Mathematics


As part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences prepares students for careers as engineers, actuaries, scientists, educators, and technicians, while concurrently striving to inspire our students to love the subject itself. We offer majors in: Mathematics and Computer Science.

The study of Mathematics is a balancing act between application and theory. Mathematicians enjoy pattern seeking, conjecture making, and articulate arguments, and we want our graduates to go into the world motivated by curiosity and armed with the skills that are hallmarks of mathematicians.


Our curriculum is structured to encourage students to take a variety of courses. During their first two years, students complete 12 credits of Calculus, along with courses in Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, and Set Theory and Logic. After the students have a strong foundation in the fundamentals of Mathematical Theory, they have the option to take course from topics ranging from Abstract Algebra, Real and Complex Analysis (appropriate for students interested in Graduate School) to Statistics and Actuarial Sciences (appropriate for students interested in a career in industry). With the availability of directed readings and independent studies, students have the ability to customize their mathematical studies to suit their personal interests.



Mathematics Major

The department offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.

The required mathematics courses for either degree are the same. Students who choose a Bachelor of Arts must complete two semesters of physics; those choosing a Bachelor of Science must complete two semesters of physics and either two semesters of chemistry or of biology.

Here is the description of the mathematics major from the 2017 catalog.

Here is a year-by-year breakdown of what we suggest that a mathematics major takes.

The mathematics department pays the membership fees for our majors and minors to the Mathematical Association of America.

SECONDARY EDUCATION

We also offer a Bachelor of Arts with a Secondary Education certification. The secondary education program is designed to prepare teachers of mathematics for grades 7 to 12. Our program is continually refined to keep pace with developments in the profession; for example, the program prepares teachers to effectively deal with students with disabilities. It is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and leads to a PA Instructional certificate. The University's recommendation and the successful completion of other requirements established by the state, including meeting the pass scores specified by PDE on the required battery of certification tests, qualify graduates for a PA Instructional I Certificate.

Here is the description of the mathematics major's secondary education program from the 2017 catalog.

DOUBLE MAJOR WITH MATHEMATICS

Thanks to the high number of electives within the mathematics major, many students double major in another field, most commonly a science, but also disciplines within the humanities. We are glad that so many students opt to double major, as we believe that this contributes to a well-rounded education that not only prepares students for a variety of careers, but also shapes students into articulate and hospitable citizens.


Course Sequence

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
CPS 101 Intro. to Programming3MTH 172 Calculus II4
MTH 171 Calculus I4MTH 244 Set Theory & Logic3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Total Credits16Total Credits16
Sophomore Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
MTH 226 Calculus III4MTH 215 Mathematical Statistics3
MTH 241 Linear Algebra3MTH 242 Differential Equations3
PHY 221 General Physics I4PHY 222 General Physics II4
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Total Credits17Total Credits16
Junior Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Sequence Course3Sequence Course3
BUS 352 Business Law3Elective3
Elective3BUS 363 Mgt of Human Capital3
Total Credits15Total Credits15
Senior Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
MTH 463 Abstract Algebra I3

Mathematics elective

3
Mathematics elective3

Mathematics elective

3

Mathematics elective

3Core3
Core3Core3
Free elective3Elective3
Total Credits15Total Credits15
Total required for graduation: 125 credits

Course Descriptions

In addition to our regularly scheduled courses, the department offers independent studies and special topics courses. Some recent examples include:

  • Vector Calculus
  • φ, π, e and i
  • Calculus 4: Stokes Theorem and Differential Forms
  • Graph Theory

MTH 108 Precalculus, 3 credits

Linear equations, inequalities, functions, graphing, logarithms and exponentials, circular functions. (added 9/10/2014; course to be offered Spring 2014)

MTH 115 Basic Statistics, 3 credits

An introduction to the use of statistical methods with emphasis on practical applications. Descriptive statistics, introduction to probability, estimation of parameters, introduction to hypothesis testing, correlation, and linear regression.

MTH 116 Basic Statistics II, 3 credits

Hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, correlation and regression analysis, nonparametric statistics. Prerequisite: MTH 115

MTH 120 Mathematical Reasoning, 3 credits

Development of quantitative problem solving. Methods of problem solving. Reading, determining, and solving problems using basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Common mathematical models of everyday phenomena.

MTH 160 Discrete Mathematics, 3 credits

Emphasizes the application of discrete mathematics, including combinatorics, graphs, recursively defined sequences, social choice, fair division, etc.

MTH 165 Survey of Calculus, 3 credits

A one-semester survey of the fundamental principles of calculus; topics include functions, limits, derivatives, definite integrals and applications. May not be taken by students who have previously received credit for MTH 151 or MTH 171.
Fall and Spring

MTH 171 Calculus I, 4 credits

Functions, limits, continuity, derivatives, definite integrals, and applications.
Fall

MTH 172 Calculus II, 4 credits

Transcendental functions, techniques of integration, sequences, series, and applications.
Prerequisite: MTH 171: Calculus I
Spring

MTH 200 History of Mathematics, 3 credits

The place of mathematics in human enterprise and the central role it has played in the development of civilization. Topics chosen include the history of mathematics, contributions by various cultures, geometry, calculus, number theory, modern logic, and unsolved problems.
Prerequisite: MTH 165 or MTH 171. Fall (odd years only)

MTH 210 Discrete Structures, 3 credits

Provide students with the definitions and basic tools for reasoning about discrete mathematical objects useful for computer science.
Prerequisite: MTH 171 or equivalent.

MTH 215 Mathematical Statistics, 3 credits

Probability theory, games of chance, probability distributions, testing of hypotheses, curve fitting, and correlation.
Prerequisite: MTH 172. Spring (odd years only)

MTH 226 Calculus III, 4 credits

Vectors, multivariable and vector-valued functions, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and applications.
Prerequisite: MTH 172
Fall

MTH 241 Linear Algebra, 3 credits

Systems of linear equations, vector space, inner products, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, and applications.
Prerequisite: MTH 172 or permission of the instructor.
Fall (odd years only)

MTH 242 Differential Equations, 3 credits

Equations of first order and degree, higher order, and degree equations, including linear with constant coefficients, and systems of equations.
Prerequisite: MTH 172 or its equivalent.
Spring

MTH 244 Set Theory and Logic, 3 credits

Introduction to set theory, equivalence and order, Boolean algebra, introduction to logic, and rules of inference.
Prerequisite: MTH 171 or permission of the instructor.
Spring

MTH 315 Mathematical Statistics II, 3 credits

Multivariate distributions. Estimation and hypothesis tests for multiple parameters. Regression and correlation. Analysis of variance.
Prerequisites: MTH 215 and MTH 226.

MTH 320 Actuarial Mathematics I, 3 credits

Applying probability theory to problems in actuarial science, finance and insurance; utilizing discrete, continuous and multivariate distributions.
Prerequisites: MTH 215 and MTH 226.

MTH 351 Geometry, 3 credits

History of geometry, axiom systems, types of geometries, and axiomatic development of a geometric theory.
Fall (even years only)

MTH 390 Methods of Teaching Math, 3 credits

This course is designed to introduce candidates to the content needed to teach fourth through eighth grade math curricula and to the strategies used to develop math competencies at the middle level.

MTH 413 Math Cooperative Education, 3-6 credits

Academic study combined with work experience in the community.

MTH 420 Actuarial Mathematics II, 3 credits

Solving problems in finance. Variation of annuities, loan repayment, bond valuation and the term structure of interest rates. Measuring rates of return.
Prerequisite: MTH 320

MTH 422 Linear Algebra II, 3 credits

Real and complex vector spaces, bases and dimension, linear operators, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, spectral theorems.
Prerequisite: MTH 241 or its equivalent.

MTH 423 Complex Variables, 3 credits

Analytic and elementary functions, differentiation, Cauchy's Theorem, power series, calculus of residues.
Prerequisite: MTH 226 or its equivalent.
Spring (even years)

MTH 425 Topology, 3 credits

Topological spaces, mappings and homeomorphisms, connected spaces, compact spaces.
Prerequisite: MTH 244
Spring (odd years)

MTH 441 Real Analysis I, 3 credits

(Formerly MTH 341) Real number system, topology, sequences, limits, continuity, and differentiability.
Prerequisites: MTH 226, MTH 244.
Spring (even years only)

MTH 442 Real Analysis II, 3 credits

(Formerly MTH 342) Continuation of MTH 441, including measure and integration.
Prerequisite: MTH 441. Fall (even years only)

MTH 463 Abstract Algebra I, 3 credits

(Formerly MTH 363) Introduction to abstract algebra, groups, and introduction to rings and fields.
Prerequisite: MTH 244.
Spring (odd years only)

MTH 464 Abstract Algebra II, 3 credits

(Formerly MTH 364) Rings, integral domains, fields, and polynomials.
Prerequisite: MTH 463. Fall (odd years only)

MTH 480 Independent Study, 1-3 credits

Special investigation of a selected topic.
(On demand)

MTH 486 Special Topics in Mathematics, 1-3 credits

Topics vary from semester to semester and will be announced with preregistration information.

MTH 490 Mathematics Seminar, 3 credits

Prerequisite: Permission of department.

(On demand)

Meet the Faculty

Math Club

The Math Club gives students an opportunity to discuss and investigate mathematics outside of the classroom.

The current leadership of the club:

  • Tara Koskulitz - President
  • Lindsay Kane - Secretary
  • Michael Gottstein - Treasurer

Recent and ongoing research projects include:

  • Tara Koskulitz and Mike Gottstein were awarded a Summer 2016 stipend research on the game KAMI and its relationship to graph theory
  • Taylor Rupp, Mike Gottstein, and Craig Siekierka are some of the previous Summer stipend recipients.

Other projects include:

  • Fundraising for the club and for local charities
  • A series of tutorial videos (posted to youtube) designed to help lower level mathematics students at the university
  • A meal paid for and delivered by the club to a needy family at Thanksgiving

From the Mountain Top Eagle -


Misericordia University Teacher Education and Math Club students offered lessons on sorting, patterns, symmetry and fractions during a fun and entertaining Math Day at St. Jude School in Mountain Top. More than 30 Misericordia students provided fun and engaging ways for 200 students in pre-k through 8th grades at St. Jude to learn about and appreciate mathematics.

Steven Tedford, Ph. D., of Mountaintop, associate professor of mathematics at Misericordia University, and his wife, Veronica, a former collegiate professor of mathematics, coordinated the program.

The program culminated with St. Jude School students and Principal Sister Ellen Fischer, S. C. C., presenting a $250 check to Christine Somers, D. Min., director of Campus Ministry at Misericordia University.

Math Day is a service project for the Math Club and the service-learning component of the Intro to ECE and Math Methods II courses the teacher education majors are taking at Misericordia University. It is also an opportunity for the future teachers to gain hands-on experience working with children in a real-world learning environment and engaging them in activities that make math fun.


Mathematics Symposium

The Department of Mathematics at Misericordia University recently hosted the Fifth Annual Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties Mathematics Symposium.

The Misericordia University symposium featured scholars from regional colleges and universities. The presenters and topics included:

  • Steve Tedford, Misericordia University, "Mathematics Errors in the Computation of Final Grades, and their Effects on Class Rank"
  • Jason Graham, University of Scranton, "Mathematics, Computing and Collective Behavior"
  • Jakub Jasinski, University of Scranton, "On Fixed Point Theorems for Locally Contractive Maps"
  • Jennifer Vasquez, University of Scranton, "Combinatorial Games with Signed and Circular Permutations";
  • Tom Kent, Marywood University, "An Introduction to WeBWork"
  • Michael Gottstein and Tara Koskulitz, (students) Misericordia University, "A Mathematical Approach to the Game of Kami"
  • Elizabeth Franco, (student) University of Scranton, "Theoretical Model of Blood Flow following Vascular Occlusion"

    For more information about the Department of Mathematics at Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or log on to www.misericordia.edu. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County's first four-year college and offers 37 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full and part-time formats.

Careers in Mathematics

The Mathematical Association of America provides a Careers page with links to research, data, articles, and books about what the nation's mathematics students can and do choose as careers.

Student and Faculty Achievements


epadel, gottstein, michael, jay, stine

Michael Gottstien (advised by Dr. Jay Stine) presented "An Application of Linear Algebra to Calculus" at the Spring 2016 EPADEL conference. In the picture above, from left to right: Jack Andrews, Dr. Jay Stine, Michael Gottstein, Blake Smith, Katie Fink, Tara Koskulitz, Dave Perkins.

Austin Galiardo passed the Society of Actuaries Exam P (Probability) in Spring 2016 and Exam FM (Financial Mathematics) in Summer 2016

Miles Westrich (class of 2016) also passed the Society of Actuaries Exam P (Probability) in Summer 2016

Steve Tedford presented "Mathematics Errors in the Computation of Final Grades, and their Effects on Class Rank"

at

The Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties Mathematics Symposium, hosted by Misericordia University, in

October 2016.

While Michael Gottstein and Tara Koskulitz, (students) presented "A Mathematical Approach to the Game of Kami" at

both the Symposium in October and also at

The EPADEL Section of the Mathematical Association of America's Annual Spring Meeting at Kutztown University in April 2017.



Admissions Requirements

The minimum criteria for admission into the Mathematics program as a freshman student are:
  1. Class rank in the top half of the high school graduating class and/or a cumulative 2.5 grade point average
  2. Minimum combined SAT score of 850 for Critical Reading and Math (combined) if taken prior to March 5, 2016, or 930 if taken after March 5, 2016. In lieu of the SAT, ACT results may be presented with a minimum required composite score of 18
Successful transfer applicants will typically hold a minimum collegiate grade point average of 2.0, having completed at least 15 college credits, and have a proven record of success in high school.

Please note the above listed requirements are general, and that each application is looked at thoroughly, taking into account individual grades, academic rigor, and other factors.

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