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Department of Mathematics and Statistics
October 15, 2002 / Revised January 2009/Revised March 2009
From Oakland University Mission Statement:Oakland University provides rigorous educational programs. A strong core of liberal arts and sciences is the basis on which undergraduate students develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes essential for successful living and active, concerned citizenship.
From the above goal follow these specific goals of the department:
A mastery of the course material. It is an objective of the Department that students be thoroughly grounded in the major intellectual components of the disciplineincluding the interplay of theory and applications, study in depth, and the construction of general theories and proofsso as to prepare them for future study and/or employment.
Overall knowledge of the subject upon graduation. It is an objective of the Department that our students develop the attitudes of mind and the analytic skills required for the efficient use, appreciation, and understanding of mathematics and statistics, and that our students are prepared to communicate mathematical and statistical concepts effectively, both orally and in writing, to nonmathematical, as well as mathematical, audiences.
Understanding the basic principles in mathematics and statistics. It is an objective of the Department to develop mathematical maturity in our students, i.e., the ability to read and comprehend technicallybased material so that they can learn mathematics and statistics independently.
Explore the ways that people use mathematics and statistics in modern society. It is an objective of the Department to prepare students who understand the increasing role that mathematics and statistics play in modern society and to prepare students to take advantage of the role computer technology occupies in all phases of mathematics and statistics.
Knowledge of material applicable to chosen field. It is an objective of the Department to improve the mathematical skills of students who will be or are already employed in technical jobs by developing their abilities to solve openended problems and to recognize and apply mathematics and statistics independently.
LEARNING OUTCOMES IN MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS
Students will gain skills in quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis and problemsolving.
Students will understand major theories and content of mathematics and statistics.
Students will be able to apply their knowledge of mathematics and statistics to realworld problems.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS
The Department offers three majors: two in mathematics and one in applied statistics. Generally, the above goals apply to all three majors. However, there could be differences in emphasis between mathematics and applied statistics. For example, for majors in applied statistics, the interplay of theory and applications would have a higher priority than the construction of proofs, while the reverse would be true for majors in mathematics.
PROPOSED INSTRUMENTS OF ASSESSMENT
The following are the instruments of assessment to be used by the Department in assessing all of its undergraduate programs.
Review of course materials and instructors course summaries. [Indirect Measure] Course summaries of all mathematics and statistics courses are reviewed each year by the Committee on Undergraduate Programs to study issues brought up by instructors. These issues include (but are not limited to): topics covered, preparedness of students, changes in curriculum or textbooks, calculator policies, and success of students. These reviews will take place in the Fall semester of each year. Any areas of concern will be considered by the Committee on Undergraduate Programs during the academic year. These reviews are especially effective at evaluating student mastery of course material and their understanding of the basic principles of the discipline. By focusing on specific core courses the department is able to asses student understanding of basic principles, of the uses of mathematics in the world, and of their application skills.
Exit interviews of all graduating seniors. [Indirect Measure] These interviews are to be conducted and documented by the Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs in collaboration with the Departments Chief Undergraduate Adviser. The interviews will take place near the end of the Fall and Winter semesters each year. The results of the interviews will be summarized by the Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, and the Committee on Undergraduate Programs will have access to the summary of the interviews as well as the original interview sheets. The Committee will discuss the results of the interviews near the beginning of each Fall semester and will consider further any comments students made that the Committee believes need further attention or discussion.
ETS Major Field Test. [Direct and Objective Measure] The Educational Testing Service (ETS) Major Field Test in Mathematics will be given to mathematics and statistics majors in MTH 452 near the end of each Fall semester. According to information on ETSs website: The tests are designed to assess mastery of concepts and principles, as well as knowledge expected of students at the conclusion of a major in a specific subject area. Also, from ETSs website: Each test delivers an individual score report, plus the mean scale score and standard deviation for the group of students tested. Several of the tests deliver individually reliable subscores that denote the achievement within broad areas within the field. Most of the tests also deliver assessment indicators, or scores relating the performance of the group of students within subareas of the major field of study. The Committee on Undergraduate Programs will review the results of the Field Tests each Winter semester. If the results of the exams show deficiencies in any part of our program, it is the responsibility of the Committee on Undergraduate Programs to recommend changes to address the areas of deficiencies. Currently, there is no Major Field Test in Statistics and the Department will be asking any applied statistics major in MTH 452 to take the Mathematics Field Test. If a Field Test in Statistics becomes available in the future, the Department intends to have statistics majors take the Field Test in Statistics rather than the Field Test in Mathematics.
Exit interview
What were the reasons that you attended Oakland University?
What and/or who influenced you to major in mathematics or applied statistics?
What and/or who was most encouraging for you during your time at Oakland University?
In reviewing your course work at Oakland University, what courses in your major were most beneficial? Which courses did you feel were not beneficial? Why?
In reviewing your course work at Oakland University, what courses outside of your major were most beneficial? Do you think any of the required courses outside your major were not beneficial? Why?
Did you take any mathematics courses at Oakland University for which you felt the prerequisite courses did not give you adequate preparation? Please explain if you experienced any deficiencies?
Were there any topics or areas of mathematics that you feel were not adequately covered in your classes at Oakland University?
Would you please comment on the advising you received?
Would you please comment on the scheduling of courses with respect to their availability on a semester by semester basis and the time (day, evening) they were offered?
Did you find the Oakland University library adequate for your needs in your mathematics courses? If you feel the Oakland University library was not adequate, would you please be specific and also explain how you overcame this deficiency?
Would you please comment on the adequacy of the Oakland University and departmental computer facilities for your undergraduate work?
What are your future career goals? Do you feel that you are adequately prepared for your career goals?
What do you believe that either the University or the Department of Mathematics and Statistics should do in the near future to improve the undergraduate experience at Oakland University?
Are there any comments that you would like to make?
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1F1BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS
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