Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Program Overview
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.

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.