Unit: Mathematics
Program: Mathematics (BA, BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Thu Nov 11, 2010 - 8:14:43 pm

1) Below are the program student learning outcomes submitted last year. Please add/delete/modify as needed.

Recipients of an undergraduate degree in mathematics are expected to learn, understand, and be able to apply:

  • calculus in one and several variables,
  • linear algebra and the theory of vector spaces,
  • several mathematical topics at the junior and senior level,
  • in depth at least one advanced topic of mathematics, an approved two-course sequence.

In addition, students are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • develop and write direct proofs, proofs by contradiction, and proofs by induction,
  • formulate definitions and give examples and counterexamples,
  • read mathematics without supervision,
  • follow and explain algorithms,
  • apply mathematics to other fields.

Finally, recipients of an undergraduate degree in mathematics are expected to have learned about research in mathematics

2) As of last year, your program's SLOs were published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: http://www.math.hawaii.edu/home/program_goals.html
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://www.math.hawaii.edu/home/class_syllabi.html

3) Below is the link to your program's curriculum map (if submitted in 2009). If it has changed or if we do not have your program's curriculum map, please upload it as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2009:

4) The percentage of courses in 2009 that had course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is indicated below. Please update as needed.


5) State the assessment question(s) and/or goals of the assessment activity. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

All majors are required to take our capstone course, and we give an assessment exam as part of this course. With this exam the faculty would like to find our how well our students do with the goals set forth in our program goals.

6) State the type(s) of evidence gathered.

1.) The instructor of our capstone course observes our majors for a semester. The students carry our research projects and give presentations, giving the instructor ample opportunity to witness the students' strengths and weaknesses. The instructor writes a report that becomes part of the annual assessment report.

2.) As part of the capstone course, our seniors take an assessment exam. The exam was given in 3 parts. Students spent at least two hours on each part. The exam covers everything from calculus to the senior level classes. The exam is graded by the Assessment Committee, and a written report is presented to the faculty during the first fall faculty meeting.

3.) The department sends out questionaires to recent graduates and solicits feedback on our undergraduate BA and BS programs. The results are sumarized by the Chair of the Assessment Committee.

7) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected?

Course instructor(s)
Faculty committee
Ad hoc faculty group
Department chairperson
Persons or organization outside the university
Faculty advisor
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)

8) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence?

Used a rubric or scoring guide
Scored exams/tests/quizzes
Used professional judgment (no rubric or scoring guide used)
Compiled survey results
Used qualitative methods on interview, focus group, open-ended response data
External organization/person analyzed data (e.g., external organization administered and scored the nursing licensing exam)

9) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated.
If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

The 16 students in our capstone course, Math 480 in the spring of 2010.

10) Summarize the actual results.

Parts I and II show that the students have a mostly satisfactory understanding of calculus in one and several variables and of linear algebra and the theory of vector spaces. A couple of weak spots were identified. Instructors should emphasize them in the future. For the most part students showed that they can develop and write direct proofs and proofs by induction. Certain ideas, like inverse images elude them. The exam shows that three of the goals of the program are being met.

M. Manes, the capstone course instructor, was impressed by the students ability to give presentations of mathematical ideas. The written projects were more of varied quality. She suggests that review of calculus and linear algebra be dropped from the course, and that students may be exposed to TEX in Math 321.

Accorording to the questionairs, students were satisfied with the course offerings of the Department of Mathematics, though some courses were not offered frequently enough.

11) How did your program use the results? --or-- Explain planned use of results.
Please be specific.

We decided to require that all majors must take at least one core (theorem/proof emphasis) 400 level mathematics course. This was added to the degree requirements.  A few students took only computation oriented senior level courses in the past.

We made attandance ot the Undergraduate Colloquium mandatory, so that students are exposed to research. This exposure is one of our program goals.

12) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.

Over the last couple of years we fine tuned the assessment process. We changed the way we administer the assessment exam. We now give it in three installments. Students spend an hour on the exam in class (for each part) and they may take it home to work more on it. This was a successful strategy to make sure that students make a serious effort to do well on the exam, which is low (actually no) stakes.

13) Other important information:

Assessment is really an interactive endevor. The capstone course has been assigned to various faculty members over the last five years, mostly younger ones who will have leading positions in the department in the future. Teaching this course has given them an in-depth understanding of the quality of our majors.

We started a number of other assessment activities, formost the study of `Success in Calculus'. Currently we are attempting a comprehensive study of our Calculus I class (Math 241 and 251A). We know how each student got into the class (prerequisite course, assessment exam, AP score, repeat, etc), we did a pre-test on algeba skills, we will obtain the students' SAT scores, we will grade their effort (attendance and submitted homework), and we will give a common final.

We are also offering Supplemental Instruction, and we will see whether this increases the students' rate of success. Next semester, as an alternative to SI, we will offer one section that will use ALEKS to make sure that all students in this section are `calculus ready'.

We are also piggy-backing on a study of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Its theme is `Success in Teaching Calculus.' We hope to learn how we fair in comparison to peer institutions on the mainland.