Math across the UH system

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System-wide Math Course Coordination Meeting Lower Division Math Courses Calculus Courses Syllabi for UH Manoa Calculus Courses

Lower Division Math Courses

Equivalencies Across the University of Hawaii System, Chaminade and HPU for Lower Level Mathematics Courses PDF format

Syllabi for UH Manoa Calculus Courses

215 syllabus 241 syllabus 242 syllabus 243 syllabus 244 syllabus 251A syllabus 252A syllabus 253A syllabus

System-wide Math Course Coordination Meeting

Representatives of the various Math Departments in the UH System met at Kapiolani CC to discuss the coordination of our programs. There were
  • 7 faculty members from UH Manoa
  • 2 from the UH office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs,
  • 1 from UH Hilo,
  • 1 from UH West Oahu,
  • 5 from Kapiolani CC,
  • 0 from Honolulu CC,
  • 4 from Leeward CC,
  • 2 from Windward CC,
  • 1 from Kauai CC,
  • 1 from Maui CC,
  • 1 from Hawaii CC,
  • for a total of 25.
This report is an informal summary of the discussion. I. Calculus Overall we are in fairly good shape with respect to calculus. The course syllabi are similar at the different campuses, and articulate smoothly. We will obtain the course descriptions/syllabi and make them available for comparison. These should be sent to J. B. Nation (email address listed at the bottom). UH Manoa has revised its numbering scheme for calculus (241-242-243-244), while the other campuses have kept the traditional scheme (205-206-231-232). The system would like us to eventually adopt a uniform scheme. The use of computers was discussed. Most campuses use computers in calculus, and most instructors feel that it is an effective tool for illustrating calculus concepts. The way in which the computer is used varies some with the instructor, but this was not thought to be a major issue. A few campuses still do not have adequate facilities to do this effectively. There are two minor differences in the curriculum. Following requests from the Engineering College, Manoa now has vectors in Calculus I and an introduction to differential equations in Calculus II. Both of these seem to fit rather well, and we would like to suggest that other schools consider it. The importance of completing the syllabus in all calculus courses was noted. Standards in calculus has not been a major problem, with the exception of the usual anecdotal reports. (None of us wants to be held responsible for our worst C student.) It is important that we keep it this way. The applied calculus course, Math 215 at Manoa, was discussed as a viable alternative for calculus I. Currently, roughly 40% of the first semester calculus students at Manoa are in 215. While the course is slightly more applied and less theoretical than 205/241, it is intended to be a substantial calculus course. While having two (or more) options might be difficult for the smaller schools, other campuses have a large enough calculus enrollment to justify the option. Smaller campuses could consider alternating the courses. Business calculus, Math 203 at UHM, is a less substantial alternative. It remains true, however, that we can offer a better business calculus course than business or agriculture departments. If there is enough demand, offering a “better business calculus” would be a service to our students. II. Math 100 There was a major discussion about the spirit and topics of Math 100. There was general agreement with the principle that Math 100 should introduce students to the beauty and precision of mathematics, including mathematical reasoning as well as counting and algebra. The argument as to which topics best serve that purpose was more vocal. One side argued that financial math and probability/statistics did not serve this purpose well. The response was that these topics have meaning for the students because of their applicability, and that they illustrate the use of important ideas such as geometric series. It was emphasized that, the memo of 15 years ago notwithstanding, no one should dictate the topics for Math 100. Rather, we should insist that a variety of topics and approaches be covered, and that these be done in a non-cookbook fashion. It was noted that teaching Math 100 in a reasonably-sized class can be much more effective than a large class, but this is a matter over which we have little control. With respect to the problem of the Manoa Gen Ed requirements, see below. III. Articulation According to Executive policy E5.209 the AA degree at any UH community college satisfies the Manoa Gen Ed requirements, and any 100 level non-technical course transfers to any other UH institution. The say of the “receiving institution” in this situation is somewhat cloudy, but it is clear that the administration would prefer that they say “yes.” However, the various colleges may (and do) have additional core requirements in addition to the Manoa Gen Ed requirements, and the transferred credits may not apply to these additional requirements. Problems with non-Fast Track approval were due to the fact that we were to approve equivalencies only, and did not have the authority to approve courses per se. The Manoa Symbolic Reasoning requirement (FS) is not a math requirement. It was not written by or for math people, nor specifically approved by them. The broadly written hallmarks are hard to satisfy with the broad class of our elementary courses. Nonetheless, that is the objective. In particular, Math 100 is no longer a quantitative reasoning course, it is a logic course (!). A more minor problem: Math 103 – “College Algebra” – is designed for students transfering to HPU, Chaminade and UNLV (etc). Nonetheless, it transfers to UHM for credit, though the same course at other schools probably does not. IV. Elementary Education History: Manoa’s old Math 111 failed because we didn’t give high enough grades. This left us in the undesirable position of having no role in the education of primary teachers, while those students took Math 100, an inappropriate substitute. Some folks in the College of Education were concerned about this situation, and joined us in attempting to revive a math course for elementary education majors. UHM has added Math 111 and 112, and the Big Island schools have 107-108. Supposedly at least the first course will be required starting in 2006 (!). It is good for the state and education for us to be involved in this, if it flies. The problem solving (constructivist approach) is crucial, but too limiting to be used exclusively. More experience should help find a balance. Standards can be a problem, but again experience will help us adjust this.
MATH 100 satisfies the general education requirement for quantitative reasoning. For details, see Topics in Mathematics (Math 100) MATH 100 should include: Proofs. The student should be able to follow and present some basic proofs. The goal is to develop critical thinking skills. Topics which illustrate the beauty and power of mathematics. Topics should include at least a few topics from advanced math courses and their applications such as topology, group theory, network theory, etc. The goal should be an appreciation of what mathematicians do. Algorithms should not be used without developing their derivations. The goal should be to develop the logic behind formulae. Topics may include the history of number systems to illustrate the universality of mathematics, as well as the cultural differences. The goal should be to illustrate the advantage of and encourage the appreciation of different perspectives. Topics may involve the mathematics behind popular “logic” puzzles. The goal is to illustrate what “common sense” is expected by society.

Participants

To foil email harvesters, addresses in the above binary image can not be cut and pasted.

Calculus Courses

UHM UHH HCC KCC LCC WCC Hawaii Kauai Maui
Computer Lab 241 205 206 206 206 205 thru 232
242 206
ODE’s 242 206 232 232 205 206 232
232 232
Polar 244 231 231 231 231 231 231
Vectors 241 231 231 231 231 231 231
243
Series 242 206 206 206 206 206 206 206 206