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Department’s Mission and Learning Goals

Department Mission Statement

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is a vibrant community of undergraduate students, faculty, and staff that promotes a culture of intellectual engagement in mathematics and statistics. The faculty members are teacher-scholars dedicated to excellence in teaching and deeply engaged in the production and dissemination of current disciplinary knowledge. Faculty members share their knowledge with students and offer students experiences that instill a sense of intellectual inquiry.As a liberal arts department we nurture an understanding of mathematical and statistical thought and develop our students’ ability to use and communicate mathematics and statistics. Graduates of our department have gained the problem solving, critical thinking and technological skills needed for advanced degree programs and for leadership in careers in industry, government, and education. Our courses provide students throughout the School of Science the necessary mathematical background for their disciplines. Our broader liberal arts offerings give all TCNJ students the quantitative and logical reasoning abilities required for informed citizenship and for careers in the 21st century.

Specialization Mission Statements

Statistics Specialization Mission Statement
The Statistics specialization within the Mathematics major is designed to impart the principles and practices of statistical methods in a variety of courses covering probability, mathematical statistics and applied statistics. Our students are encouraged to promote their expertise in statistical skills such as quantitative reasoning, utilization of software and communication of results across all disciplines. We aim to train and educate future generations of statisticians who are well prepared to begin careers in statistics or pursue graduate studies.

Applied Mathematics Specialization Mission Statement
Applied mathematics plays a crucial role in the modern world. Quantitative models, coupled with technology and sound underlying mathematics, can be used to explore and better understand natural, physical and societal phenomena. The Applied Mathematics specialization is designed for students who are compelled by these challenging pursuits, and have a strong interest in mathematics and problem solving. Students who complete the specialization will be prepared to pursue graduate degrees in Applied Mathematics and to apply their mathematical and problem-solving skills to careers in industry or government.

Mathematics Specialization Mission Statement
Mathematics has always been a central component of human thought, and the growth of technology has increased its importance. The Mathematics specialization is designed for students interested in exploring a wide variety of mathematical topics as well as for those who wish to focus their studies in the area of pure mathematics. Majors become skilled in logical reasoning and the methods of proof and problem solving that characterize mathematics. Students gain a solid understanding of abstract concepts and explore applications. Graduates leave the program with an appreciation of mathematics as an intellectual endeavor, prepared for advanced studies and careers which require mathematics and critical reasoning skills.

Mathematics Secondary Education Mission Statement
The Mathematics Secondary Education program is designed to prepare teachers with outstanding content knowledge and with recent research-based knowledge of instruction, curriculum and resources including technology. A variety of courses and field-based experiences allows teachers to become life-long reflective practitioners who use problem solving skills in the classroom and in further study. As teachers, they will strive to help their students develop conceptual understanding and fluency in content. While not limiting students to only this career path, the program specifically prepares graduates for K-12 certification.


Department Learning Goals

Students should develop the ability to understand and write proofs.

  1. Students should be able to effectively communicate mathematical and/or statistical ideas to diverse audiences, both orally and in writing.
  2. Students should be effective problem solvers, using technology and connections between different areas of disciplinary knowledge as appropriate.
  3. Students should demonstrate engagement in their discipline.

Major and Specialization Learning Goals

Applied Mathematics Specialization

  1. Master theoretical foundations based on mathematical rigor through proofs
  2. Apply mathematical theory to model and solve problems dealing with physical, natural and societal problems
  3. Use technology to solve computational problems, including simulation and visualization of mathematical models
    1. Majors should be able to adapt to different technology platforms that are useful for mathematical computing
    2. Majors should be able to make mathematical conjectures and use technology to support or refute these conjectures
  4. Provide clear and effective written and oral communication to diverse audiences
    1. Necessitates being able to read mathematics and communicate mathematics to other mathematicians.
    2. Also requires communicating mathematical results to a non-mathematical audience
  5. Develop content knowledge in a related discipline
    1. Majors should be able to apply their mathematics knowledge to other sciences and engineering
    2. Majors should be able to recognize mathematical ideas embedded in other contexts

 

Liberal Arts Mathematics Specialization.
Students will demonstrate the following:

  1. The ability to understand and write mathematical proofs at the advanced undergraduate level
  2. The ability to bring together concepts from various areas of mathematics to solve mathematical problems
  3. The ability to effectively communicate mathematical ideas to their peers, both orally and in writing
  4. The ability to use technology appropriately to investigate mathematical problems
  5. Engagement in mathematics as a discipline

Statistics Specialization

  1. Understanding Basic Principles
    1. Students should have a firm grasp of the concepts and consequences of variation.
    2. They should possess an ability to extract information from data.
  2. Understanding Theoretical Underpinnings
    1. Students should have a strong foundation in mathematics.
    2. They should have a clear understanding of how to write a proof.
    3. They should have a clear understanding of the theoretical development of statistical techniques.
  3. Familiarity with Statistical Techniques
    1. Students should be able to express a research question in statistical terms and select appropriate statistical techniques in given contexts.
    2. They should possess the skills to apply statistical procedures and modeling approaches to a wide variety of real-life problems.
    3. They should be able to develop an effective sampling plan.
    4. They should be able to provide correct interpretations from a set of analyses and include any limitations to the study.
    5. They should have the ability to recommend decisions in the face of uncertainty.
  4. Proficiency with Technology
    1. Students should possess strong computing skills.
    2. They should be familiar with statistical software packages.
  5. Ability to Communicate
    1. Students should possess inter-personal skills in order to effectively communicate both with their project peers and with clients during a statistical investigation.
    2. They should possess the skills to orally present findings to a wide audience.
    3. They should possess the ability to document the results of a statistical project in both technical and non-technical terms.
  6. Post Graduation Success and Feedback
    1. Students should be equipped with the knowledge, skill, and understanding to achieve their full potential in (i) graduate school, (ii) career paths as statisticians.

 

Mathematics Education Majors.

  1. Understanding Mathematics Content Knowledge
    1. Students will master the content knowledge needed to teach in the secondary schools.
    2. Students will also have the background in higher level mathematics that allow them to teach competently, and confidently.
  2. Making Connections
    1. Students will be able to make connections between higher level mathematics and K-12 mathematics.
    2. Students will be able to understand the scope and sequence of K-12 mathematics.
  3. Effective Utilization of Problem Solving
    1. Students will be problem- solving teachers who effectively utilize the experiences and skills in problem solving approaches in their instruction
  4. Ability to Communicate Clearly
    1. Students will be able to communicate mathematical ideas and concepts in clear and precise manner.
  5. Understand and Implement Standards and Recommendations for Teaching
    1. Students will be able to understand, and be capable of implementing and building upon the standards and recommendations for teaching mathematics suggested by professional organizations, research, departments of education, and schools districts.
  6. Utilize Research to Inform Classroom Practice
    1. Students will be able to read, interpret, implement, and utilize research about teaching mathematics including theories of learning to guide their classroom practice and teaching decisions.
  7. Effectively Utilize Technology in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics
    1. Students will be able to effectively utilize technology and determine how to meaningfully integrate technology in teaching mathematics.
  8. Appropriate Implementation of Activities and Instructional Strategies
    1. Students will be able to choose, adapt, and implement appropriate mathematical activities.
    2. Students will be able to use a variety of instructional strategies to help students of diverse abilities learn mathematics
  9. Motivate and Energize the Learning of Mathematics
    1. Students will be able to motivate, enrich, and energize the mathematics classroom by displaying their enthusiasm and interest in mathematics.
  10. Understand Principles and Implementation of Assessment
    1. Students will be able to understand the underlying principles of assessment and know how to use multiple means of assessment.
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