Data-Based Decision Making
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics regularly restructures and enhances the undergraduate curriculum in response to student feedback and performance, course enrollments and evaluations, self-study and Regents reviews, professional and market trends, and new faculty expertise and research interests. The Department pays particular attention to recommendations from the profession – as best implemented in the context of USU’s mission and our existing strengths and capabilities – including the recent National Research Council report The Mathematical Sciences in 2025 (2013, National Academies Press).
The feedback and information from across these resources have led to these recent and ongoing programmatic changes:
- (2015-2017) A new interdisciplinary data science degree program, in collaboration with Management Information Systems, Economics and Finance, and Computer Science, to better prepare students for the growing demands of big data and analytics. (Master's of Data Analytics degree program received final approval from the Board of Regents in July, 2017.)
- (2014-2017) Additional courses in statistical computing and data science, including R programming, SAS programming, and statistical methods for big data.
- (2016-2017) A significant reworking of courses in applied and computational mathematics, along with mathematical biology, to provide more 1- and 2-credit offerings, and greater flexibility and breadth, and an additional 4000-level course in mathematical computing.
- (2016-2018) An initiative to hire new faculty with expertise in mathematical computing and numerical methods, to enhance and update our undergraduate curriculum. (A new assistant professor in mathematical computing hired spring 2017. Ongoing search for a professor in Data Science and Analytics.)
- (2017) Introduction of an additional course in discrete mathematics, to better serve students with interests in mathematical computing and computer science.
- (2016) Revision of mathematics content course requirements for Elementary and Special Education Majors, to extend the former single content course for elementary teachers (Math 2020 Introduction to Logic and Geometry) into a 2-semester sequence: Math 2010 (Algebraic Thinking & Number Sense for Elementary School Teachers), and a revised Math 2020 (Euclidean Geometry & Statistics for Elementary School Teachers).
- (2016-2017) Engagement in the Mathematics Teacher Education (MTE) Partnership, due to the success of our field-based mathematics teacher preparation program. The MTE-Partnership was established to “transform secondary mathematics teacher preparation” to ensure an adequate supply of teacher candidates who can promote mathematical excellence in their future students, leading to college and career readiness in accordance with documents such as the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) and the Mathematics Education of Teachers II (METII). Using a Networked Improvement Community model, USU has collaborated with a research action cluster focused on developing MODULES for improving specialized mathematical knowledge for teaching in Statistics, Modeling, Geometry and Algebra