WOU: Mathematics Department Mission and Goals

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Mathematics Department


The Mathematics Department at Western Oregon University is committed to the teaching of mathematics and the communication of mathematical ideas. Faculty members believe that both the assimilation of mathematical knowledge and the enhancement of one’s capacity for mathematical reasoning are essential outcomes of a liberal arts education.


  1. Develop problem solving, modeling and technological skills.
  2. Make rigorous mathematical arguments and work with axiomatic systems.
  3. Effectively communicate, both in writing and orally, mathematical and logical arguments and concepts.


Students will demonstrate:

  1. Mathematical Knowledge - mastery of a body of mathematics.
  2. Problem Solving Skills - the ability to analyze complicated problems in a variety of subject areas, and to synthesize solutions to such problems.
  3. Modeling Skills - the ability to translate various real-world scenarios into mathematical models.
  4. Technological Skills - the ability to properly determine and effectively use computing tools and other technologies to solve problems and support conjectures.
  5. Skilled use of Methods of Proof - the ability to make rigorous mathematical arguments including how to both prove and disprove conjectures. Including working with axiomatic systems - the ability to determine if given examples satisfy the given axioms and the ability to demonstrate logical consequences of those axioms.
  6. Communication Skills - the ability to precisely articulate (both in writing and orally) complicated and technical arguments. These can be both mathematical and logical.
  7. Subject Awareness - an awareness of the distinction between applied and theoretical mathematics, an appreciation of the connection between the two fields, and a reasonable perception of the breadth of each field.
  8. Career Awareness - an awareness of the career and educational opportunities for mathematics majors; this many include internship and undergraduate research experiences.


Students will demonstrate:

  1. Problem Solving and Problem Writing Skills - the ability to create and understand complicated situations, which are applications of K-8 mathematical topics and to apply learned skills and techniques to resolve them.
  2. Ability to Model Problems - the ability to translate various real-world scenarios into mathematical models that can be explored by hands-on models, paper-and-pencil methods and technological applications where appropriate.
  3. Communication Skills - Ability to precisely articulate (both in writing and orally) K - 8 mathematical topics in a way that is clear and understandable to elementary and middle school students.
  4. Effective Classroom Management - Appreciation of a variety of pedagogical approaches and knowledge of an assortment of presentation and classroom working environments to effectively support the learning of mathematics for students with diverse learning styles.


Mathematics Department (503) 838-8465 | or e-mail: pricesl@wou.edu

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