Washington, DC

[5] Strategies, Sunburst Communications, Spring 1991.

[6] Toward a Lean and Lively Calculus, Ronald G. Douglas, Editor, MAA Notes, Volume #6, 1986, Washington, DC

[7] Calculus for a New Century, A Pump not a Filter, Lynn A. Steen, Editor, MAA Notes, #8, 1988, Washington, DC

[8] Priming the Calculus Pump, Innovations and Resources, Thomas W. Tucker, Editor, MAA Notes, Volume #17, 1990, Washington, DC

[9] The Laboratory Approach to Teaching Calculus, L. Carl Leinbach, et. al., Editors, MAA Notes, Volume #20, 1991, Washington, DC

[10] Models for undergraduate Research in Mathematics, Lester Senechal, Editor, MAA Notes #18, Washington, DC

[11] Calculus Laboratories for Brooks/Cole Software Tools, J.D. Child, et. al., Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1992

[12] Computer Experiments for Calculus, A Laboratory Workbook, Michael E. Moody, Harper Collins Publishers, 1991

[13] Discovering Calculus with DERIVE, J. Johnson, et. al., John Wiley and Sons, 1992

[14] Calculus Laboratories Using DERIVE, L.C. Leinbach, Wadsworth Publishing Company 1991

[15] Graphing Calculators in the Calculus Classroom, SIAM Newsletter, December 1993

## Stephens Fellows Summer Research Program

Summer mathematics research program for high school students

## International Journal of Evolution Equations

Description of International Journal of Evolution Equations