Mathematics Department Office: NSM A124
Business Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-noon & 1-5pm
Center for Mathematics and Science
Education: NSM A115
Mathematics is about number operations and algebra, motion and change (calculus and differential equations), logical analysis, scientific visualization, structure and geometry, the prediction of random events (probability), the extraction of useful information from large sets of data (statistics), the discovery of the best ways to do things (optimization). It is abstract and theoretical, and intensely down-to-earth and practical, all at the same time.
The mathematics major and minor prepare students for exciting and rewarding work in industry, careers in teaching, and for advanced post-baccalaureate study. Our calculus, differential equations, analysis, and probability and statistics courses enable science students to analyze data and predict outcomes in static and dynamic situations. Our foundations, discrete math and algebra courses give students the tools they need for rigorous logical and structural analysis and a deep conceptual understanding of quantitative situations. Our mathematics education courses prepare students to be outstanding teacher leaders with a deep knowledge of mathematics and the best practices in teaching. Our general education courses give the general student the mathematical background she or he needs to function in life as an educated and informed citizen in an increasingly quantitative and data-driven world.
The Mathematics Department makes every effort to offer its courses at times that are convenient for students. Courses in the mathematics option of the major are generally offered in the morning. Courses in the mathematics education option of the major and Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics are generally offered at night to accommodate the needs of working students.
The Chancellor's Office of the California State University maintains an extensive "math success website" at http://csumathsuccess.org/. It presents a lot of helpful information about the ELM requirement, practice materials for the ELM test, etc. Please consult this website for information about meeting the ELM requirement.
All California State University undergraduates must demonstrate a reasonable level of proficiency in high school mathematics before they can enroll in college-level mathematics classes. The details of this Entry Level Mathematics ("ELM") Requirement are spelled out in the University Catalog and on the Testing Office Webpage. Students may fulfill the ELM requirement by passing the ELM Test, or by achieving a sufficiently high score on the Math SAT or ACT exam, or by passing approved courses at a college or university. Students may take the ELM test more than once to improve their scores. Please contact the Testing Office to register for the ELM Test or contact the University Advisement Center (310)243-3538 to find out more about the ELM requirement.
The CSU also offers an Early Start progam that enables students who need help in math or English to begin their work during the summer. Find out more at the Early Start website.
Undergraduate students who do not satisfy the ELM requirement are placed in our remedial math classes MAT 003 or MAT 009. These classes review the math that students need know in order to succeed in our general education math classes MAT 105 and MAT 131.
You may download an ELM Problem Book to test your high school math skills and prepare for the ELM Test before you take it. (It's a big file -- over two megabytes -- so it may take a little while to download. Please be patient.) The practice test begins on page eight of the Problem Book. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin to read the practice test. Most modern home computers already have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, but if you do not you may download it free of charge from http://www.adobe.com/downloads.html.
Undergraduate students may prepare for a career teaching mathematics in high school or middle school by completing an approved Subject Matter Preparation Program. Completion of such a program is the first step toward meeting the state's requirements for a teaching credential. Interested students should consult a faculty advisor for current information about the requirements for the Subject Matter Preparation Program. To schedule an appointment with an advisor please contact Ms. Sheila Wood at (310)243-2203 or visit our Center for Mathematics and Science Education on the California State University campus in the NSM building, room A115.
Links to information regarding testing, credential requirements, etc. are available on the document "How to Become a Math Teacher".
The Masters Program in the Teaching of Mathematics is especially designed to enhance the skills of secondary school mathematics teachers. Interested students should consult the University Catalog for more information and requirements for admission, or contact Ms. Sheila Wood at (310)243-2203 or visit our Center for Mathematics and Science Education on the California State University campus in the NSM building, room A115.
The Center for Mathematics and Science Education houses several grant-funded projects that are working to improve mathematics and science instruction in local schools. Center faculty consult with teachers and administrators at school sites and bring groups of teachers, administrators, and students to our campus for meetings, summer institutes, and collaborative projects throughout the year.
See our official Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes [PDF], now online.
The undergraduate mathematics major provides students with a strong foundation in mathematics, preparing them for success in graduate study, professional careers in business, industry, and government, and teaching. Graduates from our program have developed a high level of skill in the theory and techniques of modern mathematical analysis: calculus of one and several variables, linear and abstract algebra, discrete mathematics, probability and statistics. They have internalized a habit of logical analysis and rigorous, abstract thinking and are able to apply their mathematical skills to solve theoretical and applied problems. Prospective teachers are prepared to explain and illustrate, in an interesting and engaging way, the techniques of mathematics and how mathematics is used in modern society. All students have an overall appreciation of mathematics as a discipline and a sense of the contributions mathematics has made to the advance of scientific knowledge and the improvement of human life.
The Master of Arts in the Teaching of Mathematics program broadens and strengthens the mathematical knowledge and skills of high school and middle school mathematics teachers, introduces them to up to date techniques and results of research in mathematics education, teaches them effective and research based mathematics teaching methods, introduces them to mathematics education as a discipline, and prepares them to serve as teacher leaders who will spearhead efforts to improve mathematics instruction in our schools.
The success of our mathematics program is reflected in our students' mastery of course material, in the success of our Bachelor's program graduates in pursuing careers in graduate study, education, industry, and government, in the success of our Master's program graduates as teacher leaders who affect improvement in mathematics instruction in their schools, and in students' general level of satisfaction with the program.
Mastery of course material is measured by performance on tests, projects, assignments and/or portfolios.
Students' success after graduation is measured by surveying students who have graduated from our program, their graduate directors and advisors, their administrators and colleagues, and employers.
Students' satisfaction with our program is measured by looking at trends in enrollments and surveying current students and graduates from the program.