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Mathematics Department

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Mathematics Major & Minor
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Mission Statement

The Mathematics Department of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University strives for excellence in mathematics education and inquiry, which includes understanding the nature and structure of mathematics, its processes and applications. We strive for a supportive learning community which is intellectually challenging to students and faculty.

In the context of the liberal arts tradition at these institutions, the teaching activities of the department reflect its commitment to educating undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds and goals, and to making our expertise as professional mathematicians and educators available to the larger community.

The department emphasizes for all its students a conceptual understanding of mathematics together with problem solving and analytical thinking skills. The department seeks to keep both faculty and students abreast of new developments in mathematics, including technological innovation and curricular reform.

The Department is strongly committed to giving its majors a solid and broad-based mathematical foundation that helps prepare them for a variety of careers as well as graduate study in mathematics. The learning goals for the mathematics major are:

Goal 1. Students [in all our courses, including majors] will have a basic understanding of some area of mathematics and the modes of inquiry appropriate to that area.

a) Students will know the fundamental concepts and techniques of that area.

b) Students will develop and practice problem-solving and analytical thinking skills.

c) Students will appreciate the practical value of mathematics.

d) Students will appreciate the aesthetic, historical and philosophical dimensions of mathematics.

Goal 2. Students will be conversant with the content and structure of some major areas of classical and modern mathematics at the depth appropriate for undergraduates.

a) Students will know the fundamental concepts, definitions and theorems of classical analysis and modern and linear algebra.

b) Students will know the fundamental concepts, definitions, theorems and applications of at least one other area of mathematics.

Goal 3. Students will understand and practice the processes and skills which are used to justify and produce and communicate mathematical ideas.

a) Students will use technology to investigate and solve mathematical questions, as is appropriate.

b) Students will understand the logical structure of proofs, and be able to use a variety of proof techniques to construct convincing mathematical arguments.

c) Students will develop and practice a variety of problem-solving techniques.

d) Students will communicate mathematical ideas effectively.