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Mathematics

Professors: Woltermann, Wong 

Associate Professors: Kline (chair), Zimmerman

Assistant Professors: Doherty, Higginbottom

Instructors: Jones

For students who select mathematics as a major or minor, the mission of the Department of Mathematics is to provide a program of study that is sufficiently strong and deep to enable them to pursue either graduate study in mathematics and/or professional careers in education, business, actuarial science, and other related fields.

The mathematics department is also committed to providing a variety of service-oriented courses that support programs in the physical, biological, social, and informational sciences that broadly introduce students to fundamental concepts in computation, statistics, and applied calculus so as to foster creative problem solving and quantitative literacy.

For the liberal arts student, the mathematics program is designed to offer a course selection that introduces topics that are relevant in the contemporary world. Finally, for students pursuing a career in education, the mathematics curriculum supports the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards and meets the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's requirements for teaching certification.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS: MTH 151 , 152 , 208 , 211 , 217 , 320 (1/2 course), 420 (1/2 course), at least three additional courses numbered above 300, and either MTH 412 or MTH 415 .  Substitutions at the upper level may be made only with department approval. Depending on the student’s vocational interests, ITL 102 and PHY 107 and 108 are recommended, but not required, courses.

MINOR REQUIREMENTS: At least six mathematics courses that count toward the major. MTH 225 may be counted as one of these six courses.

PLACEMENT PROCEDURES: The department uses a placement exam to determine the appropriate course point of entry for mathematics. The process is designed to evaluate student readiness for various levels of mathematics. Based on the placement score, students may begin a track at the appropriate entry point. AP calculus credits and other external course work are evaluated and may be transferred. Advising is available to ensure a smooth transition to W&J mathematics.

AP Policy: Students with AP Calculus score of 4 or 5 may transfer credit in for MTH 151. Students with a score of 4 may elect not to transfer AP credit and in favor of repeating Calculus I by enrolling in MTH 151. However, such students may not transfer AP Calculus in for ELE 100 and then repeat MTH 151. Students with AP Calculus credit will not receive NSM breadth of study credit but will receive Q credit. Students with AP Calculus score below 4 will not get credit for ELE 100 nor MTH 111. Students with AP Calculus score 5 on the BC test may get credit for MTH 152 with Q credit but not NSM. Students who receive AP credit for MTH 151 may not take MTH 131. Students may elect not to transfer BC credit for Calculus II and repeat the material by enrolling in MTH 152.  If AP credit is given for BC then student may proceed to MTH 208.

CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE: The half-courses MTH 320: Junior MathTalk and MTH 420: Senior MathTalk, together with the Mathematics Field Test, constitute the capstone experience for mathematics majors. In each of the courses, majors are required to investigate a problem or topic in mathematics, read and understand mathematical exposition, write a report about their investigation, and give an oral presentation of their results to a professional audience that is composed of faculty and student peers. Although a faculty member supervises the MathTalks program, students are expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of initiative, independence, and mathematical maturity.

3-2 ENGINEERING PROGRAM: Students in the 3-2 engineering program may major in mathematics by completing seven Washington & Jefferson College mathematics courses that are required for the major. See the engineering section of the catalog for more information on the program.

TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS: Many of the introductory courses in calculus and statistics may require a Texas Instruments TI-83 or TI-84 Graphing Calculator.

PREPARATION FOR ACTUARIAL EXAMS: Students preparing for the actuarial exams should complete MTH 225, 151, 152, 208, 217, 305, and BUS 315.

MATHEMATICS HONORARY: The national mathematics honorary Pi Mu Epsilon established a chapter at W&J in 2011. The purpose of Pi Mu Epsilon is to promote scholarly activity in mathematics among the students in academic institutions. To be eligible for membership in Pi Mu Epsilon, a student must complete at least two semesters of calculus as well as at least two additional courses in mathematics which count for the mathematics major.   The student must have a grade point average of 3.0 in mathematics classes and a grade point average of 3.0 overall.

TEACHER CERTIFICATION: Students may seek Secondary Education (grades 7-12) Certification in Mathematics by completing the Mathematics major including MTH 301, 412, and one course from MTH 225 or 305), and the Education minor consisting of those courses required for Secondary Education (grades 7-12) Certification. 

Students may seek Upper Elementary Education Certification (4--8) in Mathematics in one of two ways:

Option 1: Complete the Child Development and Education major and the Mathematics minor as described below.

Option 2: Complete the Mathematics major, and the Education minor consisting of those courses required for Upper Elementary Education (grades 4-8) Certification. 

Students electing Option 1 and seeking Upper Elementary Education Certification (4--8) in Mathematics must complete a special minor composed of the following courses: MTH 151, MTH 225 and one of two tracks: Track A: MTH 115, MTH 123, MTH 124, and one of MTH 211 or MTH 217; Track B: MTH 152, MTH 208, MTH 211, and MTH 217.

Before being formally admitted to either program, students must satisfy-by the end of the sophomore year-the Certification Program Requirements described in the Education (Teacher Certification) section of the catalog.

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