Bachelor in Mathematics
The department provides courses for students anticipating employment or graduate work in mathematics, statistics, or mathematics education. In addition, we offer courses for students wishing to use mathematics or statistics in support of another major or simply to learn something new and quantitative.
About the Major
The major begins with calculus and moves to intermediate courses that lay the foundation for further exploration of mathematics. One is required to take a theoretical course in analysis or algebra and also a course (or one can demonstrate proficiency) in computer programming. From there, the department offers a rich collection of advanced mathematics courses that prepare students for a variety of career options.
The mathematics major can be designed to include a concentration in statistics. This prepares students for careers in several professional disciplines and is beneficial to students who intend to pursue advanced degrees in fields such as business, economics, and statistics itself. In addition to courses in applied statistics, probability, and mathematical statistics, students complete the concentration by taking seminars, special topics courses, and independent studies.
The department offers majors in computer science and in mathematics. In addition, the mathematics major can be designed to include a concentration in statistics. The department also offers the computer science 3-2 option major for those students planning to pursue a combined-degree pre-engineering program.
The department provides a full range of courses for students anticipating graduate work in computer science, mathematics, or statistics. There are also courses available for cognate majors where strong mathematical or computer skills are required. Lastly, the department provides service courses in support of many majors on campus, especially those requiring statistics or calculus.
Majors often take advanced courses in other departments directly complementing their studies in mathematics or computer science. Double majors with mathematics or computer science and a related area, such as economics or physics, are often undertaken. Upon graduation, recent majors have found employment in business, management science, statistical research, computing, actuarial science, environmental research, and teaching. In addition, majors have gained admission to graduate or professional programs in computer science, mathematics, philosophy, physics, economics, business, law, and medicine. Potential majors and others interested should consult with any member of the department in planning their coursework.
Students double majoring in mathematics and computer science are limited to 17 courses within the department among those counted toward the 34 units required for graduation.
Students wishing to concentrate in computer science should contact Professors McCulloch, Wiebe, or Zaring. Those wishing to concentrate in statistics should see Professor Linder. Those wishing to concentrate in secondary education should contact the department, and those wishing to prepare for graduate study in mathematics should contact Professors Jackson, Nunemacher, Schwartz, or Pyzza.
Courses for Non-Majors
The department offers a number of courses specifically as a service to non-majors who seek training in mathematical sciences. These include MATH 105, a course in elementary probability and statistics that includes computer experience, and which prepares students to read the increasingly quantitative journals of the social and life sciences. Exploring Computer Science (CS 103) offers a broad, applications-oriented introduction to computing for students having no prior computing experience. Great Ideas in Mathematics (MATH 104) provides an introduction to modern mathematical ideas for students who will study no further mathematics. Precalculus (MATH 108) is for students who have a moderate mathematical background but not one sufficient to begin calculus immediately. The calculus courses (MATH 110, MATH 111, and MATH 210) are recommended for students who wish to continue the study of mathematics in college after a strong high school background. They are particularly important for any of the sciences and economics. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming (CS 110) provides a careful entry into the discipline of computer science and teaches programming in a high-level language.
Mission Statement for the Mathematics Major
In taking courses toward a mathematics major, a student will encounter some of the great mathematical ideas of the last several centuries, develop skill in using mathematical tools, gain the appreciation of the role of abstraction and theory in mathematics, and learn how to use mathematics to model aspects of the real world. We endeavor to prepare students for graduate study in mathematics or statistics; to seek employment in the private sector, e.g., as statisticians, applied mathematicians, or actuaries; to teach mathematics in secondary education; or to pursue a career in a cognate field, e.g., physics, chemistry, biology, or economics.
Subject Matter Objectives
A student should have an introductory knowledge of the following areas:
- Basic continuous mathematics (single and multi-variable calculus);
- Basic discrete mathematics (linear algebra and discrete structures);
- Higher abstract mathematics (abstract algebra, analysis, topology, logic);
- Higher applied mathematics (probability, statistics, differential equations, numerical analysis).
Our course requirements ensure some exposure to each of these four areas, the degree and rigor of exposure will depend on the plans and abilities of the student in consultation with an academic advisor.
MATH 111, MATH 210, MATH 250, MATH 270, MATH 340 or MATH 370, and a minimum of four additional mathematics courses numbered 230 or above. Also, CS 110 or equivalent knowledge of programming. It is suggested that MATH 250 and CS 110 be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
It is possible to do a concentration in statistics within the mathematics major. To obtain the major designation Mathematics major (Statistics Concentration), one must complete a mathematics major which includes MATH 230, MATH 340, MATH 350, and either MATH 360 or MATH 365 (preferably both).
Some students complete a Mathematics major with the goal of being licensed to teach mathematics in secondary school. In order to meet the licensure requirements in Ohio, these students must select MATH 230 and MATH 320 among their electives and also take MATH 370.
Recommended courses to prepare for graduate school in mathematics include MATH 330, MATH 340, MATH 370, MATH 440, and MATH 470. In particular, a strong preparation for graduate school will include more than the minimum number of courses required to complete the mathematics major.
Students work one-on-one with faculty in independent studies and directed readings to study topics outside of the regular curriculum. Research opportunities also are available through the Summer Science Research Program and the NSF-funded REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates).
Recent topics of independent studies include operations research, computer graphics, neural networks, quality control, design of experiments, multivariate statistical analysis, object-oriented programming languages, calculus of variations, partial differential equations, and advanced linear algebra.
From your first year on campus, you can get off campus with Travel-Learning Courses and other OWU Connection opportunities. Journey to a distant land and immerse yourself in another landscape and culture.
Mathematics students have recently conducted research in China, Alaska, and the Virgin Islands through Connection grants and travel-learning.