Feb 25, 2021  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog

Mathematics and Statistics

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Interim Department Head: James Powell
Location: Animal Science 110
Phone: (435) 797-2810
FAX: (435) 797-1822
E-mail: jim.powell@usu.edu
WWW: http://www.math.usu.edu/

Associate Department Head and Undergraduate Director:
David E. Brown, Animal Science 109, (435) 797-3224, david.e.brown@usu.edu

Assistant Department Head and Graduate Program Director:
John Stevens, Animal Science 224, (435) 797-2818, john.r.stevens@usu.edu

Assistant Department Head and Research Program Director:
Nathan Geer, Animal Science 306, (435) 797-0755, nathan.geer@usu.edu

Assistant Department Head and Statewide Campus Director:
Eric Rowley, USUE Blanding Center (BLSJCR), (435) 770-4244, eric.rowley@usu.edu

Actuarial Science Program Coordinator:
Daniel C. Coster, Animal Science 219, (435) 797-2815, dan.coster@usu.edu

Undergraduate Advising:
Linda Skabelund, Animal Science 117, (435) 797-8311, math.advising@usu.edu

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), and Master of Science (MS) in Mathematics; BS and BA in Mathematics Education; BS in Composite Mathematics-Statistics Education; BS in Composite Mathematics/Statistics; Master of Mathematics (MMath); BS, BA, and MS in Statistics; MS in Industrial Mathematics; Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mathematical Sciences

Graduate specializations: PhD in Mathematical Sciences—College Teaching, Interdisciplinary Studies, Pure and Applied Mathematics, and Statistics

Full Details of the learning objectives, assessment plan, student outcomes, and evidence of continuous improvement for these programs of study can be found at www.math.usu.edu by clicking on the assessment tab.

Undergraduate Programs


The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers a variety of programs and courses designed to prepare students for careers in teaching and for positions as mathematicians and statisticians in industry and government. The department also provides service courses for students in many other disciplines and contributes to the University Studies program by providing Quantitative Literacy and Quantitative Intensive classes.

Placement of New Students

Current mathematics ACT/SAT scores, Math Placement Exam scores, and Advanced Placement (AP) calculus and statistics scores are used for placement in 1000-level and 2000-level mathematics and statistics courses. A current score is defined as a score from an exam taken within the last year (three consecutive semesters, including summer).

Prerequisites for MATH 0995 , MATH 1060 , MATH 1100 , MATH 1210 MATH 2010 MATH 2020  and, STAT 2300   must be completed on or after (not before) the following dates, in order to fall within the MPATL for the listed semester: fall semester—August 15 of the previous year; spring semester—January 1 of the previous year; summer semester—June 1 of the previous year.

Students who are registering for a math class at USU for the first time who have a current math ACT score of less than 23 or a math SAT score of less than 540 (whether current or not) are required to take the Math Placement Exam administered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. A student’s score on the Math Placement Exam will be used to determine his or her placement in appropriate mathematics or statistics course.

For students needing a satisfactory score on the Math Placement Exam (MPE) to meet an enrollment requirement for any course listed below, the deadline for meeting this requirement is the end of the first week of classes. A maximum of three attempts to achieve a satisfactory score on the MPE is allowed each semester.

MATH 0950  
Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam.

MATH 0995  
One of the following within the last year or three consecutive semesters (including summer):

MATH 1030 (not currently offered)
Math ACT score of at least 23 (Math SAT score of at least 540) or Grade of C or better in MATH 1010  or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam

MATH 1050 
Math ACT score of at least 23 (Math SAT score of at least 540) or Grade of C or better in MATH 1050   or AP Calculus AB exam score of 3 or higher or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam

MATH 1060 
Math ACT score of at least 23 (Math SAT score at least 540) or Grade of C or better in MATH 1010  (or MATH 1050  ) or AP Calculus AB exam score of 3 or higher or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam

MATH 1100 
Math ACT score of at least 25 (or Math SAT score of at least 580) or Grade of C- or better in MATH 1050  or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam

MATH 1210 
Math ACT score of at least 27 (Math SAT score of at least 620) or Grade of C- or better in MATH 1050  and MATH 1060  or AP Calculus AB exam score of 3 or higher or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam

MATH 2010  
Must be a declared major in Elementary Education, Special Education, Pre-Elementary Education or Pre-Special Education and meet one of the following within the last year or three consecutive semesters (including summer):

  • MATH 2020  or equivalent
  • MATH 1050  with a grade of C- or better
  • ACT Math score of 25 or higher or equivalent SAT math score  
  • AP Calculus AB score of 3 or higher
  • Satisfactory score on the Math Placement Exam

MATH 2020 
Math ACT score of at least 25 (Math SAT score of at least 580) or Grade of C- or better in MATH 1050  or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam

STAT 1040 
Math ACT score of at least 23 (Math SAT score of at least 540) or Grade of C or better in MATH 1010   or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam

STAT 1045  
One of the following within the last year or three consecutive semesters (including summer):

Math ACT score of at least 23 (Math SAT score of at least 540) or Grade of C- or better in MATH 1050  or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam
Math ACT score of at least 25 (Math SAT score of at least 580) or Grade of C- or better in MATH 1050  or Satisfactory score on Math Placement Exam

Entering students with current passing scores on AP calculus or statistics exams will be awarded credits as shown below:

AP Test Score Credits USU Credit Awarded
Calculus AB 3 6 3 (QL) credits + 3 elective credits
  4-5 6 1210 (QL) (4) + 2 elective credits
Calculus BC 3-4 6 MATH 1210 (QL) (4) + 2 elective credits
  5 8 MATH 1210 (QL) (4) + MATH 1220 (QL) (4)
Statistics 3-5 3 STAT 2000 (QI) (3)

Even if not required, students may opt to take the Math Placement Test through the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, strictly for advising purposes.

The calculus courses MATH 1210 , MATH 1220 , and MATH 2210  are designed for students majoring in mathematics, the sciences, and engineering. MATH 1100  (Calculus Techniques) is designed primarily for students majoring in business. All students in calculus classes need strong backgrounds in the material covered in MATH 1010  and MATH 1050  In addition, the MATH 1210 , MATH 1220 , MATH 2210  sequence requires a sound understanding of trigonometry (MATH 1060 ).

Students with outstanding mathematics records in high school and transfer students with some experience in calculus may wish to consult with a departmental advisor prior to registration.

Departmental Admission Requirements

  1. New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to the major.
  2. Transfer students from other institutions need a 2.2 transfer GPA, and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.0 total GPA for admission to this major in good standing.
  3. Students may be admitted to the Mathematics Education major by satisfying either of the above conditions. However, in order to be admitted to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), and to graduate from the Mathematics Education major (and minor), students must have an institution GPA of at least 3.0 in the equivalent of MATH 1210 , MATH 1220 , and MATH 2210 , and an overall GPA of at least 2.75.

University Requirements

All students in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics must satisfy the requirements  of USU’s University Studies program.

Suggested Four-year Plans

Suggested semester-by-semester four-year plans for students working toward a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics are available in the department.

Students should consult with their advisor to develop a plan of study tailored to their individual needs and interests.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers students in all colleges and majors the unique opportunity to deepen their educational experience with hands-on practical applications of their academic knowledge. The Honors Program admits incoming, transfer, and existing USU students based on application. High achieving students with at least one year remaining are encouraged to apply.  See the University Honors Program catalog entry and website (honors.usu.edu) for more information.


Additional Information

Students who enter the University with AP credit in Mathematics and/ or Statistics, and about 30 additional AP or CLEP credits, may be able to complete both a BS and an MS degree within five years or less. Interested students should consult with a departmental undergraduate advisor.

For detailed information about requirements for majors and minors within the Mathematics and Statistics Department, see the major requirement sheet, which is available from the department.

Financial Support

The department offers several one-, two-, and four-year scholarships to qualified students who enroll as full-time Mathematics, Mathematics Education, or Statistics majors. The winner of the Hunsaker Scholarship receives a cash award each semester for two years. This award is given in addition to any four-year scholarship or tuition waiver for which the student is eligible. During the final two years, the recipient is expected to work as a grader for the department. The department also offers other scholarships (Elich, Ellis, van Vliet, and departmental). The amount of these scholarships varies from year to year. The Ellis Scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior Mathematics Education major, and the recipient is selected by the department. To apply for any of these scholarships (except for the Ellis Scholarship, for which there is no application) fill out the scholarship application form located at http://www.math.usu.edu/PDF/scholarship%20appl%20Oct08.pdf, and send a statement of qualifications, including high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores, and three letters of recommendation to:

Scholarship Committee
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Utah State University
3900 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-3900

Applications must be received by March 15.

Learning Objectives

All students having majors within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics are expected to achieve competency in: (1) pre-calculus algebra; (2) calculus of one and several variables; (3) ordinary differential equations; (4) linear algebra/matrices, eigenvalues/ eigenvectors, determinant, rank; and (5) analysis (introduction to formal proofs/analysis theory).

Students enrolled in specific departmental majors should also have competence in additional areas pertaining to their major. These areas are listed in the following paragraphs.

Mathematics Major

(1) algebraic structures; (2) analysis/advanced calculus; (3) complex variables; (4) topology; (5) algebraic theory; and (6) partial differential equations.

Statistics Major

(1) theory of probability and statistics; (2) linear regression/time series; (3) experiment design; and (4) one or more of sampling, categorical analysis, multivariate analysis, quality control.

Mathematics Education Major (including Composite Mathematics-Statistics Education)

(1) algebraic structures; (2) probability; (3) history of mathematics; (4) methods for secondary school teaching of mathematics and/or statistics; and (5) in-service teaching experiences.

Other Majors and Emphases (e.g., Computational Mathematics Emphasis, Actuarial Science Emphasis, etc.)

Replace general competencies in traditional areas (i.e., algebra, topology, analysis) with specific topics related to the specialized emphasis. For example, students in the Computational Mathematics Emphasis need the ability to write computer code to solve linear, nonlinear, stochastic, and (partial and ordinary) differential equations; and students in the Actuarial Science Emphasis need two semesters of actuarial mathematics.


Assessment of General Education Courses (MATH 1050  and STAT 1040 )

Beginning with Spring Semester 2004, the department has conducted an annual assessment of student performance in primary General Education courses (including MATH 1050  and STAT 1040 ). The performance of approximately 100 randomly selected students from each of MATH 1050  and STAT 1040  was evaluated by topic area on the common finals of these courses. Summary results will be available soon. The process was repeated for Spring Semester 2005. Together, these two years of data provide a baseline against which future groups of students will be compared. Weaknesses in topic learning will then be identified, and the Undergraduate Committee and course supervisors will provide feedback to instructors in an effort to bring overall student performance to target levels.

Assessment of Core Courses (MATH 1210 , MATH 1220 , MATH 2210 , MATH 2250 , and STAT 1040 , STAT 2000 , STAT 3000 )

Core content of these courses changes infrequently and is primarily addressed through the selection of textbooks at three-year to five-year intervals. Primary assessment of these courses is through semester evaluations and final examination scores and course grade profiles. Competency in these areas is essential for any student majoring in mathematics or statistics.

Assessment of Upper-division Major Courses

These courses are re-evaluated by subcommittees of the Undergraduate Committee in terms of: level and appropriateness of content relative to learning objectives, textbook selection, final examinations, course grades, and student evaluations. At two-year to five-year intervals, courses are redesigned if the subject matter develops beyond traditional norms, or if market demand indicates that an under-utilized course should be replaced by a course having greater demand (e.g., development of a new cryptography course).

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Students interested in undergraduate research opportunities in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Utah State University should begin by contacting the department head and undergraduate research liaison, D. Richard Cutler, (435) 797-0244, richard.cutler@usu.edu.

Several departmental faculty members have engaged in successful undergraduate research projects. These faculty members, along with their research areas, include: James Powell (mathematical modeling of pine beetle infestations), Ian Anderson (differential geometry applications to theoretical and applied physics), and Richard Cutler (analysis of epidemiological and environmental data). In general, undergraduate research offers students an excellent opportunity to explore mathematical and statistical theory and practice under the guidance of an experienced researcher, to focus their own course selection on particular career paths and research areas (including graduate school), to co-author professional publications, and to actively make presentations at conferences or local seminars.

Graduate Programs

Admission Requirements

In general, students wishing to pursue graduate studies in mathematics or statistics should have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or a closely related field, with extensive coursework in one of the departmental disciplines. The department requires a score of 700 on the quantitative section of the GRE. International applicants must have a TOEFL score of 250 on the computer-based test or a score of 100 on the internet-based test.

Students entering the Master of Mathematics (MMath) program must either possess a valid secondary school teaching license or be concurrently enrolled in a secondary school teacher licensure program.

Course Requirements

Departmental requirements change from time to time. Check with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for the list of requirements currently in effect.


Mathematics research opportunities within the department are many and varied, and students are urged to contact faculty about mutual interests at as early a stage as feasible. The interdisciplinary option permits and encourages study with a broad spectrum of outstanding nationally recognized University research programs.

Financial Assistance

Graduate students in the PhD program, the MMath program, and the Plan A and B options of the MS programs are eligible for teaching assistantships in the department. Duties of graduate teaching assistants may include full responsibility as instructors for introductory mathematics or statistics courses, leading recitations, and (in rare situations) tutoring and paper grading. Stipends are competitive and may include health insurance benefits. All graduate student stipends described here carry with them a waiver of all nonresident tuition. PhD students with stipends also receive a waiver of resident tuition. The department is also allocated a small number of resident tuition waivers for MS students each year. The department is able to support most PhD students and some MS students with summer teaching assignments. Mathematics and Statistics faculty members who have research grants may choose to partially or fully support students they are advising.

FACULTY - College of Science  

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