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Mathematics

Studying math at Inver Hills is not only smart, but also a fun and exciting way to enhance your analytical and problem-solving skills while broadening your career options. From a practical standpoint, maybe Nikolai Lobachevsky, the Russian mathematician, said it best: "There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world."

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Mathematics


Contact Information

Carrie Naughton
Mathematics Instructor

cnaught@inverhills.edu
651-450-3785
L247

Admissions Team

admissions@inverhills.edu
651-450-3000
College Center

As a mathematics student at Inver Hills, you will acquire a deeper appreciation for a field Albert Einstein called the "poetry of logical ideas." As your skill set strengthens and you apply the power of math more and more in your daily life and career pursuits, you will find that you have developed the lifelong attitude of an inquisitive, resourceful mathematician.

If you love the language of math, solving complex problems and exploring abstract concepts, then starting your college career by earning an A.A. in Mathematics at Inver Hills adds up in a number of ways. You can transfer as a junior to a four-year institution and complete your bachelor's degree with far less student loan debt. You'll also receive one-on-one instruction from our math faculty, something you probably won't find at a university. The student support system provided by our Math department is second to none.

You can take both pre-college and college-level courses at Inver Hills. Our Math department also offers courses that meet the review standards of Quality Matters™ as excellent examples of online instruction, including:

  • MATH 0840 Introductory Algebra
  • MATH 0940 Intermediate Algebra
  • MATH 1118 College Algebra I
  • MATH 1119 College Algebra II

An international, collaborative organization, Quality Matters (QM) developed quality assurance processes that improve and certify the design of online and blended courses.


Degrees

Mathematics is known for its beauty, harmony and mystery as well as its vital importance in the work of all the sciences. Majoring in math builds problem-solving and analytical skills that are invaluable in the pursuit of professional careers in business, law, medicine, science and more. A solid foundation in mathematics opens doors. As the British mathematician and logician, Augustus De Morgan, once said, "The moving power of mathematical invention is not reasoning but imagination."

A.A. with Emphasis in Mathematics – 60 credits

If you plan on transferring to a four-year college or university as a math major, the A.A. with an Emphasis in Mathematics is the degree for you. The program gives you the flexibility to plan carefully to complete your lower-division, pre-major requirements at Inver Hills before you transfer to the four-year institution of your choice.

Visit Transfer Considerations on Counseling, Advising and Career Development to learn more.

Note: To earn the A.A. with Emphasis, you must complete all the requirements for a general A.A. degree, incorporating the specific requirements of your chosen emphasis. Careful planning with an academic counselor or advisor is strongly advised to tailor the emphasis to meet the requirements of the your chosen four-year college or university.

Coursework   Program Planning Guide

Mathematics Curriculum

You must incorporate the following mathematics coursework into the requirements of your A.A. degree as part of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) or within the elective category.

Required:

  • MATH 1134 Calculus II 5cr
  • MATH 2219 Multivariable Calculus 5cr
  • MATH 2223 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations 5cr

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum – 40 credits

You can apply courses from the mathematics curriculum to the MnTC requirements. The specific requirements for the MnTC are outlined as part of the A.A. degree. To learn more about the requirements, visit Associate of Arts or contact an Inver Hills counselor or advisor.

Electives – 18 credits

You can take courses from any department numbered 1000 or higher. Courses from the mathematics emphasis not applied to the MnTC should be incorporated into the elective category.

Health/Physical Education – 2 credits

You can learn about the specific requirements for Health/Physical Education by visiting Associate of Arts or contacting an Inver Hills counselor or advisor.

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Course Descriptions

MATH 0740  Prealgebra   4.0 cr

Integrates topics of algebra throughout, including simplifying expressions and solving equations. Covers: operations with and properties of signed rational numbers; conversion between fractions, decimals, and percents; estimation; exponents; order of operations; ratios, rates, and proportions; descriptive statistics; interpretation of data from charts, tables, and graphs; US & metric measures and conversions; square roots; similarity; perimeter, area, and volume of geometric shapes; applications; graphing linear equations by point-plotting; and positive and negative slope. Prereq: Recommendation based on the results of the Inver Hills Assessment Inventory or a grade of C or higher in MATH 0640.

MATH 0840  Introductory Algebra   4.0 cr

Designed for students who need work in beginning algebra and who are preparing for Intermediate Algebra (0940), Introduction to Statistics (1103), Math for Liberal Arts (1101), or Mathematical Foundations (1107). The topics in this course include real number operations and properties; solving linear equations and inequalities; graphing linear equations; rules of exponents; polynomial operations; factoring polynomials; solving quadratic equations by factoring and with quadratic formula; solving systems of linear equations; functions; applications are embedded throughout the course. This course will not fulfill any degree requirements.

MATH 0880  Intensive Introductory and Intermediate Algebra   4.0 cr

Is a fast-paced review of algebra skills designed ONLY for students who have previously learned elementary and intermediate algebra, but who need a refresher. This is a web supplemented course. Students must be highly motivated, independent learners and can expect to spend at least 25 hours per week completing homework outside of class. Students will complete assignments online using mathematics software and take a written midterm and final exam in both 0840 and 0940. Successful students will complete both 0840 and 0940 in one semester. For course topics please refer to the descriptions for MATH0840 and MATH0940. This course will not fulfill any degree requirements.

MATH 0940  Intermediate Algebra   5.0 cr

Prepares students for course work in College Algebra (1118) or Pre-Calculus (1127). Course topics include graphing linear, quadratic, absolute value, square root, exponential and logarithmic functions using transformations; graphing piecewise-defined functions; factoring polynomials; solving polynomial, rational, radical, exponential, logarithmic equations and applied problems; the arithmetic of rational expressions and radical expressions; simplifying rational and radical expressions.

MATH 1101  Math for Liberal Arts   3.0 cr

Gives non-mathematicians an appreciation of mathematical ideas and the power and utility of mathematical skills in the modern world. Topics will be selected from: voting and weighted voting systems, fair division and apportionment; routing, minimum network and scheduling problems; mathematical growth and math of finance; descriptive statistics and data analysis; basic probability and normal distributions.

MATH 1103  Introduction to Statistics   4.0 cr

Presents basic statistics which includes descriptive and graphical statistics, basic probability, probability distributions, sampling distributions, confidence intervals and hypotheses testing for one or two populations, linear regression, chi-square tests, and ANOVA. Professional statistical software, such as Minitab, will be integrated throughout the class. Graphing calculator required for the course.

MATH 1107  Mathematical Foundations   4.0 cr

Includes the topics: analysis of the problem solving process; sets and number systems; operations, properties, and computation with the real numbers and their classic subsets; number theory; decimals, ratio, proportion, and percents; statistics; probability; measurement; relations, functions and patterns; algebra models; geometric shapes; and applications. This course can be used for prospective elementary education majors and liberal arts students.

MATH 1118  College Algebra I   4.0 cr

Prepares students for Calculus I (MATH 1133) when taken in sequence with MATH 1119 or for Survey of Calculus (MATH 1120). Topics include the study of algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic functions; graphing functions using transformations; inverse functions; polynomial, exponential, logarithmic equations; systems of linear and non-linear equations; applied problems; building models from data. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

MATH 1119  College Algebra II   4.0 cr

Prepares students for Calculus I (MATH 1133) when taken in sequence with College Algebra I (MATH 1118). Topics include trigonometric functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities and applications, law of sines and cosines, solving trigonometric and parametric equations, conic sections, polar coordinates and graphing functions in polar form, vectors and the complex plane. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

MATH 1120  Survey of Calculus   3.0 cr

Provides students with a survey of topics from differential and integral calculus. This course is not intended as a prerequisite for other courses in calculus. Topics include functions and limits; differentiation of algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic functions; basic integration including the substitution method. Applications include graphing functions, optimization problems, related rates, growth and decay models, and area under curves. Applications are drawn from the life and physical sciences, business and economics, and the social sciences.

MATH 1127  PreCalculus   5.0 cr

Prepares students for Calculus I (MATH 1133). Topics include the study of algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions; graphing functions using transformations; inverse functions; polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric equations; applied problems; trigonometric identities. Time permitting, building models from data may be included. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

MATH 1133  Calculus I   5.0 cr

Provides an introduction to single variable calculus and prepares students for Calculus II (MATH 1134). The topics include limits, derivatives (including trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions), continuity, applications of derivatives to related rates and optimization, graphing using information from the first and second derivatives, separable differential equations, Riemann Sums, basic integration techniques (including substitution), definite integrals, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, Trapezoidal and Simpson's Rule. Students will become proficient with a computer algebra system. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

MATH 1134  Calculus II   5.0 cr

Prepares students for Multivariable Calculus (MATH 2219). Is the second course in the two-semester sequence of single variable calculus. The topics include applications of the integral: area, volume, surface area, center of mass, work, liquid pressure and arc length; techniques of integration; improper integrals; conics; calculus in polar coordinates; calculus involving parametrically-defined curves; and infinite series. Familiarity with a computer algebra system is expected. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

MATH 2219  Multivariable Calculus   5.0 cr

Extends concepts of single-variable calculus to calculus of several variables. The topics include vectors in three-dimensional space, quadric surfaces, limits in two and three dimensions, partial derivatives, gradients, extreme value problems, multiple integration and applications, space curves, curvature, The Frenet frame, divergence, curl, line integrals, conservative vector fields and potential functions, surface and volume integrals, Green's, Stokes' and the Divergence Theorems. Knowledge of a computer algebra system is expected. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

MATH 2221  Introduction to Linear Algebra   3.0 cr

Provides an introduction to linear algebra topics including: systems of linear equations, matrices, determinants, vector spaces, linear transformations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, and selected applications. Familiarity with a computer algebra system is expected. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

MATH 2222  Introduction to Differential Equations   3.0 cr

Provides an introduction to ordinary differential equations.Topics include basic definitions, concepts and terminology of ordinary differential equations. Techniques of problem solving are emphasized. Specific topics covered include: solutions and applications of first-order differential equations, solutions of linear differential equations of higher order, applications of second-order linear differential equations, power series solutions, the Laplace transform, systems of linear differential equations, and an introduction to numerical and graphical methods of solution. Familiarity with a computer algebra system is expected. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

MATH 2223  Linear Algebra and Differential Equations   5.0 cr

Provides an introduction to linear algebra and ordinary differential equation topics including: systems of linear equations, matrices, determinants, vector spaces, linear transformations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, basic concepts and terminology of ordinary differential equations, solutions and applications of first-order differential equations, solutions of linear differential equations of higher-order, applications of second-order differential equations, the Laplace transform, systems of linear differential equations, and an introduction to numerical and graphical methods of solution. Techniques of problem solving are emphasized. Familiarity with a computer algebra system is expected. Use of technology will be embedded throughout the course.

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Transfer Information

The Math department's A.A. with an Emphasis in Mathematics has articulation agreements with the following four-year institutions:

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Meet the Faculty

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Clubs & Organizations

Math League

Math League at Inver Hills was created for three purposes:

  • Encourage student involvement with mathematics
  • Promote the enjoyment and appreciation of math
  • Encourage students to participate in math competitions
Student Mathematics League Exam

Every fall and winter, the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC) sponsors a national competition featuring a Student Mathematics League Exam. The SML Exam is designed as follows:

  • Exam lasts one hour and is administered on one day during a set period
  • Exam level is precalculus mathematics and below
  • Questions may involve precalculus, trigonometry and analytic geometry as well as probability and statistics
  • All questions are multiple choice or short answer
  • Students are allowed to use a graphing calculator as long as the calculator does not have a QWERTY keyboard (no TI-92 calculators allowed)
  • Number of correct and incorrect answers determines scoring
  • Each correct answer receives two points while an incorrect answer deducts half a point
  • No points are deducted for unanswered questions

Practice Sessions

At the end of each semester, our Math department holds SML Exam practice sessions once a week for an hour. Ask your instructor for more details. We have snacks while we go over old exams and discuss problem-solving strategies. Most math instructors offer extra credit for attending and/or taking the SML Exam.

Previous SML Exams

Awards

Awards are given for the top five scorers at the campus, state and national levels for individuals and teams. Inver Hills was a former Minnesota state champion—and we hope to be champs again soon!

Math League Faculty Advisor

James Kolles
Mathematics Instructor
Math League Faculty Advisor
651-450-3402
Office: L236

Professional organizations

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Employment Information

Transferable Skills

Earning your A.A. with Emphasis in Mathematics at Inver Hills will provide you with transferable skills that potential employers greatly value in their workforce. As a graduate with a math degree, you will have shown that you are team-oriented, organized, innovative, adaptable and experienced at solving problems.

Below are just a few of the skills you will acquire by studying mathematics:

  • Applying logic
  • Stating ideas and solutions clearly
  • Describing the physical world in terms of math
  • Analyzing data
  • Thinking precisely
  • Paying attention to detail
  • Following complex reasoning
  • Solving difficult problems
  • Identifying key issues
  • Showing flexibility
  • Investigating thoroughly
  • Listening effectively
  • Giving presentations
  • Mastering mathematical software
  • Organizing your time to meet deadlines
  • Succeeding under pressure
  • Working independently and cooperatively
  • Developing a rigorous, creative and determined mind

Potential careers open to mathematics majors

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can start with earning an A.A. with an Emphasis in Mathematics at Inver Hills.

Additional resources

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Why Inver Hills?

Completing your mathematics degree obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. Appreciate the power and beauty of mathematics
  2. Apply higher-order problem solving and modeling strategies
  3. Speak the language of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  4. Receive an excellent education with one-on-one interactions with math faculty
  5. Study mathematics in a learning-support environment that puts you first
  6. Save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt *

* On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.2 trillion, which is greater than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. In Minnesota, the average debt for four-year grads tops $30,000; 70 percent carry a student debt load.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,300. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. instructors and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars. It's a no-brainer.

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