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Mathematics

GRC

In mathematics we value critical thinking, problem solving, hard work, collaboration, and fun. We vow to support every math student while providing preparation for civic engagement, teaching, technical careers and professions where numeracy, qualitative literacy, and critical thinking are vital.

The Major: Why major in math?
We study math for a variety of reasons: because we love it, because it is fun, because it will help us be better thinkers, because it pays the bills. Why will you study math?

Mental Calisthenics
Mathematics is a rigorous intellectual pursuit and, for some, that is all the reason needed.

Support Career Goals
BE the Change—Teach: there is a high demand for qualified teachers of mathematics at every level.

The Language of Science: mathematics and science go hand-in-hand; mathematics will illuminate the road to your science career.

Open Doors: math majors score higher compared to non-math majors on standardized tests such as the LSAT (law) and the GMAT (business). This is attributed to the fact that studying math develops analytic thinking and problem solving skills.

Your Daily Bread
Jobs acquired by math majors consistently rank high on job satisfaction surveys. Undergraduate math graduates also report higher starting salaries than most other majors.

The Mathematics Major at WNMU
Mathematicians in industry today rely heavily on computational tools, such as the MATLAB programming environment. In our Math and Computer Science program we are encouraging an emphasis on interactive learning, which includes a technology and an experimentation component, to allow students to more easily grasp concepts while becoming experienced in a wide variety of technical tools.

Math majors at WNMU choose one of three distinct concentrations to frame their studies.

Statistics/Actuarial Science
“By understanding the very nature of risk, actuaries play a key role in the psychological, physical, and financial stability of society” (www.beanactuary.org).

Actuarial Science is the analysis of risk. Actuaries manage risk using analytical skills. The WNMU program provides a unique and purposeful sequence of courses with ample opportunity to become familiar with data analysis through the use of various computational tools.  In addition, this concentration provides a solid foundation for further study in actuarial science and preparation for studying for the first actuarial exam.

For more information on actuarial science, visit: http://www.beanactuary.org/

Applied Mathematics
“A career in applied mathematics isn't just about crunching numbers. It's a career that uses mathematics to solve problems in the environment of your choice” (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics).

WNMU offers a unique pedagogical approach to its program.  With courses held in computer classrooms students engage in activities in which computational tasks lead to theoretical insights and to opportunities to exercise a wide variety of problem solving abilities.  Further, due to the attention given to students' ability to express their mathematical work, our students graduate with a proficiency to communicate well to both technical and non-technical audiences. The math program at WNMU prepares students for work in industry and lays the framework for further study in mathematics as well as other integrated STEM fields (e.g. mathematical biology).

For more information on applied mathematics, visit: http://www.siam.org/careers/thinking.php)

Mathematics Education (Secondary)
“Education requires approximately 1.8 million elementary school and 225,000 secondary school math teachers. And as our nation becomes increasingly diverse, there is a need for math teachers who reflect the diversity of the student population” (www.nctm.org).

Students studying at WNMU to become math teachers are in the unique position to earn a double major: in education and in mathematics. Working closely with faculty in the School of Education, students fulfill the requirement for New Mexico state licensure with competency in mathematics and at the same time fulfill the requirements for the math major. Math education majors gain experience with the New Mexico Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and with the NCTM Standards and Benchmarks.

For more information on teaching math, visit: http://www.nctm.org/resources/content.aspx?id=532

The Minor: The Perfect Complement
For students majoring in a discipline requiring the study of calculus, the math minor is just a few courses away. At WNMU we offer the flexibility to build the math minor to do what you need it to do. A minor in mathematics is an excellent support for a degree in natural sciences or business. For those students interested in studying medicine or law, consider the fact that studying upper-level mathematics may help to improve standardized test scores.

Math For All
Whether you are pursuing the major, the minor or taking a math course as a requirement for graduation, the math department at WNMU is here to support you—the math student. We will meet you wherever you are and guide you to wherever you want to be.

Developmental Mathematics (DVSM)
Program highlights:

  • Taught at WNMU by WNMU math professors—not TAs; you will not be asked to attend another college to fulfill requirements before entry into our math courses.
  • DVSM class sizes are such that DVSM students are guaranteed personalized attention from the professor.
  • Unique self-paced face-to-face environment offers flexibility to move through the material as quickly or as slowly as YOU need with your professor always in class to guide you.
  • Professors hold regular office hours should you need assistance outside of class.
  • We believe in the power of an engaged and educated populace and view qualitative literacy as vital to making informed, thoughtful decisions on a personal, professional, and civic scale.
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