With the Spring semester already in full swing and students settled and busy with their classes, we can take stock of the course enrollments in the Department of Mathematics. With the increasing importance of quantitative reasoning and of the sciences and mathematics in modern society, we have seen a corresponding increase in the numbers of majors in Mathematics, in the other sciences, and in the total demand for courses in the Department of Mathematics. While the increased enrollments present a variety of challenges on our resources, we continue to strive to give the highest quality instruction that we possibly can across the full range of our courses: from the First Year Seminars (FYS), to the quantitative reasoning and preparatory courses at the 100-level, our 200-level gateway Calculus courses, the 300-level courses in discrete mathematics and differential equations, our upper-level undergraduate courses in the 500s, and our graduate course offerings.
The figures presented here are just a quick snapshot of our course enrollments across these levels this year. These figures only document enrollments in traditional on-campus course offerings, not including undergraduate or graduate research for independent study or the department’s problem solving seminar for undergraduate students. As such, they are only a partial picture of the total educational effort of the Department. Nevertheless, they present a picture of the breadth of those efforts.
As just one example of the effort being made to balance resource constraints while pursuing the most effective course offerings across the curriculum, the sections indicated above that are above enrollments of 50 are special pilot project versions of MATH 118 offered each this year in a setting with a target size of 140. This pilot is funded in part by the Center for Faculty Excellence, with whom we will closely monitor the comparisons between the student outcomes in these 140-student sections versus those taught in a smaller setting.
Special thanks to Senior Lecturer Mark McCombs for taking on the pilot effort in MATH 118, and to our Undergraduate Student Services Manager Susan Stedman for her detailed yet efficient handling of course request forms for all of the students trying to get into our classes.