The Mathematics Department kept the following goals in mind during the design and implementation of the RWU mathematics major:
- Our graduates should have the mathematical foundation they will need either to pursue careers in industry or government, or to enable further graduate or professional studies in mathematics, the sciences, or business.
- Our graduates should have the problem-solving and reasoning skills needed to apply standard mathematical tools and appropriate computing technologies successfully to problems arising in a variety of situations.
- Our graduates should be able to read, understand, and appreciate the aesthetic qualities of mathematical expositions involving definitions, theorems, and proofs, and additionally should be able to construct their own proofs in simple settings as well as critique proofs developed by others.
- Graduates should have content knowledge of the major sub-disciplines of mathematics such as algebra, analysis, and geometry, as well as an understanding of and appreciation for the distinction between pure and applied mathematics.
- The mathematics major should encourage its students to pursue studies in other disciplines, including double majors, by remaining as flexible as possible in its requirements in a manner consistent with other program goals.
More specifically, students who complete the mathematics major at RWU are expected to have the ability to:
- prove classical theorems at the appropriate level of rigor;
- reason mathematically;
- read mathematical texts and articles with understanding;
- write answers, proofs, and papers in appropriate mathematical style;
- use appropriate technology successfully;
- choose the correct technique from their repertoire to solve problems; and
- make inferences and generalizations.
In addition, they are expected to have developed an understanding of:
- the different areas of mathematical study and how at least some of them are applied in various fields,
- the importance of mathematics in our society,
- the problem solving process,
- the importance of academic integrity, and
- the uses and limitations of technology.
Additional goals for those students who are pursuing the degree in Secondary Mathematics Education include
- competence in the areas necessary for secondary education and
- an understanding of the role that the history of mathematics played in shaping the current subject.