Profile of the Department of Mathematical Sciences
The department has approximately 20 full-time tenure-track faculty members forming groups in Algebra, Analysis, Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics & Optimization, Mathematics Education, Statistics, and Topology making it truly a Department of Mathematical Sciences.
The department offers a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics with options in Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics & Optimization, Mathematics Education, Pure Mathematics and Statistics, as well as a Combined Major in Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences. At the graduate level, the department offers three degrees: a Master of Arts in Teaching Middle School Mathematics, a Master of Arts Degree (which includes an option aimed at current high school teachers) and a Ph.D. Degree with essentially the same emphases as the Bachelor's Degree. The Ph.D. has two options, one requiring a standard research thesis and the other a thesis that can be expository in nature. Recent Ph.D.s have gone on to careers at four-year colleges such as Houghton College, College of New Rochelle, Newberry College, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and American University in Cairo. Other graduates have gone to government research labs. The department has strong, active faculty members in all areas of mathematics that it covers. Many faculty members are active on editorial boards, NSF-panels, or professional committees at the state or national level.
There are approximately 100 undergraduate majors and 35 graduate students in the department. There are several computer labs available on campus. The Math Building has two computer labs with Maple, Mathematica, MATLAB, R and other specialized mathematical and statistical software.
The department typically has 5-8 active seminars going each semester. These seminars provide a substantial portion of the education for our Ph.D. students. An active colloquium series brings speakers to the department from around the country and the world. Several faculty members have written college level mathematics textbooks.
The undergraduate program in the department receives a great deal of attention from the faculty. Nearly all courses from Calculus and up are taught by regular full-time faculty members. Class sizes are kept reasonably small. Faculty members are easily available to undergraduate majors. Each year several seniors write senior theses under the guidance of faculty members. Undergraduates can participate in competitions such as the Putnam Exam and the Mathematical Contest in Modeling. Several undergraduates have participated in NSF-sponsored Undergraduate Research Programs (REUs) during the summer. Undergraduates have the opportunity to work as tutors in the department's Mathematics Learning Center and as monitors in the department's computer labs. Students receiving Bachelor's Degrees have become successful high school teachers, or pursued careers in industry or other fields. Many of the department's graduates continue on to do graduate work at mathematics departments around the country; many have completed doctoral degrees in a mathematical science. The department emphasizes good teaching at all levels; teaching assistants and part-time instructors are carefully supervised by faculty members. The department has a strong tutoring program that has been especially helpful for returning non-traditional students and minorities. The department takes very seriously its role as the provider of a wide variety of service courses at many different levels for non-math majors at the University of Montana.