# MATHEMATICS

BACHELOR OF ARTS

The Mathematics Major prepares students for careers in secondary mathematics education and for further graduate study in mathematics, statistics, and related disciplines. It also combines well as a secondary major with any area, especially science, business, computer systems, and intelligence studies.

After completion of the bachelor's degree in mathematics, students interested in secondary education may enroll in the one-year Master of Science: Pedagogy and Practice program here at the University and earn a master's degree along with teaching certification.

MATH 170 Calculus I

MATH 171 Calculus II

MATH 150 Linear Algebra

MATH 233 Calculus III

MATH 265 Transition to Advanced Mathematics

Plus two additional electives from among the following:

MIS 126 Programming I

MIS 190 Algorithms

MATH 201 Technical Writing with LaTeX

MATH 240 Differential Equations

MATH 245 Geometry

MATH 280 Modern Algebra I

MATH 281 Modern Algebra II

MATH 291 Statistical Analysis

MATH 370 Advanced Calculus

MATH 400 Topics in Mathematics

PHYS 201 General Physics I w/ Lab

**MATH 170 Calculus I**

This is the initial course in a sequence of courses on the fundamental ideas of the calculus of one variable. It is here that truly significant applications of mathematics begin. Topics included are functions, continuity, limits, derivatives, maxima and minima and antiderivatives. Projects may be assigned requiring the students to use a Symbolic Computer Algebra System. Satisfies either the common or distribution core requirements in mathematics. Offered Fall and Winter terms. 4 credits.

**MATH 171 Calculus II**

Any student who has completed Calculus I should take Calculus II to obtain a complete study of the calculus of one variable. Topics included are the integral antiderivatives, the Fundamental Theorem, volume, length of an arc, surface area, average value, moments, integration techniques, series, sequences. Projects may be assigned requiring the students to use a Symbolic Computer Algebra System. Satisfies the distribution core requirement in mathematics. Prequisite: MATH 170. 4 credits.

**MATH 150 Linear Algebra**

This course is an introduction to the algebra and geometry of Euclidean 3-space and its extensions to Euclidean N-Space. Topics included are systems of linear equations, determinants, vectors, bases, linear transformations and matrices. Prerequisites: MATH 170, MATH 171. 4 credits.

**MATH 233 Calculus III**

This is an introduction to the calculus of several variables. Topics selected from polar coordinates, functions of several variables, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, line integrals, surface integrals, Green's theorem and Stokes' Theorem. Prequisites: MATH 150, MATH 171. 4 credits.

**MATH 240 Differential Equations**

An introduction to the basic mathematical content of ordinary differential equations and their applications. This will include analytical, qualitative, and numerical methods for ordinary differential equations. Topics include first- order and second-order equations and applications, systems of differential equations, and matrix methods for linear systems. Prequisites: MATH 150, And, MATH 171, Or Department Permission. 3 credits.

**MATH 245 Geometry**

Emphasis is given to geometry, uses of geometry in various mathematical subjects, historical aspects of geometry and mathematics, and mathematical curricular developments. The following topics are integrated into the course: Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry, historical and cultural significance of mathematics, and mathematical software products. Prequisites: MATH 150, MATH 171. 3 credits.

**MATH 265 Transition to Advanced Mathematics**

This course is designed to facilitate the mathematics student’s transition to courses requiring a higher level of mathematical maturity. Emphasis will be on the reading and writing of proofs, and on communicating mathematically—both orally and in writing. Topics will include logic, set theory, functions, relations, and number theory. Prequisites: MATH 150, MATH 171. 3 credits.

**MATH 280 Modern Algebra I**

This is the rst semester of a year-long sequence on the study of algebraic structures. Course topics include the properties of numbers, equivalence relations, groups, rings, elds, direct products, homomorphisms and isomorphisms, and the natural development of various number systems. Prequisites: MATH 150, MATH 233, MATH 265. 3 credits.

**MATH 281 Modern Algebra II**

This second semester course will build on material from Math 280, with a focus on integral domains, polynomial rings, and elds. Additional topics will include the Sylow theorems, nite simple groups, symmetry and patterns, and an introduction to Galois theory. Prerequisites: MATH 280. 3 credits.

**MATH 291 Statistical Analysis**

An introduction to statistical concepts and techniques with emphasis on the underlying probability theoretical basis. Topics included are sums of random variables; moment generating functions; sampling distributions; F- and t- distributions; chi-square; point estimation; interval estimation; testing hypotheses, theory, and application; regression and correlation; analysis of variance. Prequisites: MATH 150, MATH 233. 3 credits.

**MATH 370 Advanced Calculus**

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of a function of a real variable from a rigorous point of view. Topics included are completion of the rational numbers, theory of continuous functions, theory of differentiation, theory of the Riemann integral, sequences, series. Prequisites: MATH 150, MATH 233, MATH 265. 3 credits.

**MATH 400 Topics in Mathematics**

Some possible areas for further study are Abstract Algebra, Geometry, Topology, Real Analysis and Complex Variables. At least one topics course is desirable for anyone wishing to pursue mathematics in graduate school. Prequisites: MATH 265. 3 credits.

**Mathematics majors must also take one programming course (MIS 126 Programming I or MIS 234 Algorithms), for a total of 13 courses.**

**Take the Assessment**

**Incoming Students:**

1. Log on to Mercyhurst Orientation page, and follow the MATH Placement link. If you are a new first-year student, use the same username and password you used when you applied to Mercyhurst.

2. Then on the Welcome Laker page, click on the Enter the Summer Orientation Portal button, then follow the Take the Math Placement Test link.

**More Information**

**What is ALEKS?**

ALEKS is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that zeros in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and then provides the student with a learning environment for improving this knowledge to an appropriate level for course placement.

The ALEKS Math Assessment ensures students' readiness for particular math, statistics, and chemistry courses at Mercyhurst. Since these courses require the mastery of prerequisite material, it is important for students to begin in the course most likely to lead to success. Students will not be permitted to take a course unless they have demonstrated readiness. After completing the initial assessment, students who wish to improve their skills may use the included learning modules.

**Once classes begin, ALEKS is no longer available. The highest score is used for placement and pre-requisite checking.**

**Who must take ALEKS?**

All first time traditional undergraduate students and transfer students will be required to take the math placement exam prior to beginning classes at Mercyhurst.

The only students exempted from taking ALEKS are those who:

Earned Advanced Placement credit with a score of 4 or higher.

Passed the standard level International Baccalaureate exam with a score of 5 or higher.

Passed the advanced level International Baccalaureate exam with a score of 4 or higher.

Earned CLEP credits with a score of 50 or higher.

Took an approved 3-credit math or statistics course from an accredited college or university with a grade of C or higher.

Students may not take certain courses in mathematics, statistics, or chemistry without demonstrating readiness.

**When do students take ALEKS?**

Students need to demonstrate readiness for their scheduled courses via ALEKS assessment prior to the start of classes. Students beginning classes in Spring semester may begin the assessment November 1. Students beginning classes in Summer and Fall semesters may begin the assessment March 15.

After the first day of class, you will need to schedule an appointment with a proctor to take or retake the assessment.

**How long will the assessment take?**

The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. You should plan to complete the assessment in one 2-3 hour sitting. If you do not complete the assessment in one sitting, you will have 48 hours to complete it before the assessment is reset.

**FAQs**

**Why do I need to take the Math Placement Assessment?**

Mercyhurst University requires an ALEKS mathematics placement assessment to determine readiness for various courses. The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from basic mathematics through precalculus and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

At the end of the ALEKS Placement Assessment, you will have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses in math. You will then have a chance to work on those weaknesses through a targeted Prep and Learning Module geared to your goals to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.

You are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module after your first assessment. Even if you have achieved placement in your desired course, time spent in ALEKS will better prepare you for your upcoming course and ultimately lead to better grades.

It is important that you relax and that you are honest about your skill level. This is simply an assessment, not a test. The difference is that an assessment is designed to determine what you know in order to best serve your academic success at Mercyhurst University.

There is no benefit to cheating on the placement assessment – your only reward will be that you are placed into a class that is too difficult for your current level of mathematical knowledge. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help. Remember, you not only want to get into the right course, you want to be very successful in that course.

**Is there a fee for using ALEKS?**

ALEKS is free for incoming students and current freshmen.

After April of your freshmen year, there is a $25 fee (plus tax) to take the assessment. This fee includes 5 attempts at the placement assessment, as well as 6 months of personalized remediation if you need to improve your score.

**Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment?**

Yes, you may take up to 5 placement assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module in between placement assessments so that you can improve your skills. Only the highest ALEKS score is used for placement.

**Are ALEKS Placement Assessments proctored?**

For incoming students you are on your honor to take the assessment without assistance. You will have access to ALEKS through the Orientation Portal until the first day of classes.

After the first day of your freshmen year, you will need to schedule an appointment to take the assessment with a proctor.

**May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?**

ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. You may also use a single-line calculator. No graphing or two-line calculators can be used. It is strongly recommended that you do not use a calculator while taking the assessment to ensure the most accurate score.

**May I use any other resources during a placement assessment?**

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided by ALEKS. You may not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources will lead to improper placement and ultimately course failure. Remember, your goal is to be successful in your first math course.

**Can I retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment immediately?**

You must wait 24 hours between placement assessments. There is generally no benefit to re-taking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. Unlike the SAT or ACT, you cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

After your second attempt, you will be required to spend some time using ALEK's built in remediation.

**Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between placement assessments?**

2nd attempt: Before taking your 2nd placement assessment, you must wait 24 hours.

3rd - 5th attempts: Before taking your 3rd - 5th placement assessments, you must wait 24 hours and spend 3 hours in a Prep and Learning Module.

**Are placement assessments timed?**

Yes, you have 48 hours to complete a placement assessment once it has begun. You can take a break, however, if you wait more than 48 hours you have to start a new assessment and it will not count as one of your five attempts.

**How long will a placement assessment take to complete?**

Placement assessments require approximately 90 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student. We suggest you set aside two hours. There will be a maximum of 30 questions.

**What is my placement result?**

Your placement result is your percentage mastery on your best assessment.

**Can I practice using ALEKS before I begin placement?**

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial before your placement begins.

**How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning Module?**

You will have six months of access from the time that you start using your Prep and Learning module.

**Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?**

Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with up to 5 placement assessments.

**What are ALEKS Progress Assessments?**

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete progress assessments to solidify your gains in knowledge.

**Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?**

No, you must complete a new placement assessment to change your placement result. Click on the placement tab on the upper right of the page from within ALEKS. Only your placement assessment results will be used for course placement.

**What if I do not place into the course I wanted?**

You can use a Prep and Learning Module to review and learn, and you may take another placement assessment to improve your placement result.

**I did not place into the class I wanted. Can I take it anyway?**

No, you must achieve the minimum placement result to take each corresponding class.

**What if I placed into the class I wanted?**

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result above is the minimum preparation required for your course! Take advantage of the targeted review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

**Where can I get help with ALEKS?**

http://www.aleks.com/faqs/technical

### Understanding Your Score

ALEKS scores cannot be interpreted in the same way as exam grades. Scores of 30 or higher reflect adequate preparation for college-level math. The score does not reflect a percentage of the material you answered correctly. Instead, it is based on the topics you have shown mastery of.

**Course Placement Scores**

You should select one of the courses below only if the course is appropriate for your degree program. If your degree does not require one of the courses listed below, you can meet your REACH requirement with other courses. Your academic advisor will help you select appropriate courses when you are building your schedule. For first-year students, this conversation will occur at New Student Orientation.

Minimum ALEKS Score | Courses You Are Permitted to Take |

30 | MATH 110 (Math Apps) |

STAT 109 (Statistics) | |

STAT 130 (Intro to Social Statistics) | |

STAT 137 (Biostatistics) | |

46 | MATH 111 (College Algebra) |

STAT 139 (Statistics for the Sciences) | |

CIS 100 (Computer Information Systems) | |

54 | MATH 118 (Math for the Natural Sciences) |

61 | MATH 112 (Trig and Functions) |

76 | MATH 170 (Calculus I) |

PHYS 101 (Principles of Physics I) |

- You will not be permitted to take a math course that is above your readiness level (even if you are only one point away).
- If you want to place into a higher-level course, you may use ALEKS learning modules to improve your skills and retake the assessment.

### Contact Us

Lauren Williams, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Mathematics, Assistant Professor

Office: Main 404

Phone: 814-824-2378

Email: lwilliams@mercyhurst.edu