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Mathematics

  • John Ong, department head
    Don Bredder, Joseph Johnson, Christy Lowery-Carter,  Rebecca Williams

    The mathematics curriculum at Mary Baldwin emphasizes the development of a student’s ability to think and engage in the process of problem solving.  Techniques associated with logic, analysis, data manipulation, computing, pedagogy and the understanding of mathematical structures are taught.  Students will be exposed to both pure and applied mathematics, gaining analytical and practical skills necessary for succeeding in industry, as a classroom teacher, or in graduate school.

    This major requires a substantial portion of the coursework to be completed at the Staunton campus.

  • Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics

    35 semester hours
    MATH 211
    MATH 212
    MATH 231
    MATH 301
    MATH 302
    MATH 306
    MATH 322
    MATH 398
    MATH 401
    And additional courses in Math above the 100-level to total 35 s.h.

    Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

    50 semester hours
    All of the requirements listed for the BA, plus the following:
    PHYS 201
    PHYS 202
    One of MATH 233, 234, 304, or 398 Real Analysis, not counted in the BA.
    One other 200-level laboratory science course.

    Requirements for the Minor in Mathematics

    20 semester hours
    MATH 211
    MATH 212
    MATH 231
    And additional courses in Math above the 100-level to total 20 s.h.

    Program in Applied Mathematics
    Please see Applied Mathematics

    Recommended Programs

    For teachers of mathematics:
    MATH 156, MATH 157, MATH 211, MATH 212, MATH 221, MATH 231, MATH 233, MATH 301, MATH 302, MATH 306, MATH 322, MATH 398, MATH 401 and a teaching assistantship in mathematics. Students in this program should also apply to be math tutors at the College.

    For graduate study in mathematics:
    MATH 211, MATH 212, MATH 221, MATH 231, MATH 233, MATH 301, MATH 302, MATH 304, MATH 306, MATH 311, MATH 322, MATH 370, MATH 398 in both the junior and senior year, MATH 401. Students in this program should also apply to be math tutors at the College.

    For graduate study in statistics:
    MATH 211, MATH 212, MATH 231, MATH 233, MATH 234, MATH 301, MATH 302, MATH 304, MATH 306, MATH 311, MATH 322, MATH 370, MATH 398, MATH 401.

  • 130 Basic Mathematical Concepts (3 s.h.)
    This course is a review of basic mathematical concepts. It is not open to any student who has scored 480 or higher on the MATH SAT, scored 19 or higher on the MATH ACT or passed a college level math course. MATH 130 does not fulfill the quantitative reasoning requirement of the Common Curriculum.

    155 Mathematics in Contemporary Society (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Students will investigate mathematical topics in relationship to life in contemporary society. The course will emphasize quantitative reasoning in the context of applications, focusing on mathematical modeling and critical analysis of real-world problems. Topics to be covered may include basic probability and statistics, mathematical modeling, finance, voting and appointment, and logic. Supplemental topics may be introduced depending on the interests of students enrolled in the course.

    156 Numeration and Algebra for Teachers (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Students enrolled in this course will investigate the core mathematics related to numeration, mathematical operations, and algebra as taught in elementary and middle schools.  Emphasizing depth of understanding, this course focuses on building diverse mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills, and on identifying and applying appropriate pedagogical strategies for teaching mathematics at the elementary level.  The Virginia Standards of Learning for grades K-8 will be addressed, as will standards promoted by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  MATH 156 satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement of the Common Curriculum. *Prerequisite: MSAT 480 or MATH 130, or a Q course. Fall semester.

    157 Geometry and Measurement for Teachers (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Students enrolled in this course will investigate Euclidean geometry, axiomatic systems, and deductive reasoning, along with selected topics in measurement, probability and statistics.  The emphasis will be on open exploration, visualization, analysis, reasoning and conjecture.  Educational software will be used extensively to investigate topics in this course.  MATH 157 satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement of the Common Curriculum. *Prerequisite:  MSAT 480 or MATH 130, or a Q course. Spring semester.

    159 College Algebra (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Students are provided with a background in algebra appropriate for the application of mathematics to disciplines and for further study in mathematics. Topics include equations and inequalities, functions and graphs, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and systems of equations. Emphasis is on logical analysis, deductive reasoning, and problem solving. *Prerequisite: MSAT 480 or MACT 19, or MATH 130 or the 130 exemption exam.

    171 Precalculus with Trigonometry (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Algebraic, trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions are explored. The main emphasis will be on developing trigonometric functions and their properties, since they play an indispensable role in the modeling of physical phenomena and in the study of calculus. Included is a Derive software project on modeling and problem solving. *Prerequisite: MATH 159 or equivalent.

    211, 212 Introduction to Calculus and Analytic Geometry I, II (4 s.h. each) (Q)
    MATH 211 is required for mathematics majors and recommended for majors in the sciences and economics. We treat the basic concepts of differential calculus and its applications, including limits, continuity, differentiation, the chain rule, the mean-value theorem, optimization problems, antiderivatives, and the fundamental theorem of calculus. *Prerequisite: MATH 171.

    MATH 212 develops the concept of the definite integral and its applications. Integration of transcendental functions, integration techniques, L’Hopital’s Rule, and improper integrals are covered. We complete the course with infinite series and the Taylor Polynomials.*Prerequisite: MATH 211.

    221 History of Mathematics (3 s.h.) (Q)
    This course will examine the development of mathematics using a blend of chronological and thematic approaches.  Major topics include the conceptual and axiomatic development of numeracy, geometry, algebra, and calculus, with particular focus on Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, and the development of mathematical reasoning and proof throughout history.  Students will explore the contributions of significant individuals in the history of mathematics, and will investigate contemporary mathematical topics as they relate to the major themes of the course. *Prerequisite: MATH 211 or permission of instructor. Alternate years.

    231 Discrete Mathematical Structures (3 s.h.) (Q)
    This is an introduction to techniques of theoretical mathematics. We will explore logic, truth tables, deductive proof and the principle of mathematical induction. Algorithms, algebraic structures, discrete probability, counting methods, relations, and graph theory are also covered. Some of the topics have substantial application to computer science. *Prerequisite: MATH 211. Fall semester.

    233 Statistical Methods and Theory I (3 s.h.) (Q)
    An introduction to applied statistics and theory. Topics include measures of central tendency, discrete and continuous random variables, Normal distributions, Binomial distributions, sampling distributions and the Central Limit Theorem, probability, correlation and regression, producing data from sampling and experiments, hypothesis testing using the z, t, chi-square, and F distributions, confidence intervals, and analysis of variance. The statistical software package SPSS will be used to illustrate the material presented. *Prerequisite: B or better in INT 222 and MATH 159, PSYC 250, or MATH 211.

    234 Statistical Methods and Theory II (3 s.h.) (Q)
    A second course in applied statistics and theory. Topics include analysis of variance, multiple linear regression, and nonparametric statistical methods. The statistical software package SPSS will be used to illustrate the material presented. *Prerequisite: MATH 233. Offered as needed.

    252 Problem Solving Seminar (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Students are presented with quantitative problems and asked to find methods of solution. They present those methods informally to the seminar group. Some real-world problems from business or industry are considered. Content varies from year to year. *Prerequisites: MATH 212, MATH 231. Offered as needed.

    301 Multivariable Calculus I (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Students are introduced to vectors and the calculus of vector-valued functions. Multivariable functions are then defined and studied. Topics include continuity, partial derivatives, directional derivatives, optimization, and integration of multivariable functions. A computer algebra system, such as MAPLE, may be used. *Prerequisites: MATH 212. Fall semester.

    302 Multivariable Calculus II (3 s.h.) (Q)
    The second semester further explores integration of multivariable functions. This includes change of variables, integration of vector fields, and the fundamental theorems: Stoke’s Theorem and The Divergence Theorem. Proofs will be encouraged and a computer algebra system, such as MAPLE , may be used. *Prerequisite: MATH 301. Spring semester.

    304 Numerical Analysis and Computing (3 s.h.) (Q)
    This course surveys the techniques and algorithms of numerical computing, numerical solution of algebraic equations and differential equations, interpolation, approximation, and iteration theory, numerical differentiation and numerical integration, error analysis, stability and convergence of solutions. The computer algebra system Maple is used. *Prerequisite: MATH 301. Alternate years.

    306 Ordinary Differential Equations (3 s.h.) (Q)
    This is the study of the theory and methods of initial value problems of first and second order equations as well as systems of first order linear equations with constant coefficients. Methods such as integrating factors, undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters and the linearization of nonlinear problems will be covered. Uniqueness and existence questions will be discussed. Differential equations is a powerful modeling tool and can be applied to diverse areas of study including environmental and population studies, radioactive decay, fluid flow, epidemiology and much of engineering. Students will be required to make a presentation in their area of interest. *Prerequisite: MATH 212 or equivalent. Alternate years.

    311 Probability and Distribution Theory (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Sample-point and event-composition methods for calculating the probability of an event; Bayes’ rule; the binomial, geometric, hypergeometric and Poisson probability distributions; mathematical expectations; moment-generating functions; Tchebysheff’s theorem; continuous random variables and their probability distributions; multivariate probability distributions; and functions of random variables. This course is recommended for students planning to work in industry. *Prerequisites: MATH 212. Offered as needed.

    322 Linear Algebra (3 s.h.) (Q)
    This class develops the theory of vector spaces and its underlying relevance to matrices and systems of linear equations. Topics include the vector space Rn, abstract vector spaces, elementary operations and systems of linear equations, linear transformations, and eigenvectors and eigenvalues. Emphasis is on providing a bridge from the intuitive developments of lower level courses to the more rigorous abstract courses in mathematics. All students will be required to make a presentation on an application area. *Prerequisites: MATH 211 and 231. Alternate years.

    370 Colloquium in Mathematics (3 s.h.) (Q)
    Selected topics in higher-level mathematics are offered which are not among our regular courses. The list below reflects the knowledge and expertise of the current faculty and are typical courses in an undergraduate curriculum. The colloquium is also used to introduce students to potential research areas. Topics include: Abstract Algebra II, Real Analysis II, Topology, Fourier Analysis, Complex Analysis, Mathematical Modeling, Partial Differential Equations, Women in Mathematics, Mathematics Pedagogy, Introduction to Functional Analysis, Partially Ordered Groups, Graph Theory, and Engineering Mathematics. Alternate years or through directed inquiry.

    398 Abstract Algebra I or Real Analysis I (3 s.h. each) (Q)
    MATH 398 alternates between abstract algebra one year and real analysis the next. Both courses develop mathematical maturity through the use of intuition, deductive logic and mathematical analysis. Abstract algebra studies the structures of axiomatic mathematical systems such as groups, rings and fields. Real analysis develops the mathematical techniques necessary to understand the real line as well as functions on the reals. MATH 398 may be repeated for credit and all students who plan to attend graduate school in Mathematics must take both courses. *Prerequisites: MATH 302 and MATH 322. Fall semester.

    401 Senior Seminar (3 s.h.) (M)
    MATH 401 provides the structure under which students complete their senior research projects. Students must sign up for 1 s.h. of Senior Seminar in the fall and 2 s.h. of Senior Seminar in the spring of their senior year. Each student completes a faculty-approved research project, writes a senior paper based on the results, and presents the results to the mathematics faculty. The student is required to write a paper and pass an oral examination on the theory related to her research area, as well as propose her research project in the fall. She will perform her research in the spring semester, and defend her senior research project paper when done. This requirement applies to Adult Degree Program students as well. *Prerequisite: MATH 398.

    Note: Directed inquiries, teaching assistantships, and internships are arranged on an individual basis. Internships and teaching assistantships may include service-oriented work in the community for fulfilling civic engagement requirements.