Mar 23, 2018  
2012-2013 General Catalog 

Department of Mathematics

Department Information

Department Chair: Seth Armstrong
ELC 420 ~ (435) 865-8059

Administrative Assistant: Robin Archibald
ELC 423 ~ (435) 586-5448

Academic Advisor: Sharon Brown
Engineering and Technology Building 118 ~ (435) 586-5420

Advising Website:
College Website:
Department Website:

FacultyAssociate Professors: Seth Armstrong, Saïd Bahi, Sarah Brown, Eric Freden, Jianlong Han, Derek Hein, Martha Ann “Marty” Larkin, Andreas Weingartner;
Assistant Professors:
Jim Brandt, Jana Lunt, Gretchen Rimmasch, Chunlei Zhang;
Mark Meilstrup, Cecilia Weingartner

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science

Mathematics, Actuarial Science Emphasis 
Mathematics, Pure Mathematics Emphasis 
Mathematics Education, B.S. 


Mathematics, Actuarial Science Emphasis 
Mathematics, Pure Mathematics Emphasis 
Mathematics Education   

Overview of Programs

  1. All of our general education courses are offered every semester with sufficient sections to meet student needs. We assess student comprehension each semester and make changes to instruction according to this assessment.
  2. Students with Math ACT scores below fourteen (14) and/or older than two (2) years must take the Accuplacer Exam and follow its recommended placement. Students with Math ACT scores fourteen (14) or higher can choose to take Math 990 or can challenge this placement using the Accuplacer Exam. Students with no math ACT score or scores that are two (2) years or older must take the Accuplacer and follow its recommendation.
  3. Specific content requests are made by departments for the service courses we teach for their majors. We assess these courses each semester to make sure students are being provided with the content they need for success in their chosen field. The Mathematics Education major is designed to aid students in attaining the required mathematical and pedagogical knowledge to be effective secondary school teachers. Completion of the required mathematics content courses and education courses satisfies the requirement for Level-IV Endorsement in the state of Utah. Mathematical content knowledge is assessed through classroom performance and through the ETS Major Field Exam that shows mathematical proficiency at a minimum of the 25th percentile nationwide. Teaching effectiveness is assessed through observations and evaluations of a cooperating teacher in the secondary school, a supervising SUU Math professor, and a supervising Education professor.
  4. We require our majors to acquire skills that will prepare them for employment when they graduate. We require that they be able to demonstrate these skills in class and on a comprehensive subject examination, the ETS Major Field Exam, before graduation that shows mathematical proficiency at a minimum of the 25th percentile nationwide.
  5. Our majors take courses required for success on the GRE and for entry-level graduate courses. Specific data we keep includes: GRE scores of our graduates who take the exam, a record of those who enter graduate school and complete graduate degrees, and questionnaires administered at the time students take the ETS Major Field Exam.
  6. Mathematics provides many career opportunities and we seek to inform potential and current students of these options. Our recruiting efforts mainly focus on those students who come to SUU for the State Math Contest and participation in career and major fairs. We also are constantly looking for ways to increase scholarship offerings and provide excellent employment for students as graders, tutors and teaching assistants.
  7. Each declared Math or Math Education major is assigned a faculty mentor. Because we have relatively few majors assigned to each faculty mentor and small class size especially at the junior and senior level, we get to know our majors well and they will find friends among faculty members and student colleagues. We also encourage them to participate in research with faculty members and take them to professional venues, such as meetings for the regional section of the Mathematical Association of America, and encourage them to present their work or participate in other activities sponsored at these venues. We are constantly trying to improve teaching, both in rigor and effective lecturing. Students evaluate each class, faculty peers evaluate tenure-track faculty members each semester and each tenured faculty member yearly. We use these evaluations to identify areas where improvement is needed. Plans for improvements are summarized in Faculty Annual Activity Reports and progress on those plans for teaching improvement are monitored by the department chair and other evaluative entities

Math Course Placement

Remedial Math: MATH 0950 - Pre-Algebra  and MATH 0990 - Beginning Algebra  are offered through the University College. Students with questions about these classes can contact Development Math Coordinator, Susan Tait, at (435) 586-5441, in her office in the Sharwan Smith Center, Room 205K, or by email at

Other Math Courses: Before deciding on a Math course, a student should meet with his or her advisor to make sure of correct placement and that the course is needed for the degree sought. The SUU Catalog under “Course Descriptions” spells out prerequisites for each course. If a student wishes to challenge their course placement, due to the two-year State-mandated expiration of the prerequisite course or ACT score, or due too low of a grade in the prerequisite course, that student may take the Accuplacer Exam in the Testing Center. If the score on this test recommends the class the student wants to take, the score can be shown to the Registrar’s Office and the student will be allowed to register for the course. In other cases of challenging course placement, the department chair should be contacted. When the two-year expiration is an issue due to a prolonged, excused absence such as military or church service, often this prerequisite can be waived. No course placement, however, is guarantee of success in that course.

B.S. in Mathematics, Emphasis in Pure Mathematics
Recommended for students preparing for advanced studies in mathematics or employment in industry or business.

B.S. in Mathematics, Emphasis in Actuarial Science
Recommended for students preparing for careers as actuaries, a profession in demand by insurance and investment firms, banks, and government.

B.S. in Mathematics, Education
Recommended for students preparing to teach mathematics at the high school level. (Satisfies the requirement for the Utah State Board of Education Level IV Endorsement in mathematics.) There are also a number of school wide requirements listed in the catalog.


Not only does the Math Department serve future mathematicians, scientists, business strategists and engineers, but also future teachers of mathematics as well as those pursuing studies in the arts and humanities. Except for reading, no other skill is so highly valued across the breadth of professional society as those that mathematics is responsible to teach.

The Department of Mathematics is committed to offering a well-rounded academic program that will enhance the lives of those who take our courses. The demand for knowledge we offer is enormous in both industry and education. In secondary schools the two greatest shortages of qualified teachers across the nation are in mathematics and technology, and jobs outlooks rate mathematics as one of the highest needs of college graduates.

Math Department Program Goals

  1. To offer rigorous general education courses and their prerequisites. (Organizational effectiveness)
  2. To offer courses, as requested by departments whose majors we serve, that accommodate the needs and interests of their students. (Organizational effectiveness)
  3. To prepare Mathematics Education majors both with mathematical knowledge and teaching skills required for success in teaching careers and/or graduate work. (Student success)
  4. To prepare Mathematics majors for successful professional careers and/or graduate school. (Student success)
  5. To recruit quality students; to encourage them to reach their academic potential and guide them to completion of their program of study. (Student success)
  6. To recruit well-prepared, terminally degreed faculty; to encourage and reward excellent and rigorous teaching, scholarly activity and service to colleagues in the department and university. (Faculty and staff development)
  7. To provide scholarships and student employment opportunities to help financially support our majors who demonstrate solid academic performance. (Resources)

Department/Program Learning Outcomes

Mathematics and Mathematics Education majors should be able to:

  1. Use standard mathematical techniques to solve computational problems.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental mathematical concepts and results in the core content areas.
  3. Use content knowledge to solve applied and real-world mathematical problems.
  4. Communicate mathematics effectively using proper notation and terminology.
  5. Use logical reasoning to construct clear and concise mathematical proofs.

Other Information

Summary of Fields of Study

All courses to be counted in the major and minor (Mathematics and Mathematics Education) must be passed with a “C” or better. Students must pass an approved comprehensive exam in mathematics during their senior year.