Sherry Ettlich, Chair
|| Associate Professor
|| Assistant Professor
|| Emeritus Faculty
||John J. Engelhardt
John D. Whitesitt
| Dusty E. Sabo
All mathematics courses are designed to improve students’ abilities to think, analyze, and communicate, and, in particular, to use mathematics to express, define, and answer questions about the world. The bachelor’s degree program nurtures these abilities while building a solid base in mathematics—a combination highly valued by business, government, industry, and graduate programs in a variety of fields.
The department’s primary concern is the development of each student’s confidence in using mathematical ideas, approaches, and exposition. Key coursework hones the learner’s abilities to critically understand and use mathematics. One of the program goals is to make direct connections between mathematics and the contemporary environment.
Mathematics Placement Testing
Prerequisites and Mathematics Placement Testing
The SOU computer system checks prerequisites when processing a student’s request to register for a mathematics course. Students must have a C- or better in the prerequisite course or an appropriate SOU mathematics placement level to register. On rare occasions, a student may have a reasonable substitution for the stated prerequisite that is not recognized by the computer system. In those situations, the student should see the Mathematics Department Chair for clearance before trying to register for the course.
Placement Based on Transfer Coursework
Transfer coursework in mathematics is regularly reviewed and used for placement. Placement levels based on transfer coursework never expire. However, if several years have elapsed since completing the transfer course, students may need to review the material before continuing their studies. Students are encouraged to talk with a mathematics faculty member about options for refreshing prior coursework.
Placement Based on Testing
A variety of testing options are available. Students are encouraged to complete their first mathematics course during their first year at SOU. Waiting too long can be problematic since placement levels based on testing will expire two years from the date of the test.
• SOU offers an adaptive, computerized mathematics placement test. Testing is available in conjunction with registration and orientation activities throughout the year. Students may retake the placement test to improve their scores. Contact Academic Support Programs to find out when upcoming placement testing sessions are scheduled in Ashland or contact the Higher Education Center to see when testing is available in Medford.
• Students may be placed into entry-level courses based on recent SATM or ACTM test scores. This option will not place a student higher than Precalculus I (Mth 111). If a student has a strong mathematics background from high school, s/he is encouraged to take the SOU mathematics placement test to assure placement at the appropriate level.
• Recent placement test results from other accredited colleges and universities are also accepted, provided the Mathematics Department can interpret and apply those results to SOU’s offerings. Students interested in this option should arrange for the institution to send the Mathematics Department Chair notification of (1) the placement test used, (2) the date of the test, (3) the score(s) earned, and (4) where that institution would place the student based on his/her scores.
If there are questions about placement or testing options, the Mathematics Department encourages students to meet with a mathematics faculty member for individual advising.
Curriculum for Nonmajors
The lower division curriculum offers a variety of choices for nonmajors. Consult your advisor or the Mathematics Department to select courses that match your background and goals.
Students wanting a solid statistics core should consider MTH 243 and MTH 244 or the Statistics Minor .
Liberal arts majors wanting a solid mathematics core should consider MTH 251 , MTH 252 , MTH 261 , MTH 290 , and MTH 311 .
Prospective elementary, and middle school teachers should take MTH 211 , 212 , 213 .
Prospective elementary, middle school, and high school teachers who want to explore additional topics in mathematics education should consider MTH 481 and MTH 581 courses.
Physical science majors should consult their advisors and consider MTH 251 , 252 , 253 , 261 , 281 , 290 , 321 , 361 , 421 , and 461 .
For majors with no specific math requirement, recommendations include MTH 105 , 158 , or 243 . Students interested in exploring the basis of calculus should take MTH 111 , 112 , then 251 , 252 , and 290 .
Majors in any discipline who would like substantial training in applied mathematics can choose from blocks of courses in applied mathematics (MTH 321 , and 421 ) and probability and statistics (MTH 361 , and 461 ).
Choosing a Major
Students who wish to major in mathematics should see the department chair to sign up for the major and be assigned an advisor for help with academic and career planning.
All majors take a common core of courses that includes two important coordinating courses: Mathematical Perspectives (MTH 290), which introduces prospective majors to the scope and role of mathematics in the world, and the Senior Colloquium (MTH 490), which helps graduating seniors integrate the diverse elements of their mathematics studies. Majors develop a common knowledge base and maturity in the study of mathematics, with topics courses providing senior-level studies in important areas of mathematics.
Transfer students will have full junior standing in the mathematics major if they transfer in the following courses: an introductory statistics course, a full year of single-variable calculus, and one term of linear algebra.
Academic Support for Mathematics Students
Mathematics Tutoring Center
The Mathematics Department offers tutoring in the Hannon Library as part of the Learning Commons. The Mathematics Tutoring Center is a great place to work on mathematics homework. Tutors circulate among the students in the center, assisting students as questions arise.
Mathematics tutoring is free of charge to any student enrolled in an SOU mathematics course. Tutors are available weekdays, evenings and weekends during the academic year, and weekdays during the 8-week summer session. The tutoring schedule varies from term to term. See Academic Support Programs for the current term’s schedule.
What do you do with a mathematics degree? What kind of jobs can you get? These questions an more can be answered in a one-on-one career counseling session. Sign up at the Mathematics Department Office.
Jobs for Mathematics Students
The Mathematics Department hires tutors and graders for a variety of mathematics courses. Students interested in tutoring should pick up an application from the reception desk in Academic Support Programs. Students interested in grading should pick up an application in the Mathematics Department Office. Students do not need to be mathematics majors, but should have a good mathematics background in the areas they wish to tutor or grade. Normally some coursework beyond the course(s) they will tutor or grade is expected.
In addition, Academic Support Programs provides a tutor-for-hire list for individuals interested in private tutors. Students and community members interested in advertising on this list should contact the Mathematics Department Office.
The Mathematics Department is a member of the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. These organizations are actively committed to advancing mathematics and maintaining the currency of college mathematics programs. The Mathematics Department is also a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Teachers of Teachers of Mathematics. These organizations are actively committed to the improvement of mathematics education in the schools.
The department is committed to using technology to enhance student learning. The Computing Services lab is equipped with software specific to mathematics coursework.
The Harry S. Kieval Memorial Mathematics Education Laboratory is well stocked with materials available for use by regional educators, pre-professional education students, and students in mathematics education courses.
Located near faculty offices, the Mathematics Study Room provides a space where students may gather regularly to study and socialize. It is equipped with lockers, three computer stations, printer, study tables, white boards, reference books, couch, refrigerator, microwave and a variety of other items.
Students who would like to teach math at the middle school or high school level in Oregon public schools must complete specific course requirements in mathematics before applying for admission to the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at SOU. Interested students should consult the department chair regarding mathematics requirements and the assignment of an advisor, and the School of Education regarding admission requirements for the MAT program.
Students must prepare in advance to increase their chances of acceptance into this competitive program. Practica, internships, and/or volunteer experiences working with students in the public schools are required prior to application to the MAT program.
Students who wish to teach mathematics at the high school level in Oregon public schools need an Advanced Mathematics Endorsement. The specific course requirements in mathematics are roughly equivalent to the mathematics major at SOU, with three 300-level courses and four 400-level courses. These courses should be completed before applying for admission to the MAT program at SOU. Contact the Mathematics Department chair to obtain the current course listing and a mathematics advisor. All SOU mathematics majors meet these requirements, provided they select the MTH 481 courses for their applied area.
Students who would like to teach mathematics at the middle school level in Oregon public schools should pursue an Advanced Mathematics Endorsement (described above) or a Basic Mathematics Endorsement. The specific course requirements for the Basic Mathematics Endorsement include 27 credits in mathematics and coursework applicable to both intermediate and middle school teaching. The elementary/middle school licensure requires 12 of these credits (MTH 211 , 212 , and 213 ). The SOU Basic Mathematics Endorsement requires an additional 15 credits (MTH 481 /581 courses). These courses should be completed before applying for admission to the MAT program. Students completing these courses as part of the undergraduate degree at SOU are eligible for a minor in mathematics education. Contact the Mathematics Department chair to obtain the current course listing and a mathematics advisor.