Undergraduate Programs

Introduction

The reasons for getting your math degree from UAH are numerous. They include the quality of our nationally respected faculty; the department's size, which permits considerable individual help; the faculty's attitude, which puts teaching ahead of research in importance; flexible course options and a variety of specialties adaptable to career plans.

In addition to its academic standing in the scientific and technical communities, UAH also offers unique opportunities for undergraduate participation in research.

The UAH Mathematical Sciences Department offers both a B.A. and a B.S. degree in mathematics. Several options and areas of concentration are available. Whichever option is selected, its courses will prepare our graduates to enter the job market or to continue their studies at the graduate level at UAH or another of the nation's best colleges or universities.

Because we are student-oriented, scheduling is flexible. Courses are offered days and evenings, giving students the opportunity to attend school while working.

What do mathematicians do?

Mathematicians are employed in a wide range of careers in education, industry, and government.

A large number of mathematicians have teaching and research jobs in a variety of educational institutions.

In industry and government, mathematicians typically work with other scientists as part of a team, solving a variety of problems, such as translating mathematical problems into computational procedures, developing reasonable mathematical models to be used for predictions in economic and business situations, or designing mathematical models to predict the behavior of phenomena in a physical or a life science.

Mathematicians must be able to communicate effectively, so they can interpret problems and present technical results to people with limited mathematics training.

Career Opportunities in math

Mathematicians continue to be in high demand in most areas of employment. In coming years that demand is expected to increase. There is a distinct need in government and industry for statisticians and applied mathematicians. Industry also has realized that the analytical training and logical mind of the mathematician are very beneficial in all areas of business life.

Aside form traditional opportunities in math, major scientific advances in the past few decades have opened to mathematicians many new areas in business and industry, including actuarial science, biomedical mathematics, computer science, cryptography, econometrics, and mathematical linguistics. Nationally, the job outlook is good. Huntsville has many technical industries, so local opportunities for mathematics majors are even broader and more varied than usual.

Special programs for math students

  • Calculus Workshop. UAH's calculus workshop provides academic assistance to students at any level of calculus. No fee is charged and no grade is given. The workshop encourages students to work in groups on problems presented by graduate teaching assistants. Workshop participants get away from standard homework problems and see how math is used in the real world. This promotes teamwork, a sense of belonging to a community of math peers, and developing friendships which extend beyond the workshop.
  • Mathematics Learning Center. The MLC provides a free drop-in tutorial service for students taking algebra, geometry, and precalculus classes (numbered 000-121). The lab is open approximately 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. It is equipped with approximately 50 computers, which have math tutorial software, while individual help is given by graduate assistants.
  • Math Club. The UAH Math Club is very active. It is run by students, for students. Any student interested in math is welcome. Once a moth, the club sponsors a 35-45 minute social luncheon, during which a talk is given on math or a related topic. The can help students choose math career specializations. Club members provide free tutoring to other UAH students taking math courses. Volunteers also proctor contests and provide other help for math students in local public schools.
  • Competitions. UAH also fields teams in national math competitions. A UAH team placed in the top 30 percent in the prestigious 1993 Putnam Competition, ranking UAH alongside Harvard, MIT and the University of California, Berkeley.

Mathematical Sciences Faculty

There are approximately 20 full-time faculty members in the department, all dedicated to excellence in teaching and research. Their research interests include areas such as numerical analysis, statistics, probability, mathematical modeling, combinatorics, differential equations, graph theory, matrix theory, functional analysis, mathematical biology, and fluid dynamics. The results of faculty research frequently appear in well-known journals, and several faculty members are reviewers and editors of books and journals.

Students find that the department is small enough to provide a friendly and informal atmosphere, with a great deal of personal contact between faculty members and students. This personal approach allows a large degree of flexibility in the program.

Degree Requirements

Placement

No student may enroll in his or her first MA course at UAH before a placement determination has been made. Students are placed in an appropriate course (depending on major) based on their high school mathematics background, their ACT or SAT scores in mathematics, their previous college credit in mathematics (if any), or a placement test. Students usually begin with one of the following MA courses:

General Education Requirements

For a student majoring in an area of science or engineering, the initial sequence of math courses would typically be one of the following, depending on placement:

For a student majoring in administrative science, the initial sequence of math courses would typically be one of the following, depending on placement:

A student majoring in liberal arts would typically take one of the following courses, depending on placement:

A student majoring in nursing would typically take one of the following courses, depending on placement:

Mathematics Major

All majors in mathematics must include the following basic core courses (21 semester hours):

Only MA courses numbered 171 or above may be included in a mathematics major, and an overall average of C is required for all MA and ST courses that are included in a mathematics major. Information on other MA course requirements are given in Curricula I and II below. Students who think that substitutions in those curricula can produce a program better suited to their needs should consult their faculty advisor about the feasibility of such substitutions. All MA electives must be approved by the student's faculty advisor prior to registering for the courses. Majors in mathematics must also include the following computer science and physics courses:

  • CS 121
  • PH 111
  • PH 112
  • PH 114
  • PH 115

Mathematics Minor or Second Major

Students majoring in other academic areas who wish to minor in mathematics may select, in consultation with and approval of the mathematical sciences faculty, at least 21 semester hours of appropriate courses in mathematics, including 6 semester hours in courses numbered 300 or above. Only MA courses numbered 171 or above may be included in a mathematics minor, and an overall average of C is required for all UAH MA or ST courses that are included in a mathematics minor. A typical mathematics minor consists of

All minors must include MA 171 and MA 172.

Students majoring in other academic areas who wish to obtain a more solid background in mathematics than is provided by a minor may pursue a second major in mathematics rather than a minor in mathematics. The courses required for the second major are used to replace the minor courses and some of the free electives in the requirements for programs of study leading to a B.A. or B.S. degree.

Curriculum I

This curriculum leads to a BA or BS degree with a major in mathematics, and is appropriate for students planning careers in industry or graduate study in mathematics.

Courses Semester Hours 
MA Basic Core 21
MA 238, MA 442, MA 452, MA 465 12
MA elective number 300 or above, with at least one 500 level course 9
CS 102, CS 121 (GER Area V) 6
PH 111, PH 112, PH 114, PH 115 (GER Area III) 8
Minor 21-24
GER and Electives 62-65

Curriculum II

This curriculum leads to a BA or BS degree with a major in mathematics that meets the requirements for an Alabama Class B Middle/Junior High School Teacher's Certificate or an Alabama Class B High School Teacher's Certificate.

Courses Semester Hours
MA Basic Core 21
MA 433, MA 442, MA 452, MA 487 12
MA Electives number 300 or above, with at least one 500 level course 6
CS 102, CS 121 (GER Area V) 6
PH 111, PH 112, PH 114, PH 115 (GER Area III) 8
Professional Education Courses 33
GER and Electives 56 minimum

 

Notes:

  1. See Education Department section for general education requirements and professional education courses.
  2. Students pursuing this curriculum should consult with the Education Department early in their program. Education students are required to pass an exit examination in their teaching field in order to graduate and be recommended for certification.
  3. Students who elect this curriculum may not be adequately prepared for graduate study in mathematics.
  4. This curriculum may require more than the minimum total of 128 hours.

Curriculum III

This curriculum is restricted to students who are pursuing a double major in mathematics and another discipline in the College of Science, or a dual degree with a major in mathematics and a second major in a discipline in the College of Engineering or the College of Administrative Science. This curriculum prepares students for careers in industry.

Courses Semester Hours
MA Basic Core 21
MA 238 3
One approved analysis course (MA 415, MA 452, MA 460, MA 503) 3
One approved algebra course (MA 442, MA 508, MA 540) 3
MA Electives number 300 or above, with at least one 500 level course 9
CS 102, CS 121 (GER Area V) 6
PH 111, PH 112, PH 114, PH 115 (GER Area III) 8
GER and Electives 39 minimum

 

Notes:

  1. The MA electives must be pre-approved by the student's mathematics advisor.
  2. If the student elects to take neither MA 442 nor MA 452, then an additional 500 level course is required
  3. If the student's other major is not in the College of Science, then normally the general education requirements of the College of Science must be satisfied, as well as the GER of the other college. With the approval of the Dean of the College of Science, some substitutions in the College of Science GER may be allowed.
  4. This curriculum may require more than the minimum total of 128 hours.

Appropriate Minors for Mathematics Major

A student who majors in mathematics must have a minor. The student is strongly encouraged to select a minor in science or engineering. Typically, such student minors in computer science, physics, chemistry, or engineering, but other options are available. Any minor must include at least 21 hours in one discipline, with a minimum of 6 hours at 300- level or above. All courses in a minor must be approved by the department concerned and the student's mathematics faculty advisor.


For more information, please contact

Dr. Jia Li
Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences

258A Shelby Center
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama 35899, USA

Voice: (256) 824-6470
Fax: (256) 824-6173

mathchair@math.uah.edu