The mathematical sciences bachelor's
degree program should be consistent with the current recommendations of the
MAA Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM)
Guidelines. … Programs with no curricular track that conforms to the CUPM
guidelines should be justified by a detailed and persuasive rationale for
departing from those guidelines. A summary of the CUPM Report comprises
Appendix B of this document.
Guidelines for Programs and
Departments in Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences
This is an excellent option for students who
enjoy mathematics for the “purity” of the discipline and are not terribly
interested in applications. Also an excellent choice for students wishing
to pursue a double major in a discipline of the humanities. Students hoping
to pursue grad study or employment in mathematics will be better served by
a B.S. degree.
This is an excellent option for students who are
primarily interested in the study of mathematics as a cultural artifact.
Though students will pick up some mathematical skills as a matter of
course, students taking this degree should do so primarily to become
conversant in the philosophical/historical issues of the discipline.This is an excellent choice for students
hoping to double major in a discipline of the humanities.Students hoping to pursue grad study or
employment in mathematics will be better served by a B.S. degree.
Would B.A. folks leave with any career
Who knows.An exit exam minimum might be some insurance.So would requiring a double major.In any case, UTM offering a B.A. in
Mathematics would be no more irresponsible than UTM offering a B.A. in
Wouldn’t it be misleading to graduate people
with a B.A. in Mathematics when they would in fact have little in the way
of true competency in the field?
As regards option 1, we have seen three schools
not overcome by such moral qualms. More of a worry for option 2 grads, I
would argue this concern is not realistic: the kind of students attracted
to this option are unlikely to be seeking future employment in mathematics.
What makes you think THEC is going to let us add
a new B.A., when we haven’t been able to award the old B.A.?
I’m not proposing a new degree. I’m proposing we
renovate the old one “down to the girders”. If we are troubled by the
prospect that we are falsely credentialing our graduates in mathematics, we
could apply to rename the degree in the years following the renovation
(e.g. B.A. in Mathematical Arts).
The Miami data suggests that quite a few might
take B.A. Option 1.Praxis refugees
certainly.At least four of these
refugees took BUS degrees with 32 hours of math to their credit. They would
be just a capstone paper away from a B.A. in math.
If the humanities calc ramp is sufficient to do
upper level statistics, a few “statistics majors” might come from there.
But who knows? Maybe no one. If we’re serious though about finding new
majors we need to fish in fresh ponds.The sciences pond appears to have all but dried up nationwide. The
humanities pond is one the mathematical community has not yet seriously
tried to farm.
The Miami data suggests that offering a more
easily obtained B.A. is not a zero sum game. Far from stealing from the
pool of B.S. majors, a more easily obtained B.A. appears to add to the
total pool of majors. There may even be some unexpected synergies between
the nontraditional B.A. and the traditional B.S.; this could add a fresh
dynamic to the department.