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Math Courses at Michigan State University

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Katelyn Heuer

Michigan State University is a public research university located in East Lansing, Michigan. While MSU has many notable alumni, some of the most popular one's include Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Hailie Jade (daughter of the infamous Eminem), Timothy Granaderos, Magic Johnson, Nick Foles, and Tyler Oakley. MSU takes pride in giving its students the best eduction, so like these notable alumni, students have a shot at success after graduating. Part of a good education, of course, is a strong foundation in math, which MSU provides all of its students. Keep reading this post to learn about some of the math courses offered at MSU!

1. MTH 103 - College Algebra

A basic algebra equation

If you need to take a math class but you know that your math skills aren't as strong as the should be or need to be, consider taking College Algebra. This class will allow you to refresh your mind on basic math topics such as number systems, functions, relations, exponents, logarithms, theory of equations, inequalities, systems of equations and more. In past years, MTH 103 has been taught by Professors Sue Allen, Sharon Griffin, Brian Chadwick, Steve Draggoo, Jennifer Powers, Jane Zimmerman, and more.

2. MTH 114 - Trigonometry

A triangle drawn in a circle

Trigonometry is also a good skill to sharpen your math skills before taking a more complex math course. This course, taught by Professors Steve Draggoo and Sharon Griffin, allows students to study the relationship between lengths and angels of triangles. More specifically, students will learn about radian and degree angle measurement, trigonometric functions, function inverses, trigonometric equations, identities, indirect measurement, and trigonometric modeling.

3. MTH 124 - Survey of Calculus I

A system of equations

Survey of Calculus I introduces students to the basic topics and foundations of calculus. This includes limits, continuous functions, derivatives, integrals, and their applications. In the past, MTH 124 has been taught by Nikolai Ivanov, David Bramer, Pavel Mozolyako, Shahriar Mirzadeh, and Ioannis Zachos.

4. MTH 126 - Survey of Calculus II

A chalkboard with equations on it

Survey of Calculus II is a continuation of MTH 124, which means that students will pick up where they left off and will continue to hone their calculus skills. Students who take this course may be taught by Professors Chang Wang or Valentina Maddalena and will learn about partial derivatives, integral, optimization of functions, and differential equations. While some of the topics are that same as in Survey of Calculus I, students will explore these topics in more depth and at a more challenging level.

5. MTH 201 - Elementary Mathematics for Teachers I

A teacher and a young student in a math class

Although this is technically a math course, it's only open to students who are child development, education, or special education-learning disabilities majors. Students in this class will learn the fundamentals of math needed to teach at the kindergarten through grade 8 levels and will heavily focus on creating a sequential order for teaching these fundamentals. Taught by Professors Rileigh Luczak, Monica Karunakaran, David Bowers, Merve Kursav, Leonardo Medel, Oyemolade Osibodu, and others, students will learn how to teach mental math, solve word problem, factors, primes, prealgebra, real numbers, and additional topics.

6. MTH 235 - Differential Equations

a professor teaching a classroom of students

STEM majors often have to take differential equations because of how applicable the topics are to various STEM fields. In this class, students will learn about separable and exact equations, linear equations, variation of parameters, higher order linear equations, Laplace transforms, systems of first-order linear equations, partial differential equations, and Fourier series. In past years, MTH 235 has been taught by Professors Gabriel Nagy, Tsvetanka Sendova, Farhan Abedin, Gorapada Bera, Mohammadreza Bidar, and others.

7. MTH 299 - Transitions

students and faculty in department of mathematics at MSU

Transitions is the perfect class for students who are worried about going from a lower level math class to a higher level math class. This class will introduce students to mathematical reasoning, logic, set theory, integers, natural numbers, induction, number theory, real numbers, limits, sequences, and series-- all topics used in higher level math classes that students may not have been previously introduced to. In the past, MTH 299 has been taught by Professors Keshav Sutrave, Shiv Karunakaran, Georgios Psaromiligkos, Michael Paparizos, Nicholas Rekuski, Andrew Claussen.

8. MTH 301 - Foundations of Higher Mathematics

students and professors of department of mathematics with Beijing university

Like Transitions, MTH 301 provides students with a solid foundation for higher level math classes. In this class, taught by Professor M. Brown, students will learn about various topics that will be used in higher level math classes at MSU. More specifically, some of these topics include elementary set theory, permutations, combinations, cardinality, theorems, relations, functions, quotient sets, logic, proof techniques, number theory, and abstract algebra.

9. MTH 309 - Linear Algebra I

A graph in linear algebra

Linear Equations, taught by Professors Jun Kitagawa,Ilya Kachkovskiy, Chichia Chiu, Thomas Parker, Leonid Chekov, and Aaron Levin, is another math course that many STEM majors need to take. Some of the topics students will learn about in MTH 309 are matrices, systems of linear equations, vector spaces, linear transformations, inner products, orthogonal spaces, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and geometry applications. In addition, there will be an emphasis on proof writing.

10. MTH 330 - Higher Geometry

Different shapes often seen in geometry

If you like geometry and want to challenge yourself with some more complex geometry, consider taking MTH 330. Taught by Professors Chichia Chiu, K. Lawrence, and M. Brown, students will learn about transformations and advanced Euclidean geometry. Topics within the transformations portion of the class include isometries, similarities, and inversion. Topics within the advanced Euclidean geometry portion include the Menelaus, Ceva, and Desargues theorems; cross ratios; harmonic points; analytic, metric, and vector methods, and convexity.

Math is certainly not an easy subject and students often either completely love it or completely hate it. However, online reviews of these math courses show that more often than not, students enjoy these classes, partially because of how helpful their professors are. Keep this post in mind as you choose your courses for next semester or if you just want to learn more about the math courses offered at MSU!


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