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Math Courses at Athabasca University

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Kelly Solak

Athabasca University has many courses for students to take, all with different majors and interests. At AU, 67% of undergraduate students are women. Members of AU faculty are active in research and scholarship. This is also home of many famous alum such as Melisa Blake, Canadian politician and mayor. Mathematics is a major that soars at the university because the classes have wonderful instructors and interesting topics. Here are 10 math courses at Athabasca University.

1. MATH 100 - Developmental Mathematics

Front entrance sign at AU.

This course has no prerequisites and does not offer credit towards the degree. Students are expected to be able to perform basic arithmetic operations with ease addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and are familiar with fractions and algebraic operations. It is recommended for students who need to develop a mathematical background before taking university level mathematics courses.

There are two assignments and two written exams. To receive a pass in MATH 100, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least a D (50 percent). Professors vary every year but the main textbook is written by Probert, Patricia J., and Targa, Anthony called Developmental Math: Canadian Applications.

2. MATH 215-Introduction to Statistics

Professor teaching students on the whiteboard.

There are no prerequisites for this course. However, fundamental mathematical skills are required, particularly the ability to do algebra. MATH 215 is a 3 credit course taught by Eric Goodman. MATH 215 gives students an understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics and how statistics is applied in the sciences, social sciences, and business.

Faculty for this course is from the school Science and Technology, and varies each semester. To receive credit for MATH 215, you must achieve a mark of at least 50 per cent on each of the following: the midterm examination, the final examination and achieve a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent).

3. MATH 216 - Computer-oriented Approach to Statistics

Students working together in a tutor lesson.

This course is three credits for students to complete. Computer-oriented approach to statistics is a class taught by faculty of science and technology. An important feature of Math 216 is its computer component, which teaches you how to use an industry standard statistical software application to apply the tools of statistics to make practical decisions, prepare reports in the workplace, and complete papers and research projects, in other university courses.

Students are expected to use a standard scientific calculator in each exam. Elementary Statistics, Picturing the World, 6th Ed., by Ron Larson and Betsy Farber is the course text. Many other online resources are give to students for success in this class too. James Doucette is one of the great professor at the university!

4. MATH 270 - Linear Algebra I

Equations solved on the board.

Linear algebra I is a three credit course that has no prerequisites for students. Faculty from this course is from the school of science and technology. MATH 270 is suggested for students in the Science programs. The course covers systems of linear equations, matrices, inverse of a matrix, determinant, vectors in two, three and n-dimensions, Euclidean and general vector spaces, and applications of linear algebra.

To receive credit for MATH 270, you must achieve a mark of at least D (50 percent) with a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. No calculators are allowed use when students are taking the exams. Anton, H., and C. Rorres wrote the course text called Elementary Linear Algebra: Applications Versions, 11th ed. 

5. MATH 365 - Multivariable Calculus

Student trying to learn problems,s on the board.

This is a three credit course for students to complete at AU. It has one prerequisite which is MATH 266. Mathematics 365: Multivariable Calculus is a level III calculus course. Concepts include a limited number of applications of multivariable calculus, such as real-world examples and physics applications, leaving students to learn about further applications on their own. A very good math professor at the university is Ming Kou.

To receive credit for MATH 365, you must achieve a grade of at least 50 percent on each examination, and a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent).  Stewart, J. wrote the text Calculus (8th ed.) for the course. The textbook’s interactive site, WebAssign, includes the interactive textbook along with tutorials, videos, animations, labs, practice examples and practice exams.

6. MATH 370 - Applied Real Analysis

Building on campus at AU for research.

MATH 370 has prerequisites MATH 265, MATH 266, MATH 270, MATH 271 and MATH 365, or equivalent courses from another university. Faculty is science and technology instructors to teach students. The course is 3 credits for student to earn at AU.

The course content is a carefully arranged series of problems, exercises and theorems that students are expected to work through on their own. Short assignments are assigned at the end of each course unit. A self-directed course project is assigned upon completion of the course units. Students will be marked based on a midterm and final exam.

7. MATH 409 - Number Theory

Image of equations on paper.

This course is complete in the Center of Science. It is three credits for students to complete. Prerequisites MATH 265, MATH 266, MATH 270, MATH 271 and MATH 309, or equivalent courses from another university. Topics include elementary number theory, the branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of numbers, including, but not limited to, divisibility, prime numbers, and modular arithmetic.

The teaching method employed in Mathematics 409 is a version (adjusted for distance education) of what is known as the Moore method, developed by Robert L. Moore, who taught mathematics at the University of Texas from about 1920 to 1969. The method is based on the realization that students gain a deeper understanding of a topic when they explore it for themselves.

8. MATH 480 - Mathematical Modeling I

Student trying to solve equation problems on the board.

Mathematical Modeling I is a course that is three credits for students to complete at AU. It is complete in the area of science where professors vary each semester. Prerequisites are MATH 265, MATH 266, MATH 270, and MATH 376, or equivalent courses from another university. MATH 309 is recommended, but not required. Students speak very highly of Sam Fefferman as a professor.

Students learn to design, construct and refine mathematical models of situations in the physical sciences, the social sciences, finance, medicine or business. Given its emphasis, the course does not present much in the way of new mathematics, but rather provides experience in using known mathematical methods in application to real-world cases.

9. MATH 492 - Special Study I

Professor teaching students in class.

Before being allowed to register, the student must submit an acceptable project proposal to the Course Coordinator. The course is three credits for students to fulfill. The faculty varies but are from the school of science and technology.

The purpose of the Special Study courses is to provide a flexible means by which students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics program can focus on, elaborate, or broaden their understanding in an area of interest in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics that is not provided for in the formal core curriculum or elective courses of the program.

10. MATH 495 - Mathematics Projects

Group of students work together on a project.

Students are given three credits per course in their mathematics projects. In order for students to take the course, permission from the course professor and at least 12 credits (at least 3 at the senior level) in the topic area are needed. Students can pick faculty in the school of science and technology to aid in the revision of their projects.

The purpose of the MATH 495, Mathematics Projects, courses is to provide a means by which students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics program can demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have learned. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills by producing a research project in an area of mathematics of their own choosing.

All in all, Athabasca University has many math courses, but these 10 stand out to students and have high ratings for degree completion. College in general can be stressful, but when classes are engaging and professors genuinely care about students, it makes like a whole lot easier!

Students gather under AU main sign.

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