Math B.A. and B.S. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

To be successful in today's technological society one must be mathematically literate or at least have basic quantitative skills. Therefore a major part of our mission is to provide the very best instruction and up-to-date programs in the mathematical sciences for our own majors as well as students from other fields. A big part of this instructional mission involves our contribution to the Core Curriculum.

One of our constituencies consists of students who are preparing to become teachers in the public schools. There is no more important mission than to ensure adequate training for these students.

Another fundamentally important facet of our mission, especially in relation to our graduate program, is to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in the mathematical sciences, including cutting-edge research. This also encompasses creative innovations in educational delivery.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate problem solving and modeling, which includes appreciating the connections between applications and theory. This means translating a real world problem into an abstract model, applying mathematical/stochastic tools to solve the problem, and then translating the solution back to real world terms.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Our capstone course is Math 420 (Mathematical Modeling). Student performance in this course is a good indicator.
  • The course Math 461 (Probability Theory) is required of all degrees and options. Performance in this course is an indicator.
Assessment Method
  • Administering faculty assessments of skills in Math 420. Grades are based on objective assessment of written reports or projects.
  • Administering faculty assessments of skills in Math 461. Grades are based on objective examinations.
  • Student self-assessment of learning outcomes.

2. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the nature of mathematical proofs. Learning how to make rigorous mathematical arguments.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students exhibit ability to communicate a logically coherent proof of a mathematical theorem.
  • Math 310 and 311 (Introduction to Analysis I and II), 331 (Groups, Rings, and Fields), and 440 (Topology) are courses in which this learning outcome is a prominent objective. Student performance particularly in Math 310, taken by all math majors, is therefore a good indicator.
Assessment Method
  • Administering objective assessments of skill development for each course taught.
  • Administering objective faculty assessments of skill development for each of these courses.
    (1) Grades are based on objective examinations.
    (2) Instructor compiles a portfolio of representative student work.
    (3) Students write an assessment of their experience with the course.

3. Students will be able to demonstrate computer literacy by using technology to solve problems and make conjectures.

Student Performance Indicators
  • The Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics requires two courses in computer science. Performance in these courses is a good indicator.
  • Ability to use appropriate software to solve a problem. Our capstone course, Math 420 involves this skill and student performance in it is a good indicator.
Assessment Method
  • Faculty assessment of student performance in Computer Science I and II.
  • Administering faculty assessments of skills in Math 420.
    (1) Grades are based on objective assessment of written reports or projects, which include use of computer technology.
    (2) Instructors compile a representative portfolio of student use of technology, including a summary statement.
    (3) Students do a self assessment of their technology experience.