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1 STEM Mathematics Major: What is the Right Thing? Helen M. Roberts AMS Workshop for Department Chairs and Department Leaders January 8, 2013

2 Goals Mathematics Major Currently what is the goal for a mathematics major? What changes might the current focus on STEM education and STEM workforce imply for the mathematics major of the future?

3 Discussion Break into groups by Institution Number Doctoral 16 Masters 16 Bachelors 12 Total 44

4 Department Size Department Size Number 60 or more 1 50 to to to to to Less than 10 5 Total 44

5 Type by Size Department Size Doctoral Masters Bachelors Total 60 or more to to to to to Less than Total

6

7 Discussion Current Major Discuss at your tables and report back What is the major designed to provide? What are the learning outcomes? When was the last time you reviewed the major? Aside from becoming teachers what do your majors do? Are you retaining your majors?

8 Focus on STEM

9

10 STEM Workforce STEM occupations projected to grow by 17% from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8% growth for non-stem occupations. President s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) found that economic forecasts point to a need for producing, over the next decade, approximately 1 million more college graduates in STEM fields than had been previously projected. More than 2/3 of STEM workers have at least a college degree STEM workers earn 26% more than their non-stem counterparts

11 91.2% of all STEM workers in will need at least some postsecondary education

12 More Background Information Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): in 2009 the US ranked 27 th out of 29 developed countries in the % of undergraduate students earning BS degrees whose degrees are in science or engineering

13

14 Problems/Issues Two challenges attract more/keep more The proportion intending to major in STEM is relatively constant at about 25% (last 15 years) but the gap between the number who intend to major and actually major is an issue

15 Problems/Issues Many students who intend to major in a STEM field do not complete their degrees, or wind up earning degrees in non-stem disciplines. According to the 2005 Survey of the American Freshman (as reported by the House Science Committee), half of all students who begin in the physical or biological sciences and 60 percent of those in mathematics will drop out of these fields by their senior year, compared with a 30 percent drop-out rate in the humanities and social sciences.

16

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18 The Higher Education Research Institute shows that STEM majors are less likely to complete degrees in any field compared to those who intended to major in non-stem fields

19 Students who complete STEM bachelors degrees in 4 & 5 years Race 4-year completion 5-year completion Native Americans 14.0% 18.8% Black 13,2% 18.4% Latino 15.8% 22.1% Asian American 32,4% 42% White 24.5% 33%

20 A Survey by Seymour and Hewitt 90% who switched out of STEM cite poor teaching 73% of those who did not leave STEM cite poor teaching about 50% who left STEM cite curriculum overload fast pace non STEM major offers better education/more interest Teaching is cited in various different ways Issue is to get teachers to adopt new techniques.

21

22 What do we have to consider? Studies show and/or we know Students are not prepared (Alex) Preparation of College Teachers (Tim) Preparation of K -12 Teachers Various reports suggest We need to INSPIRE students stay in the major Change how we teach (Michel)

23 What do we have to consider? Students claim that Teaching is an issue Intro courses are hard Intro courses are abstract Fast paced Memorize and apply steps by rote Ineffective and uninspired introductory courses dull and unimaginative

24 Context The mathematical sciences are part of almost every aspect of everyday life Work (research) in the biological/physical/social sciences, medicine, business and engineering has become more mathematical The demands for the STEM Workforce Students leave the major between the 1 st and 2 nd year The low retention of starting STEM (mathematics) majors

25 More Things to Consider What do math majors do when they graduate Graduate School Work Force In the US about 100 research universities produce 80% of all doctoral degrees Must increase student interest in STEM majors and STEM careers

26 Clemson (math grads who filled out a survey 09 to 11) 36% are employed 43% go to Grad School 14% seeking employment 7% other

27 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) The skill set of graduates encompasses technical depth in a relevant discipline, breadth of knowledge across the mathematical and computational sciences, interest in and experience with the scientific or business focus of the employer, enthusiasm for varied challenges, the flexibility and communications skills required to work in an interdisciplinary team, the discipline to meet time constraints, and a sense for a reasonable solution.

28 Challenge Discussion and Report Out Rethink the math major? If yes, what do we have to change? o Curriculum to keep up with the needs of the work force o Courses have they kept up with how the mathematical sciences are used? o retain students If no, is the status quo OK? o minor changes? Improve/change the first two years of STEM education? When do math majors start doing something other than Calculus?

29 Challenge Discussion and Report Out Think about learning goals for majors and courses: how to achieve them for the STEM workforce and academics in light of STEM workforce need and retention of majors in offering courses for other STEM disciplin

30 Interesting Schools HARRISBURG UNIVERSITY FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Undergraduate PSM Competitiveness in STEM fields requires a focus on the skills and the supply of those involved in STEM fields from the most complex research and development and leadership positions to production, repair, marketing, sales and other jobs that require competencies built upon math, science, engineering, and technology

31 Jobs of Math Majors Digital design processing engineer Financial analyst Statistical analyst Data manager Technical writer numerical analysis and modeling Accounting Numerical modeler specialist Programming Network engineer Asset liability management/treasury Operations director System engineer Marketing analyst

32 Jobs of Math Majors Production manager Marketing analyst Business development analyst Research applications engineer Patent analyst Quality analyst modeling Cryptography and security Biotechnology Software engineer Computer systems analyst Industrial engineer Accountant Economist

33 Jobs of Math Majors Physicist Astronomers Medicine Robotics

34 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) Skills that graduates need mathematics statistics mathematical modeling numerical simulation depth in an appropriate specialty computational skills programming in C++, MATLAB, or scripting language Python Familiarity with high-performance computing (e.g. parallel computing, large-scale data mining, and visualization) Communication skills

35 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) In the business world, industrial mathematics is invisible because it is often not called mathematics. It is called analytics, modeling, or simply generic research. Credit for mathematical advances may go to information technology when it should really go to the people who use the technology and figure out how to employ it effectively T-Shaped depth in one area and breadth of understanding of mathematical and computational sciences

36 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) Need to understand algorithms, mathematical modeling and applications. Perhaps 20% is implementation on computers, but 80% of the work involves understanding the physics and engineering.

37 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) Results of a survey of employers when asked what is essential/important in an annual performance review: 67% mathematical models 64% presentation to management 59% preparation of internal reports 53% presentation to customers 39% presentation at conferences 43% software development 29% publications in the open literature

38 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) Our economy and that of the developed world is in the midst of a transition from a product-based economy to a knowledge-based economy, in which innovation and advances are driven by the expertise of individuals and organizations. We are convinced that the mathematical and computational sciences have contributed and will continue to contribute to the the nation s economy by providing new knowledge and new ways of doing business.

39 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) Business analytics Predictive analytics Image analysis and data mining Operations research Mathematical finance Algorithmic trading Systems biology Basin models Molecular dynamics Whole patient models Oil discovery and extraction Manufacturing Virtual prototyping Multidisciplinary design, optimization and CAD

40 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) Robotics Supply chain Management (biotechnology and automotive industry) Communications and transportation Logistic Cloud computing Modeling complex systems Viscous fluid flows Smart cities Computer systems, software and information technology

41 Separate Issue PCAST - Students need mathematical and, increasingly, computational competency at a college level to succeed in STEM majors and jobs. This makes mathematics distinct from other disciplines, as it is a gateway to other STEM fields.

42 Delivery and Environment Create an environment conducive to retention: evidence-based methods, research early, group learning, relevance of discipline for STEM, role models, STEM extra-curricular activities, diversity of careers, mentoring and tutoring, employment in labs, scholarships, create atmosphere keep you not weed you out, connections between higher ed and industry, internships, projects

43 SIAM in Industry Report (2012) Universities will continue to play a key role as the source of talented individuals with the desire and ability to apply mathematical knowledge to real-world problems. But this will not happen by itself; university faculty must actively encourage students to consider careers in industry and prepare those students for the very different world they will encounter upon graduation.

44 References Mathematics in Industry (2012) SIAM Report (2012) President s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) (2010) Report to the President: Prepare and Improve K 12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and MATH (STEM) for America s Future. Washington, DC: PCAST. stp/pcast-stemed-report,pdf Seymour, E. and N.M. Hewitt. (1997) Talking About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences, Westview Press Boulder, CO

45 References President s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) (2012) Report to the President: Report to the President Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, Washington DC: PCAST. February stp/pcast-engage-to-excel-final_feb.pdf Association of American Universities Five-Year Initiative for Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (2011)

46 References Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops (2011). National Academies Press, The STEM Workforce Challenge: the Role of the Public Workforce System in a National Solution for a Competitive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce (2007). Report prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration by Jobs for the Future.

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