Learning Outcomes and Assessment for the Mathematical Analytics and Operations Research Major
The Mathematical Analytics and Operations Research major provides training for students planning careers in any field that requires mathematical methods. For example: the discovery of meaningful patterns in high-dimensional data; scientific approach for making decisions based on models that optimize the decision parameters such as cost, time-to-completion, transportation logistics, scheduling of tasks, etc.; data visualization to communicate and present decisions to others. Graduates of our program will distinguish themselves for their problem-solving skills, computational and modeling ability, and excellent communication skills. These abilities allow them to pursue scientific or technical careers in industry, education, or government. In addition, their strong analytic skills prepare them well to continue with graduate education or to participate in research and development, and other creative and innovative efforts in science, arts and humanities, engineering, and business.
Upon graduation, Mathematical Analytics and Operations Research majors should have a set of fundamental competencies:
- Have a mental habit of logical thinking, and familiarity with the tactics of problem solving. Students will be able to estimate the solution to a problem, apply appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, test the correctness of the solution, and interpret their results.
- Demonstrate a good understanding of rigorous mathematical argument that justifies decisions or analysis. Students will be able to write well-organized and logical mathematical arguments. Graduates will have the ability to ask questions and seek answers when performing quantitative analysis. Graduates will recognize the need for intellectual curiosity and life-long learning.
- An ability to compute with, identify, formulate, abstract, and solve mathematical problems that using a tools from a variety of mathematical areas, including optimization, discrete mathematics, probability, and understanding how the relate to problems from other areas of science, engineering and management.
- Solid understanding of the many ways applied mathematics can be used to extract data information and for making decisions.
- Familiarity with technology, software, and algorithmic processes necessary in modeling or applications. Confidence with computers and technology necessary to do decision analysis. Graduates will be able to use computers in research, information acquisition and processing and use available software as a tool in their work.
- An ability to understand and design mathematical and statistical models for, and analyze data from, a wide variety of sources. An ability to use visualization and statistics tools to expose ideas and solutions.
- An ability to communicate effectively and to function well on multi-disciplinary teams.
All of our courses provide and test the necessary content of knowledge, that when put together, lead the student to the desired educational outcome.
To assess the proficiency in the seven outcomes above, the department will require all majors to take a course, MAT 189 - Problem Solving, where students select a topic in the mathematical sciences and its applications, study it, analyze it, and present their solutions in both written and oral form. The assessment will be responsibility of the instructor in charge who will mark a rubric when he/she observes the goals are demonstrated. These rubrics will be collected by the Undergraduate Programming Committee (UPC).
Educational activities outside the traditional classroom, such as independent research provide students the opportunity to conduct individual research projects or participate as member of a research team. Those educational activities will excuse the student from having to enroll in MAT 189. These include: Student writing an honors thesis under faculty mentorship, student enrolling in one quarter of MAT 194 (undergraduate thesis), MAT 192 (internship in applied mathematics), MAT 199 (undergraduate research), or achieving a superior performance in a graduate admission exam such as the GRE, LMAT, etc.
Every three years UPC will make an organized evaluation of the status of our major on how well they are reaching the goals, based on the MAT 189 rubrics, the GPA of students in our required classes, comments from students and faculty. During analysis, UPC will monitor recruitment, retention and advancement through the program of the majors. The Committee will report the results of the assessment to the entire Department faculty with recommendations on how the major could be strengthened.