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.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Mathematics Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family. 

Share your interest with friends and family: 
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  2. Get more information about the program.
  3. Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.

Courses

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at http://www.western.edu/catalog. To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.

 CS 191 - COMPUTER SCIENCE II (3 credits)

A continuation of CS 190 taught in the Java programming language. Students develop stand alone GUI and console applications and applets of increasing sophistication. Topics include: arrays, objects and classes, encapsulation and inheritance, file management, dynamic data structures, searching, sorting, recursion, stacks and queues, with emphasis on abstraction and implementation and an introduction to algorithm analysis. Prerequisite: CS 190 with a minimum grade of C-.

 CS 280 - DATA STRUCTURES (3 credits)

A survey of advanced data structures and algorithms. Topics include: linear lists, linked lists, arrays, tree, multi-linked lists, hashing, searching, sorting, recursion and analysis of the algorithms that use these structures. Taught in Java. Prerequisites: CS 191 with a minimum grade of C-; MATH 140 or above excluding MATH 209 and MATH 210 or Accuplacer university-level mathematics score of 75 or above.

 CS 410 - SYSTEMS ANALYSIS AND DESIGN (3 credits)

The fundamental concepts of systems analysis and design are studied in the context of computerized information systems. Topics include high-level system construction tools, system design methodology, data representation languages such as XML, server-based system design, web services, system security, and system description languages such as UML. Also addressed is the human element in system design: working with users and domain experts to develop system requirements, and understanding the challenges of large scale system projects. Each student completes a number of systems design projects during the term. Prerequisite: CS 310 with a minimum grade of C-.

 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. 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. Credit does not count toward graduation. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 16 or above; SAT math score of 400 or above, MATH 098; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 60 or above.

 MATH 102 - COLLEGE ALGEBRA SKILLS (1 credits)

A review of the math skills necessary to succeed in MATH 140, College Algebra. Prerequisites: an assessment equivalent to ACT math score between 17-20; a SAT Math score between 410-500; an Accuplacer Elementary Algebra score between 75-105; or a Compass Algebra score between 26-44; and a high school GPA of 2.75 or higher. Co-requisite MATH 140. Note: this course is intended for those qualified students wanting to complete the Supplemental Academic Instruction (SAI) program in Math.

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

An investigation into a variety of mathematical concepts with an emphasis on quantitative literacy. Topics may include practical applications such as personal finance and numbers in the media, along with aesthetic applications such as connections between mathematics and art or music. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 460 or above; MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or above; or corequisite MATH 100.

 MATH 140 - SAI 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 21 or above; SAT math score of 510 or above; MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 106 or above; or co-requisite MATH 102 (SAI).

 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 21 or above; SAT math score of 510 or above; MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 106 or above; or co-requisite MATH 102 (SAI).

 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; SAT math score of 530 or above; MATH 140 with a minimum grade of 'C-'; or Accuplacer College-Level Mathematics test with a score of 65 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. This course also introduces Integral calculus including anti-derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 27 or above; SAT math score of 610 or above; MATH 141 with a minimum grade of "C-"; or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test with a score of 95 or above. GT-MA1

 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 140 with a minimum grade of 'C-'; or Accuplacer College-Level Mathematics test with a score of 65 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; or instructor permission.

 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 260 - APPLIED LINEAR ALGEBRA (3 credits)

A course in the techniques and applications of linear algebra. The core topics include solving systems of linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, matrix decomposition, the pseudoinverse and least squares approximations, and the singular value decomposition. The theory is supplemented with extensive applications and computer programming. Prerequisite: MATH 141.

 MATH 311 - MATH KNWLDGE TEACHG ELEM SCHL (3 credits)

This problem based class uses video and written records of children doing mathematics to enable prospective elementary educators to develop a connected framework of mathematical knowledge, understand mathematical thinking of others, and recognize how specific mathematical tasks contribute to a child's emerging mathematical knowledge. Problems are tied to specific mathematical standards and practices from the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (grades K-6). Prerequisite: MATH 210 with a minimum grade of "C-".

 MATH 330 - TOPICS IN GEOMETRY (3 credits)

An introduction to modern geometries. Topics include synthetic, analytic, vector, and transformational approaches to geometry. Classification of geometries, axiomatics, and the application of geometry may also be included. Prerequisite: MATH 220 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 MATH 360 - LINEAR ALGEBRA (3 credits)

A study of systems of linear equations, matrix operations, vector spaces, properties of determinants, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, orthogonality and least-squares. Emphasis is placed on theoretical aspects and general vector space properties with proof. Prerequisite: MATH 260, MATH 220 with a minimum grade 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 471 - ABSTRACT ALGEBRA I (3 credits)

An introduction to the theory of groups and rings. The fundamental group properties and concepts including cyclic groups, subgroups, direct products, symmetric groups, cosets, normal subgroups, and the group homomorphism theorems are discussed. Prerequisite: MATH 220 with a minimum grade 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

Charlesworth, William Memorial Mathematics and Natural Science 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.

Scholarship 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.

Scholarship Recipient 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 Department 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

Find out more about Western's Math Program at www.western.edu/mathematics.

Find out more about Western's Chemistry Program at www.western.edu/chemistry.

Find out more about Western's Biology Program at www.western.edu/biology.

Find out more about Western's Geology Program at www.western.edu/geology.

 Dorgan, William E. Memorial Math Scholarship

Dorgan, William E Memorial Math Scholarship is Available to:

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

Scholarship Provided by:

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

Amount: Award depends on funds available.

Scholarship Recipient 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

Find out more about Westerns Math Program at www.western.edu/mathematics.

 Mathematical Studies Scholarship

Mathematical Studies Scholarship is 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.

Scholarship Provided by:

Friends of the Mathematics program.

Amount: Varies depending upon funds available.

Scholarship Recipient 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

Find out more about Western's Math Program at www.western.edu/mathematics.

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
Associate Professor of Mathematics
B.A., Winona State University; Ph.D., University of Iowa.
Phone: (970) 943-3234
Office Location: Hurst Hall 220
Professor of Mathematics
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
Lecturer in Math
Phone: 970.943.2127
Office Location: Hurst Hall 108
Lecturer in Math
Phone: 970.943.2129
Office Location: Hurst Hall105
Associate Professor of Mathematics
B.A., Western State Colorado University; 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
Lecturer in Mathematics
B.A., Western State Colorado University, M.S., Montana State University
Phone: 970.943.2255
Office Location: Hurst 220