Mathematics students at Montana Western learn to solve difficult problems through calculated, logical thinking.
Experience One allows the time needed for students to truly focus on the endless complexity of mathematics. When students take a math course at Montana Western, they participate in the authentic, real-world practice of mathematics in ways they would not on most other campuses, even in some graduate programs.
This degree provides students with the educational background and research experience in either pure or applied mathematics to obtain employment in a variety of mathematics fields as well as prepare students for graduate school. Majors include:
This degree prepares students to teach mathematics in middle school or high school.
Here are just two great examples of mathematics courses at Montana Western. For a full course selection, please see the current catalog.
In this course the student will study the development and properties of number systems. This includes the study of the real numbers and algorithms that use them. It also includes the study of number sequences and number patterns.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be familiar with deductive and inductive reasoning and with the axioms and theorems of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries and the historical context in which they came about. The student should exhibit competence in performing geometric constructions both by hand and with the aid of computer software, in proving geometric theorems in both Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, and in solving a variety of problems based upon the geometric properties studied.
A degree in mathematics from Montana Western will prepare students for a career as:
Debbie Seacrest has enjoyed teaching and getting to know students at Montana Western since arriving here in 2011. She is interested in fostering improved mathematical writing skills through writing assignments as well as using projects to connect mathematics to other disciplines. Her research background includes using games as a teaching tool to let students discover mathematical ideas organically, and she strives to use these ideas in her own classroom. She is also interested in graph theory and its relationships with other areas of mathematics.
Elizabeth Covington taught elementary school for 15 years before obtaining her master’s degree in mathematics. At Montana Western she teaches courses in basic algebra, trigonometry and calculus. Covington holds a bachelor's degree in art, and her paintings are exhibited locally.
Eric Dyreson sees the biological world through the lens of mathematics. He encourages his students to gather and analyze their own data and write their own computer models. Dyreson's classrooms embody the true spirit of Experience One. His biomathematics students have presented their original work at the Montana Academy of Sciences and performed field research in Beaverhead National Forest and Yellowstone National Park.
Eric Wright has been teaching mathematics at Montana Western since 2005 and is interested in helping students experience math by facilitating hands-on projects. Some of the direct-contact projects Wright and his students participate in include creating computer-aided surveying techniques for caves; modeling the formation of calcite rimstone dams; and studying reactive influences upon Taylor dispersion. Wright is also intrigued by cryptology and has taught a class studying classical cryptology.
Mike Walker has been a part of the math department since 2008. He works to ensure all of his students leave his classes with a better understanding and appreciation of math. Walker feels that critical thinking and reasoning skills taught in math courses are essential and valuable to all students. He enjoys solving all kinds of problems, as well as numerical analysis and optimization.
Tyler Seacrest has taught at the University of Montana Western since 2011. He enjoys working with students at all levels. For freshman and sophomore courses, he uses hands-on activities to make mathematics more concrete, and he is interested in making mathematics research accessible to junior and senior level students. His research area is discrete mathematics, especially graph theory, a subject with a strong history of undergraduate research.
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