The Department of Mathematics and Physics at College of the Ozarks is a combined department designed to offer students a major in mathematics or a pre-engineering program. The department consists of mathematicians and physicists who represent diverse areas of study. In addition, the department employs and works closely with several student workers, who are typically mathematics majors or pre-engineering students. The student workers gain valuable work experience with the chance to sharpen their developing skills by offering tutoring services to lower-level mathematics or physics students and by using personal productivity software to assist professors.
Generally, faculty members have much contact with their students, thanks to small class sizes and labs offered in conjunction with several mathematics and physics classes. The department has two computer labs. The labs have word processing and spread sheet capabilities as well as astronomy and geometry software, computer algebra systems, and Internet access. In addition, the labs are equipped with multimedia projection systems complete with smart boards. The department encourages its majors to explore interests of their own or that go beyond the standard curriculum through independent studies, seminars, and/or special problems courses.
The Mathematics Major
Students who wish to complete a major in mathematics may choose from:
- Mathematics Education (double major with Secondary Education)
To acquire a major in mathematics one must take, in addition to the College's general education requirements, 39 hours of mathematics to include Discrete Mathematics, the Calculus sequence, Linear Algebra, Advanced Calculus I, Modern Algebra, and the capstone course Great Ideas in Mathematics. The department offers emphases in General Mathematics and Mathematics Education, each of which requires a collateral course in computer science.
The Mathematics-Physics department offers options to those students who plan to enter one of the various engineering fields. Students can attend College of the Ozarks for two or three years and then transfer to the engineering school of their choice.
The Mathematics Minor
Requirements for a minor in mathematics include Discrete Mathematics, the Calculus sequence, Linear Algebra, and at least three more upper division mathematics credits.
The department has excellent facilities available. A mathematics library is centrally located near the math classrooms and is available to all students. The library contains books on all phases of mathematics, several periodicals, and a study and lounge area. In addition to the aforementioned computer labs, the department owns classroom sets of Texas Instruments calculators with graphing and symbolic mathematics capabilities. These are used extensively in several courses. Students are encouraged to use the latest technology in all their classes in mathematics and physics.
The department also has many of the manipulatives currently used in elementary and middle school mathematics. These are used extensively in Math for Elementary and Middle School Teachers and in Methods of Teaching Math in the Secondary School. Physics equipment includes data acquisition hardware and software as well as several reflecting telescopes.
Careers in Mathematics
Many rewarding and challenging careers are available to individuals with degrees in mathematics. These include a career as an actuary, banking manager, college professor, computer engineer, cryptographer, economist, investment banker, mathematician, middle school or secondary teacher, physicist, and many others.
Mathematics graduates of the College of the Ozarks have been employed by a variety of businesses such as Cerner Corporation, US Army, US Navy, Los Alamos Labs, FedEx, Boeing, British Telecom, IBM, Tamko Products, Leggett & Platt, and Arkansas Center for Health Statistics. In addition several graduates are employed at public schools throughout Missouri and Arkansas as well as colleges and universities such as College of the Ozarks, Lyon College, Henderson State University, Jefferson College, Missouri Southern State University and University of Missouri.