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Mathematics Mission Statement:

Mathematics offers an important way of viewing, analyzing and interpreting the world.  It allows us to observe patterns, develop conjectures and make predictions.  We strive to nurture a mathematical point of view in our students at all levels whether they are pursuing a liberal arts education in the humanities, in need of mathematical skills to complement other fields of study or wish to study mathematics as a core discipline. 

We also aim to provide a thorough undergraduate training in mathematics for those students who wish to pursue graduate study in mathematics, teach mathematics in the secondary school systems, or work in various fields of business and industry. 

The mathematics department will attain these goals by:

  • Providing an up-to-date curriculum that is both broad in diversity of subject matter and rigorous in content.
  • Expand students’ mathematical reasoning, problem solving and communication abilities.
  • Promote connections with other disciplines through the co-concentration program.
  • Develop students’ use and appreciation of technologies relevant to the study of mathematics.
  • Provide a curriculum of general education mathematics courses with substantive skill development in quantitative and abstract reasoning.

News

Seminar: A Voting Theory Approach to Golf Scoring
Dr. Michael A. Jones
Mathematical Reviews
 
Thursday, April 20, 2017
4:00 pm in Klein Lecture Hall (CFA 235)
 
Abstract:
The Professional Golfer's Association (PGA) is the only professional sports league in the U.S. that changes the method of scoring depending on the event. Even without including match play or team play, PGA tournaments can be scored under stroke play or the modifed Stableford scoring system; these two methods of scoring are equivalent to using voting vectors to tally an election. This equivalence is discussed and data from the 2004 Masters and International Tournaments are used to examine the effect of changing the scoring method on the results of the tournament.
 
With as few as 3 candidates, elementary linear algebra and convexity can be used to show that changing how votes are tallied by a voting vector can result in up to 7 different election outcomes (ranking all 3 candidates and including ties) even if all of the voters do not change the way they vote! Sometimes, regardless of the voting vector the same outcome would have occurred, as in the 1992 US Presidential election. I relate this to the question: Can we design a scoring vector to defeat Tiger Woods? And answer it, retrospectively, for his record-breaking 1997 Masters performance.
 
* This is an Experience Event