Mathematics

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

You will learn how to reason your way through unfamiliar territory, find familiar structures, make predictions and answer important questions. Mathematics is central to science, engineering, finance, insurance and computing for precisely these reasons. You will see many mathematical structures and understand how they apply to many pursuits.

In your senior research project, you will apply your knowledge to a single challenging problem. These projects have included choosing optimal immunization strategies for a heterogeneous network, proving a matrix decomposition resulting from a multiplicative identity, using statistical mechanics to properly value financial options, and proving a relationship between offensive and defensive performance and the eventual outcome of a baseball game.

Mathematics Students build parametric curves describing ski slopes and their likely paths

From Western's Calculus 3 course:
Students built parametric curves
describing ski slopes and their likely paths.

 

Beyond the Classroom

The Math department has one of the most active student communities on campus. As a math student, you will enjoy a pre-built learning community for your schoolwork, as well as many social and scholarly activities organized by the faculty. In the fall, we host a welcome-back barbecue with a kickball game. 

Each fall the department has a  barbecue to welcome our returning students back to campus and to help our new students become part of our community. Both of these events are open to all students and faculty interested in mathematics or computer science, their friends and family.  In the winter, students in the department attend the Pikes Peak Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference where our seniors present their research projects. Some years, we have an ice-climbing outing. Others, it is a skating party. The high point of our spring social calendar is the annual MCIS banquet. The faculty caters this affair, so you will see we are not only excellent scholars and kickball players, but we can also can make a mean pan of mac 'n cheese.

But life is not all kickball and casseroles. For professional advancement, we help show you what we do and point you to opportunities. The math seminar meets at noon Monday, Wednesday or Friday. At these gatherings, faculty members show what they are working on and seniors to present their research projects. In February, we load up a couple of vans and travel to the Pikes Peak Undergraduate Research Conference, both to show off what our seniors have done and to see what others are doing.

Many of our students use the summer months to pursue internships or other advanced training. Our students have successfully landed positions in summer workshops offered by the institute for Advanced Studies and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), offered by the National Science Foundation.

After Graduation

As a Western Mathematics graduate, you will find opportunities both within the field and in other pursuits. Our graduates have earned advanced degrees in math, engineering, geology and architecture.

Our graduates are working toward master’s degrees and PhDs with full financial support. If you want to teach, you will be in great demand. There are many programs that will allow you to begin teaching and complete your licensure requirements online. According to a recent survey, even our graduates who are not working in the field said they used math "almost every day" in their chosen professions. Common wisdom suggests that a math degree pays off commensurately with the level you rise to in your profession.

Courses

 MATH 98 - BEGINNING ALGEBRA (3 credits)

An introduction to algebra with a review of basic arithmetic. Includes decimals, fraction, percentage, ratio, proportion, signed numbers, algebraic expressions, factoring, exponents and radicals, linear equations, and graphs. MATH 098 is offered through Extended Studies and a fee is assessed. Credit does not count toward graduation. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only.

 MATH 99 - INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA (3 credits)

A review of the arithmetic of fractions and decimals, percentage problems, signed numbers, arithmetic, and topics of basic algebra, including simplifying algebraic expressions, solving and graphing linear equations, basic factoring, working with algebraic fractions, and solving rational and quadratic equations. This course is designed for students who need a review of the basic algebra skills necessary to complete the required mathematics courses MATH 131 or MATH 140. MATH 099 is offered through Extended Studies and a fee is assessed. Credit does not count toward graduation. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 16 or above

 MATH 105 - MATH FOR LIBERAL ARTS GMA1 (3 credits)

An investigation of a number of mathematical concepts, which may include ratios and proportions, descriptive statistics, sets and logic, geometry, right-angle trigonometry, counting, and probability. A variety of teaching methods are employed such as cooperative groups, writing about mathematics, and technology (calculators and computers). Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above

 MATH 140 - COLLEGE ALGEBRA GMA1 (3 credits)

An integration of the essential algebraic manipulations, solving equations and inequalities, polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and techniques of graphing. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above

 MATH 141 - PRECALCULUS (4 credits)

Preparation for calculus by the study of functions of one variable over the real numbers. These are introduced in general and then applied to the usual elementary functions, namely polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric functions. Inverse functions, polar coordinates and trigonometric identities are included. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 23 or above

 MATH 151 - CALCULUS I GMA1 (4 credits)

A study of differential calculus, including limits, continuous functions, Intermediate Value Theorem, tangents, linear approximation, inverse functions, implicit differentiation, extreme values and the Mean Value Theorem. Integral calculus including antiderivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 27 or above

 MATH 209 - MATH FOR ELEM SCHL TEACHERS I (3 credits)

First of two courses designed for prospective elementary teachers. Emphasizes the real number system, arithmetic operations, and algebra. Explorations focus on representing, analyzing, generalizing, formalizing, and communicating patterns and structures. Content is presented using problem solving and exploration. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 23 or above, SAT math score of 530 or above

 MATH 213 - PROBABILITY STATISTICS GMA1 (3 credits)

An introduction to descriptive statistics, probability concepts, and inferential statistics. The topics for the course include presentation of data, counting principles, probability rules, and discrete and continuous probability distributions. Prerequisite: MATH 141 with a minimum grade of "C-,"' or Accuplacer College-Level Mathematics test score of 85 or above

 MATH 220 - INTRO TO ADVANCED MATHEMATICS (3 credits)

Students develop and use elementary logic and set theory to construct deductive proofs with relations, functions, and some algebraic structures. Topics include indexing, equivalence relation theory, and cardinality. Prerequisite: MATH 151 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 MATH 251 - CALCULUS II (4 credits)

Topics include techniques of integration, area computations, improper integrals, infinite series and various convergence tests, power series, Taylor's Formula, polar coordinates, and parametric curves. Prerequisite: MATH 151 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 MATH 252 - CALCULUS III (4 credits)

Topics include calculus of functions of several variables, differentiation and elementary integration, vectors in the plane and space. Prerequisite: MATH 251 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 MATH 266 - SEC MATH FROM AN ADV PERSPCTV (3 credits)

A course designed to help Secondary Licensure Emphasis majors understand the core mathematical content of high school mathematics courses before calculus. These concepts are treated from an advanced standpoint, emphasizing connections and extensions. Topics include number systems, polynomial and transcendental functions, analytic geometry, theory of equations, and measurement. Prerequisite: MATH 151 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 MATH 300 - INTRO TO MATHEMATICAL MODELING (3 credits)

Designed to teach the basic principles of mathematical modeling and applied mathematics. Techniques from calculus, statistics, and probability are utilized to model real-world problems. Analytic and numeric tools are used to implement the models, obtain predictions and investigate underlying mechanisms. Topics include dimensional analysis, curve fitting, simulations, differential and difference equations. Prerequisites: MATH 251 and MATH 213 with minimum grades of "C-."

 MATH 451 - ANALYSIS I (3 credits)

An introduction to the theory of calculus. Topics include the usual topology of the reals, sequences, limits, continuity, differentiation, and Riemann integration. Prerequisites: MATH 220 and MATH 252 with minimum grades of "C-."

 MATH 495 - SENIOR SEMINAR (2 credits)

A Capstone Course for the Mathematics Standard Major and for the Secondary Licensure Emphasis. Each student selects an area of interest, researches the selected area, generates a reference list and research paper, and presents the paper to a seminar of faculty and students. Prerequisites: MATH 360 and either MATH 451 or MATH 471.

Scholarships

Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

 Charlesworth, William Memorial Scholarship

Available to:
The applicant has applied to and has been accepted for admission to Western State Colorado University and is pursuing a major in mathematics or related natural sciences. The applicant has demonstrated a need for financial assistance. The applicant has demonstrated an interest and is active in inter-collegiate athletics. Preference should be given to entering freshmen; however, all classes, freshmen through senior, are eligible. Preference should be given to applicants whose study time is limited by family obligations or the need to earn income. No preference should be given based on the sex of the applicant. Preference should be given to applicants from Delta County, Colorado, or from the Western Slope of Colorado.

Provided by:
Established with the Western State Colorado University Foundation to perpetuate the memory of William Charlesworth, a 1954 graduate of Western State Colorado University. The express purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to student-athletes pursuing majors in mathematics or related natural sciences.

Amount:
Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:
Chaired by the chairman of Mathematics and Computer Information Science and shall include a representative from the Athletic Department appointed by the Athletic Director. A representative from the Natural Sciences Deptartment shall be on the selection committee.

Application:
Contact the Mathematics and Computer Information Science Department or the Athletic Department for application and deadline information.

MCIS Department: (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128

Athletic Department: (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 201

 Dorgan, William E. Memorial Math Scholarship

Available to:
Full-time students at Western. Must be a declared major in Mathematics. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or greater.

Provided by:
The estate and family to celebrate the memory of William E. Dorgan.

Amount:
Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:
Western Math faculty in consultation with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid as needed

Application:
Contact the Mathematics and Computer Information Science Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128

 Mathematical Studies Scholarship

Available to:
Students who have successfully completed a minimum of 24 credits at Western and at least 6 credits that apply toward the major. Must be a declared major in Mathematics. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or greater in Math at Western that apply toward the major. Must be enrolled for at least 9 credits at Western during the semester of application. Financial need and the student's contribution to the math program will also be considered.

Provided by:
Friends of the Mathematics program.

Amount:
Varies depending upon funds available.

Selected by:
Donor Scholarship Committee.

Application:
Contact the Mathematics and Computer Information Science Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Associate Professor of Mathematics
B.A., Humboldt State University; Ph.D., University of Colorado.
Phone: (970) 943-2111
Office Location: Hurst Hall 210
Lecturer in Mathematics
B.A., University of Northern Colorado; M.A., University of Montana.
Phone: (970) 943-2128
Office Location: Hurst Hall 106
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
B.A., Winona State University; Ph.D., University of Iowa.
Phone: (970) 943-3234
Office Location: Hurst Hall 220
B.S., University of North Alabama, M.A., University of Alabama, Ph.D., University of Alabama
Phone: (970) 943-2015
Office Location: Hurst Hall 108
Chair, Department of Mathematics and Computer Information Science
B.A., DePauw University; M.Phil., University of Utah; Ph.D., University of Montana.
Phone: (970) 943-2802
Office Location: Hurst Hall 212
Professor of Mathematics
B.S., Bemidji State University; M.S., University of Utah; Ph.D., University of Montana.
Phone: (970) 943-3167
Office Location: Hurst Hall 216
Associate Professor of Mathematics
B.A., Western State College of Colorado; M.A., University of Vermont; Ph.D., Colorado State University.
Phone: (970) 943-3150
Office Location: Hurst Hall 112
Lecturer in Mathematics
B.A., Reed College; Ph.D., University of Washington.
Phone: (970) 943-2075
Office Location: Hurst Hall 110
B.A. University of Nebraska at Omaha
Phone: (970) 943-2009
Office Location: Hurst Hall 105