The instructional mission of the Mathematics Department is threefold. First, the major program is designed to prepare its students for successful careers in secondary education and other areas requiring a strong foundation in mathematics, or for success at the graduate level, either in mathematics or a related discipline. The degree is intended to familiarize students with a wide range of areas within the field of mathematics, and to instill in them an appreciation for the rigor and structure of the discipline. Second, the Math Department provides extensive support to those departments requiring mathematics content for their majors, particularly those in the Natural Sciences. Third, the Department services non-science majors by offering a limited selection of courses that are designed to introduce the students to the fundamental concepts that constitute classical and contemporary mathematics.
Visit the Mathematics website at http://hilo.hawaii.edu/~math/.
The Mathematics program is designed to give the undergraduate a broad background in modern mathematics and its applications. The upper-division mathematics courses represent a core leading to further work in mathematics or mathematically related areas or careers in mathematics education. Applications may be pursued in such areas as systems theory, graph theory, number theory, statistics, and geometry, which are widely used in computer science, business, and the physical, life, and social sciences. Students majoring in other fields whose interests require a strong background in mathematics can minor in mathematics.
The B.A. in Mathematics is offered through two tracks, the Traditional and the Teaching track. Each track requires two years of calculus and one semester each of discrete math and linear algebra. The traditional track includes one-year sequences in the classical areas of modern algebra and real analysis, and students completing this track are particularly well prepared for graduate study. The teaching track includes a one-year sequence in probability and statistics, consistent with recent National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards, as well as one semester each in real analysis, geometry, and modern algebra. Students completing this broad curriculum are well prepared to teach all areas of intermediate and secondary math.
As a result of having majored in mathematics, students are expected to develop:
- A general understanding of the different areas of mathematics and how they interrelate, and the importance of mathematics in a scientifically-oriented society;
- Classical theorem-proving skills, which include the ability to reason mathematically and to apply the rigor necessary to construct proofs;
- A refined understanding of the problem-solving process;
- The ability to independently develop and deliver all pre-college math curriculum, if the professional goal is teaching;
- A working knowledge of technology appropriate to the field;
- The skills necessary to
- Read, write, translate, and articulate mathematically-related material,
- Solve problems using a variety of techniques, including algebraic, numerical, and spatial reasoning through visualization (e.g. graphically),
- Make inferences and generalizations.
All lower-division mathematics courses (except MATH 199V and 299V) satisfy the CAS General Education “quantitative and logical reasoning” requirements. Students who have fulfilled this General Education requirement should have developed an appreciation for the applicability of mathematical concepts and techniques to contemporary society.
The Math Tutoring Lab is a free walk-in lab, offering all students in introductory math courses through first-year calculus the opportunity to get one-on-one tutoring from qualified peer tutors. The lab not only provides student clientele the opportunity to get help outside their classes from peers at convenient hours, it provides tutors pursuing careers in math education an excellent opportunity to hone their teaching skills with help from professional math faculty, and it offers a convenient and friendly place for math students and others to meet, study together, and socialize.
The Math Department also sponsors the UH Hilo Math Club. The Math Club is a social club that offers Math majors and other students interested in math an opportunity to gather and participate in fun activities such as pizza parties, training for math competitions, or viewing math related videos such as “A Beautiful Mind.”
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