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    Saint Michael's College
   
 
  Sep 24, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Mathematics


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Faculty

Chair: Professor Joanna Ellis-Monaghan
Professors: George Ashline, Jim Hefferon, Zsuzsanna Kadas, Michael Larsen, Lloyd Simons
Associate Professor: Philip Yates
Instructors: Krisan Geary, Barbara O’Donovan

For centuries mathematics has been the foundation and language of the physical sciences. In our time, mathematical models and tools have come to pervade the biological and social sciences as well. Mathematics is an art, apprehending and creating structure and order in the universe. Mathematics is intellectually stimulating because it demands clarity and precision. Consequently, the Mathematics Department believes that some understanding of mathematics will enhance the study of every discipline, and offers courses at a variety of levels to help all students develop their skill in mathematical reasoning.

The major is designed to encompass diverse goals ranging from applied work in science or industry to teaching or graduate study. The required courses provide a strong foundation in the principal areas of mathematics; the electives offer an opportunity to tailor the program to individual needs. Students should consult an advisor in the Mathematics Department to design a program consistent with their aims. Mathematics majors are attractive to a wide variety of business and industrial firms, especially if the major is combined with some coursework in computer science, a natural science, economics or business; many find work in the actuarial field or as analysts in the computer or communications industry. Mathematics majors may prepare to teach at the secondary or elementary levels by simultaneously completing education courses, including a semester of student teaching, which leads to state certification. The mathematics major provides the background for graduate study in pure or applied mathematics, statistics or (with some course work in biology) biostatistics. Combined with appropriate courses in other areas, the major may also be used to prepare for professional programs such as medical school, law school or an MBA program.

Math Learning Outcomes:

Mathematics majors are expected to acquire competence in calculus, linear algebra, and probability and statistics. Through these fields, students are to develop understanding and skills in mathematical reasoning, logical deduction, data analysis and interpretation, and problem solving at various levels and in various contexts.

Students will communicate effectively broader mathematical reasoning approaches and more specific problem solving steps.

Students will progress from a procedural/computational understanding of mathematics to a broad understanding encompassing logical reasoning, generalization, abstraction, and formal proof. They are to formulate definitions and apply methods of direct and indirect proof.            

Students will work with ideas and approaches representing the breadth of mathematical sciences, ranging from continuous to discrete and theoretical to applied.

Students will undertake an exploration of at least one advanced topic of their own choosing. This will require them to carefully read, analyze, and create mathematical arguments and draw on ideas and make connections with previous coursework.

Students will have experience with a variety of technological tools, such as computer algebra systems, visualization software, statistical packages, and computer programming languages.

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