Accreditation and Assessment

Mathematics Program Objectives

The mission of the South Dakota Mines Mathematics program is:

  1. To provide educational opportunities for students to gain a firm understanding of mathematics and its applications to science and engineering.
  2. To prepare students for careers in their major or in related field. This would also include preparation to study at the graduate level.
  3. To prepare and motivate students to pursue further lifelong learning and professional development in their chosen field after completing the program.
  4. To provide an educational resource for the campus, community, and region.
  5. To provide scientific consulting and expertise to the campus, community, and region.

An effective curriculum is essential to any program. The curriculum for the mathematics program should have:

  1. A strong emphasis on the concepts, theory, and skills that are fundamental to the mathematical sciences.
  2. Illustrations that enhance theory using applications from science and engineering.
  3. Effective use of technology.
  4. Activities or material that will enable students to obtain their educational goals.
  5. Activities or material that will enable students to obtain their professional goals.

Faculty is the component that brings together the target of the mathematics program (the students) with the instrument of the program (the curriculum). Instruction and instructors of the mathematics program should collectively:

  1. Provide the best possible instruction for the math courses.
  2. Be a resource to the campus, community, and region.
  3. Be a source of scholarly activity in the mathematical sciences or a related discipline.
  4. Encourage and support curriculum development.
  5. Facilitate undergraduate research.
  6. Encourage and promote faculty development.

Student Learning Objectives

Students completing the South Dakota Mines Mathematics program should be able to:

  • Use mathematics to effectively formulate and solve problems that arise from scientific and engineering applications.
  • Critically analyze solutions.
  • Manage and use technology appropriately.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and communicate ideas both orally and in writing.

Assessment Plan

The Mathematics program is assessed by two main components.

First, courses are evaluated in an annual curriculum review, in which Course Embedded Assessments (CEA) are used to evaluate course structure and student performance. CEA are completed in a scheduled rotation determined by the department head.

  • CEA include a portfolio that presents the assignments and the exams used in the course, along with an overall class performance summary for each test. The overall course grade distribution is also provided.
  • Course materials are evaluated to make sure course outcomes are adequately covered and the class performance matches department expectations. The curriculum review also includes a discussion to determine if course outcomes should be changed.

Second, the applied and computational mathematics degree features a capstone experience, which is a two-semester sequence in undergraduate mathematical research. All research projects result in a technical paper and a presentation.

  • Research work is summarized and evaluated at the one-semester mark by a department committee.
  • Presentations are given in a department colloquium, and all department faculty members are encouraged to attend and evaluate these presentations.
  • The final technical papers are also available to department faculty for review.

This open forum for undergraduate research projects allows a yearly review of all graduates.

Department Head
Contact Information

Dr. Travis Kowalski
Department Head/Professor
Phone: (605) 394-2471
Office: McLaury 206C