20192020 Academic Catalog
Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics


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John M. Zelle, Chair; Cristian G. Allen; Joy L. Becker; Brian J. Birgen; Mariah H. Birgen; Benjamin D. Bousquet; Charles C. Figura; Terry L. Letsche
Actuarial Science
The actuarial science program provides students with the preparation necessary to be successful in mathematical intensive business fields, including becoming an actuary. Students develop a broad base of skills which prepare them for a wide variety of tasks needed in the actuarial career as well the specific skills necessary to pass the actuarial certification exams.
Actuarial Science program goals:
 Students will develop the mathematical skills necessary to be successful on the actuarial certification exams and in mathematics dominated careers in business.
 Students will be prepared to apply their knowledge of mathematics and computer technology to a variety of problems in business and finance and produce solutions.
 Students will be capable of communicating mathematical concepts in small and large groups to audiences from a range of technical backgrounds.
 Students will understand the role of mathematics in society and be prepared to confront the ethical issues associated with careers in mathematics and business.
Intended Student Learning Outcomes
Students will:
 communicate mathematics accurately and effectively through written and oral presentations.
 solve a variety of mathematical problems, including, but not limited to, calculus and linear algebra.
 select and use appropriate technology to solve mathematical problems.
 be prepared to take the actuarial exams in probability and financial.
Programs
Mathematics
The mathematics program helps students understand the structure of mathematics, demonstrate skills, solve problems, and apply mathematics in meaningful vocations and services.
Students begin study at the mathematical level consistent with their ability and previous education.
Students use computers on a Windows network located near mathematics classrooms and have use of them both inside and outside of class. The computers, equipped with specialized mathematics software packages such as Maple, Vensim, and Geometer’s Sketchpad are used extensively in the calculus sequence as well as many upperdivision mathematics courses.
Internships and field experiences for qualified students in mathematics are arranged during May Term and/or Summer Term at businesses in diverse locations such as Chicago; Austin, Minn.; Rochester, Minn.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Greenbelt, Md; Waterloo; and Waverly.
Mathematics program goals:
 Students will develop a coherent and broadbased understanding of the mathematics discipline consistent with the current MAA recommendations.
 Students will be prepared for entry into mathematics professions such as actuarial scientist or applied mathematician, for graduate study, and for the professional and personal challenges of the discipline.
 Students will appreciate mathematical knowledge and skills and be prepared to confront the ethical and societal issues associated with the mathematics profession.
 Students will be prepared to apply their knowledge of mathematics and computer technology to specific problems and produce solutions.
 After graduation, students who have completed the mathematics major and have sought employment will be employed in a mathrelated field or enrolled in graduate school.
Intended Student Learning Outcomes
Students will:
 analyze a proof for correctness.
 apply mathematical skills and processes to solve realwork problems.
 communicate mathematics accurately and effectively through written and oral presentations.
 solve a variety of mathematical problems, including, but not limited to, calculus and linear algebra.
 select and use appropriate technology to solve mathematical problems.
Programs
Major in Mathematics Teaching
For additional information on teaching majors and endorsements, see Education Department listings.
Computer Science and Computer Information Systems
The computer science program recognizes the growing and pervasive use of computers and believes that liberal arts colleges are the correct place to explore the function and use of computers. Such study stimulates students’ intellectual development, encourages critical thinking, and teaches analytical evaluation and quantification of observations.
Internships and field experiences allow students to spend a term at a business or industry such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CUNA Mutual Insurance Society, John Deere Waterloo Operations, and Principal Financial Group.
Wartburg computer science and computer information systems majors use computers on a Windows network near classrooms and have use of them both inside and outside of class. The department also has a computer science “Home Room,” which has a group of Linux servers and workstations. Additionally, students have access to a variety of Linux and Windowsbased computer labs.
Computer science program goals:
 Students will develop a coherent and broadbased understanding of the discipline of computer science, including an appreciation for its intellectual depth and for its abstract issues.
 Students will be prepared to apply their knowledge to produce computer solutions to problems large and small.
 Students will confront the ethical and social issues associated with the computing field and be prepared to face the personal ethical challenges of the discipline.
 Students will learn to work and communicate effectively with their peers through group projects and through assignments emphasizing oral and written communication skills.
 Students will be prepared for success in the computing profession or in graduate school in accordance with their personal ability and goals.
Intended Student Learning Outcomes
Students will:
 demonstrate an understanding of core computer/information systems concepts in both theory and practice.
 exercise analysis, design, and implementation skills to solve computing related problems.
 demonstrate effective technical communication skills both written and oral.
 critically analyze ethical and social issues that arise in the computing professions.
 analyze, evaluate, and improve software systems from lovelevel debugging to highlevel design.
Programs
Physics
The physics program provides indepth instruction for physics majors with special emphasis in physics education and preparation for graduate school. Small class size encourages informal interaction between faculty and students.
The physics program provides laboratory and research equipment that includes microcomputers, electromagnets, oscilloscopes, lasers, vacuum pumps, multichannel fast Fourier transform analyzer, and telescopes. Access to the Internet and campus computation resources is provided through a variety of Linux and Windowsbased computer labs.
Physics program goals:
 Students will develop a coherent and broadbased understanding of the principles of physics, including models of mechanical, thermodynamic, electromagnetic, optical, atomic, and quantum systems.
 Students will be able individually and in teams to use analytic, numerical, computational, and visual tools to analyze and solve problems.
 Students will demonstrate ability to work collaboratively to articulate, design, conduct, and communicate results of experiments.
 Students will confront the ethical and social issues associated with the conduct of physics research and be prepared to face the personal ethical challenges of the discipline.
 Students will be prepared for success in the physics profession or in graduate school in accordance with their personal ability and goals.
Intended Student Learning Outcomes
Students will:
 demonstrate an appropriate level of understanding of the principles of physics, including models of mechanical, thermodynamic, electromagnetic, optical, atomic, and quantum systems.
 demonstrate proficiency in using analytic, numerical, and computational techniques to solve physics problems.
 demonstrate effective oral communication skills in various physics contexts.
 demonstrate an awareness of the ethical, social, and philosophical issues associated with the conduct of physics research.
 be appropriately prepared for a career in a field involving physics.
Department Recommendations
Students majoring in physics are encouraged to tailor the major to their interests by taking additional courses in physics, mathematics, computer science, engineering science, and/or chemistry.
Programs
Physics Teaching
For additional information on teaching majors and endorsements, see Education Department listings.
Programs
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