Mathematics is one of the premier achievements of human thought. We aspire to educate students in the beauties of mathematical reasoning and enable them to achieve the level of quantitative literacy they need in an era so heavily dependent on science and technology.
1. To educate students, both majors and non-majors alike, so that they gain the skills necessary to effectively read, write, and speak mathematics.
2. To prepare majors and minors for graduate study and careers which utilize mathematics.
3. To foster quantitative reasoning skills, improve clarity of thought, increase mathematical awareness, and overcome math phobia and misconceptions for all our students.
4. To encourage all faculty members to improve current pedagogical methods and to experiment with new modes of instruction, course innovations, and the use of appropriate technology in teaching, learning, and applying mathematics.
5. To engage all faculty members in sustained scholarship, broadly defined to include the discovery of new knowledge, the integration of knowledge, the application of knowledge, and scholarship related to teaching.
6. To ensure that the Department provides mathematical support to other disciplines and to meet the reasonable mathematical curricular needs of other departments.
7. To support the mathematical and statistical communities at the national and regional levels in advancing the goals of the profession as a whole.
8. To establish an atmosphere, both in and out of the classroom context, which promotes both student-teacher interactions and interaction among students.
1. Senior Exercise paper on a topic of interest chosen by the student. We use a rubric to assess student performance on various primary traits.
2. Seniors take the Major Field ETS exam at the end of each fall. Character indicators measure student performance on routine problems, nonroutine problems, and applied problems. The exam also measures knowledge of two broad areas of mathematics: calculus and algebra.
3. Additionally, six faculty each year (all but the chair who ultimately writes the report) fills out assessment tables for one of the courses he or she taught that year. Three faculty focus on departmental learning goals, and the other three focus on college learning goals (many of which intersect with the departmental goals).
The department chair collects the data from items 1 and 2 above, and summarizes it for the department. The chair convenes a department meeting in May to discuss the results of items 1 and 2. At this same meeting faculty filling out assessment tables report on their findings and the math faculty as a whole identifies patterns in the data coming from all three items. Based on these patterns, we identify areas in need of improvement and make decisions about ways to improve student learning in the future. The chair then writes a report summarizing the findings of the math faculty, and this report is included in the annual report submitted to the associate provost's office in June.