DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS
STRATEGIC PLAN 2004
I.A. The Math Department has a major focus on building nationally recognized research groups in Discrete Math and Math Education. This is critical to the proposal to develop Ph.D. programs in these two areas, which is a top priority for our department. It is important to develop partnerships with other departments, including Curriculum and Instruction, and work on joint research projects. A vital link in this effort is developing two centers-A Center for Discrete Math to coordinate the research in that area; and Texas State Mathworks as a comprehensive center to coordinate teacher preparation in mathematics and the sciences with Curriculum and Instruction.
In 5 years, we expect to accomplish the following:
- Texas State Mathworks will be a nationally recognized math education center fully integrated with the teacher preparation program at Texas State. This center will include pre-service and in-service teacher preparation programs; a Discovery Learning Lab; summer training programs for students and teachers; and academic year training programs that will double the number of students pursuing careers in teaching mathematics. Moreover, this center will coordinate programs between Math and Curriculum and Instruction, including a Ph. D. program for teachers. The impact is that this will be a model program for the state, and a program that will produce teachers who will raise the level of mathematics being taught in public schools throughout Texas.
- The Center for Discrete Math will be a nationally recognized center coordinating programs leading to a Ph.D. in Discrete Math. This innovative program will be linked to our new programs in technology as well as programs in computer science.
With the successful introduction of the initiatives contained herein we expect:
- A substantial increase in the number of graduate students in the department.
- Visiting faculty offering seminars and graduate courses.
- Part time instructors who work in the industry and will contribute in our applied math program teaching courses and mentoring students in their internships
- Active undergraduate research both in discrete mathematics and in Math. Education.
- An increase in the administrative staff and in the number of computer labs coordinators.
- The hiring of faculty members in particular areas such as applied mathematics, statistics and assessment.
- A decrease in the number of lecturers with the availability of advanced graduate students to teach lower level classes.
I.B. We will request 2 faculty positions in 2004-5 and (if both Ph.D. proposals are advanced), a total of 5 more new positions in the next 5 years.
I.C. First a note about the Ph.D. proposals, including faculty funding. The two Ph.D. proposals request a combined amount of over $8,000,000. There is a consensus among the faculty that much of these costs will be recouped by grant support and external funding. Actual estimates of new unrecovered funding needed from the university over 5 years is approximately $1,500,000.
New Funding, excluding faculty lines. For initiatives that do not depend on the Ph.D. proposals, the 5 year total request is approximately $289,000 and the first year we are requesting $85,000.
At a faculty department meeting, faculty volunteered to work on various subsets of the plan. The vast majority of faculty were involved. Then another group of faculty coordinated and presented the plan. Over the available time period, the plan was fine tuned, and a final faculty meeting was held to make last minute adjustments.
III. Program Maintenance
We have a dire need to hire a statistician to support a new MS degree. There is also a serious shortage of faculty office space within the department. This will only become worse as we hire and grow (without the provision of new space).
IV. Planning Categories
IV.A. Academic Programs.
- We describe three broad-based program initiatives within the department in this section. As the new academic program proposals fall within the framework of these initiatives, to give context we outline the components of these initiatives, including items that may not be strictly new or pertain directly to degree programs.
- DISCRETE MATHEMATICS INITIATIVES
- Research Certificate in Discrete Mathematics: This is a two-year residential research certificate that has been proposed. It is designed for a limited number of highly qualified doctoral students who are currently enrolled in a doctoral program in discrete mathematics and related fields at selected universities and have finished all required doctoral courses at their home universities. Participants will spend two years at TEXAS STATE doing doctoral dissertation research under the co-supervision of TEXAS STATE faculty and their home university faculty. There have been several universities showing great interest in collaborating with us in this research certificate.
Cost: $24,300.00 (Students are hired as half-time lectures.) However, key faculty members may get teaching reduction, which will require an additional $14,000.00 funding ($3,500 x 4 per course replacement faculty). The cost may be covered by the credit hours generated by the program.
- PhD in Discrete Mathematics: A PhD. In Discrete Mathematics has been proposed. The focus of this degree will be research in Discrete Mathematics and Information Science. The curriculum will include areas such as network designs, optimization, scheduling, and coding and encryption. The mathematical sciences in general, and discrete mathematics in particular, constitute the theoretical foundation for information science and technology.
Cost: The cost analysis has been done extensively within the Ph.D. proposal. According to estimates, the program will break even within 5 years of the program. The first year cost will be about $400,000.
- Texas Discrete Mathematics Seminar: This is a weekly seminar on the research of Discrete Mathematics and related fields. It started in September 2000. Speakers of the seminar include TEXAS STATE Mathematics Department faculty, TEXAS STATE Computer Science Department faculty, faculty from some other universities in Texas, and some researchers from industry. This provides opportunities to various researchers to present their research results, to share and discuss their interesting ideas, and to further research collaboration.
Cost: $4,800/year, (12 outside speakers with an average cost $400 each)
- Creation of The Center for Discrete Mathematics: This will increase the visibility of the research group in the department. Will also help obtain research grants, attract faculty and students to the program, and organize conferences, etc.
Cost: $23,000/yr for secretarial support for the first 2 years. After that time, it should be self-supported by grants.
- Student Summer Research in Discrete Mathematics: The Department of Mathematics has 8 faculty members interested in Discrete Mathematics and related fields. Some of these faculty members invite graduate and undergraduate students to do research in summer. Master's theses have resulted from the summer research. We propose to support this activity with scholarships.
Cost: $8000 a year in terms of scholarships for students. ($2,000/student for 4 students)
- Endowed Chair in Discrete Math and/or Related Field: As part of our vision concerning initiatives in discrete mathematics and applied mathematics, we propose the hiring of an endowed chair professor in the broadly defined area of discrete mathematics and computational mathematics to help attract grants as well as new faculty and students.
Cost: $120,000 per year plus starting up grant. However, the cost may well be covered by the grants the endowed chair generates after the first two years.
- APPLIED MATHEMATICS INITIATIVES
- The department has completed the process of adding a Master's Degree Program in Industrial Mathematics: Graduates from this program will be provided with the knowledge and skills demanded by industry and business. To support this program and offer the newly created statistics courses, there is an urgent need to hire a statistician, since our one faculty member most competent in statistics has resigned.
- Master's Degree Program in Scientific Computation: The Department of Mathematics proposes to offer a new Master's degree program with a major in Scientific Computation. The program proposal has been submitted and is waiting for approval (VPAA Office). The department is of the opinion that the degree is being held because of the financial proposals made within it. We propose to adjust it by deleting the cost for computer science support and ask for 2 lecturers instead, one for mathematics and one for computer science. The program is designed to produce graduates with training in both mathematics and computer science. The program will focus on scientific computation and will stress a combination of mathematics, computer science and applications. This program will expose students to advanced computational methods as an aid to research, development, and design. Students will be trained in the use of a variety of new algorithms and analytic techniques developed to utilize the power of advanced computational tools.
Cost: Mathematics Lecturer $24,300. Computer Science Lecturer $27,000
- MATHEMATICS EDUCATION INITIATIVE
- Develop Texas State Mathworks as a nationally recognized center to coordinate all teacher preparation programs for pre-service and in-service teachers, linking programs in mathematics and C&I. Specific programs include the following:
- Master Mathematics Teacher Certification: The State Board of Educator Certification has a Master Mathematics Teacher program designed for teachers who want to teach mathematics and to serve as a mathematics mentor to other teachers in selected school districts. When the Master of Education with a major in Middle School Mathematics Teaching is approved, the Department of Mathematics of TEXAS STATE will have the necessary courses to meet the standards to apply for a Master Mathematics Teacher Certification program. Currently there are only two Master Mathematics Teacher programs in Texas. Cost: $1,000.00/yr for secretarial support and supplies.
- Discovery Learning Laboratory: We propose a center focused on discovery learning methodology and curriculum. This laboratory will provide a place where discovery learning curriculum and techniques will be developed and modeled for pre-service and in-service teachers. Students from our university courses as well as students from local area public schools will be involved in teaching modules. This center will promote the use of reflective tools such as the Japanese Lesson Study Method. The laboratory will allow the Department of Mathematics to work with other departments, such as Curriculum and Instruction, to identify and encourage students to consider teaching as a career. The laboratory will be paid for through grants using existing facilities.
- Ph.D. in Mathematics Education: A Ph.D. in Mathematics Education has been proposed. The goal of this program is to produce educators who have a solid background in discrete mathematics and knowledge of today's new information technology so that they can educate students to meet the challenges of tomorrow's information world. The total new costs for the first five years of the Ph.D. programs proposed by the Mathematics Department were estimated to be $6,423,428 (Substantive Program Request-Table VII.38 -Page 115.) The actual new costs to the University will be less than $500,000 for the first 5 years.
- Online or Distance Learning Courses: The department has completed the process of adding a "Master of Education with a major in Middle School Mathematics Teaching" degree. The development was funded by a $1.5 million 3 years grant from NSF involving 3 campuses. The department has received university funding (estimate $89,333) to develop over 4 years all courses within this degree to a distance learning format. We have also requested a $300,000 extension from NSF to continue the program. Approximately 35 students will be awarded this degree at TxState in May 2004 and another 60 at two participating campuses (SHSU and SFA).
IV.B. Student Learning and Success Recommendations concerning:
- Improved quality of teaching and learning:
Increased technology usage in classrooms and development of "practice" areas.
Development of organized internship program for majors.
Redesign some classrooms for interactive instruction.
Recruit area specific faculty for developing programs (statistics/applied math.).
Develop distance learning capability and service.
Organize Developmental Mathematics Center.
Develop student writing program and presentation of papers for majors.
- New resources:
Equipment - technology, interactive instruction,
Center Training - technology, interactive instruction,
Center, distance learning Facilities - technology, interactive learning,
Center Faculty staff - specific professors Released time - technology, internship program,
Center, SLAC assessment, distance leaning, assessment of program, student writing.
It is to be noted that some of the above could be supported by course and laboratory fees.
IV.C. Scholarly and Creative Activity/ Grant Activity
- In addition to the two new Ph.D. degrees and other new programs mentioned above (in the Discrete, Applied and Mathematics Education initiatives) we add the following:
- 12 month plans:
Begin regular seminars in mathematics education. Resources needed; $4,800.
Expand and coordinate Mathworks programs with other outreach programs, such as working with the Chinese school in Austin. No resources needed.
Provide recognition for faculty research (best paper) and grant writing (best grant). Released time required. Cost: $7,000 for the course replacements each year.
- 2 year plans:
Begin program for inviting visiting research faculty to work with faculty. Funding for visiting position required. Cost: $25,000/year.
- 5 year plan:
Provide 2-3 teaching load for super-active research faculty. Requires additional resources. (from grants or from Texas State administration. Estimate $3,500 per course for 3 courses per year, for $10,500 total.)
- What new plans for grant writing or other externally funded projects will your unit propose in next 12 months? 2 years? 5 years? What new resources are required?
- 12 month plans.
Build partnerships with companies to promote joint research opportunities. Companies should provide any additional resources.
- 2 year plans (and 5 year plans):
Develop nationally recognized centers in Discrete Mathematics and Math Education (Texas State Mathworks). Build active research groups in each area. Will require additional office space (see the "ongoing" section of this document).
Link these centers to new Ph.D. initiatives and on-going research. (No Resources required)
Coordinate these programs with C&I and other departments on campus. (No resources required).
The Department of Mathematics plans to fund several initiatives using funds from Development: an Endowed Chair in Discrete Mathemtics or Mathematics Education (a 5-year plan as part of the vision of a PhD program), a colloquium/seminar fund (for the next 12 months), scholarships (over 2 years), and a mathematics center (over 5 years). The Department plans to work with Development Officers from the University and from the College of Science to cultivate donors, inform our alumni of our activities and goals through newsletters or other media, explore our Advisory Board as a source for scholarships, and perhaps hire our own development officer (5 years).
All new tenure-track hires should be made taking into account the following points pertaining to faculty diversity:
- Diversity of area in mathematics may be served by the hiring of a statistician or a mathematician in a central applied area, such as applied dynamical systems. Certainly this is one of the greatest needs for our department.
- Diversity of area in math ed. may be served by the hiring of a Ph. D. from an area such as Assessment.
- More women tenure-track hires are needed.
- It may be possible to increase our representation of ethnic minority groups on the faculty.
- Diversity in math ed. faculty may be served by hiring candidates with highest degree from an institution outside of the Texas' University systems.
Given the population of the University, the Math Dept has done an admirable job of including all types of students as math majors. Nonetheless, the fact is that we can still do more to encourage minority high school students in their mathematical interests, to consider TEXAS STATE and our Department as presenting opportunities for them to build the foundations of their future lives. Suggested initiatives to address this issue include:
- The development of a web-site targeted to potential minority students.
- School visits by faculty.
- More aggressive recruiting of graduate students with primary degrees from other institutions.