Why should anyone bother to attend university courses, given today’s widespread access to
information on most topics – much of which is free, complete, and available on the Internet?
This is not a difficult question to answer, given that STEM employers (and graduate programs)
want candidates that are able to “do”, not just “know”. Albert Einstein aptly described this
phenomenon in the famous quotation:
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
This idea reminds us that the educational process itself can be even more important than
idiosyncratic, temporal, or topical knowledge. Largely agreeing with Einstein’s observation, I have
adopted a method of teaching, called “Inquiry-Based Learning”, which focuses on educational
processes, rather than discrete educational events. Inquiry-Based Learning, or IBL, is a method of
teaching wherein most of the learning is student-centered, and students are required to take a high
level of responsibility for a course’s classroom activities and work. The American Mathematical
Society and the Mathematical Association of America each espouse the effectiveness of IBL in
mathematics teaching2, labeling it a “high impact practice” in the development of critical thinking.
Step-by-step approach to problem solving, modular structured design, and structured programming in C++. Emphasizes production of readable, well documented, efficient, tested and correct programs. Includes time intensive assignments. Prerequisite: C or better in COSC 117 or permission of department. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory per week.
COSC 362 THEORY OF COMPUTATION (Fall 2019)
Applications of discrete mathematics to computer science and introduction to the theory of computation. Topics include automata and formal languages, computability by Turing machines and recursive functions, undecidability and computational complexity. Prerequisite: C or better in COSC 120 and MATH 210. Four hours per week.
COSC 380 INTERNSHIP (Fall 2019)
Students work under supervisors in a local firm or public institution in conjunction with an advisor from the department. Cross-listed with MATH 380. MATH/COSC 380 may be taken twice for a maximum of six credits, but used only once toward a major in mathematics or computer science. Prerequisite: Approval of department chair. Eight to ten hours per week. (P/F)
MATH 306 LINEAR ALGEBRA (Fall 2019)
Basic concepts of linear algebra: linear equations and matrices, vector spaces and subspaces, similar matrices, basis and dimension, linear transformations, eigenvalues, determinants, orthogonality, coordinate systems, and applications to geometry. Prerequisite: MATH 202. Four hours per week.