Feasibility Study. Narrative 1. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM

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1 Feasibility Study Program name and degree level: Master Degree in Mathematical Science. Department/College: Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences. Proposed implementation date: Fall, 2008 Narrative 1. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM The Department of Mathematics at Florida A&M University proposes to offer the Master of Science in Mathematics (MSM) program with two options: Traditional Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. The Traditional Mathematics option will provide students with a course of study that prepares them for further study towards a doctoral program. The Applied Mathematics option will allow students to pursue a course of study which interacts with other science areas such as Biology and Chemistry. The College of Arts and Sciences has a plan of establishing an interdisciplinary center of bioinformatics. The center will provide an excellent opportunity for the MSM program in terms of research training for the graduate students as well as service to other departments. The general goals of the MSM program will be to increase the participation of citizens in careers of mathematics, science, and engineering and technology who are under represented in these fields; and to increase the investment of academic mathematics from industry. The program is intended to help prepare students for professional opportunities in business, industry, and government that require training at the graduate level and also help students prepare to pursue a Ph.D. degrees in mathematics and other sciences. The goal of the Traditional Mathematics is to produce students with broad knowledge and research experiences in pure mathematics such as abstract algebra, topology, and functional analysis. They are expected to go on the pursue their Ph.D. degrees. The goal of the Applied Mathematics option is to produce a traditional mathematics Master s Degree graduates with a significant experience in applied fields. The benefit of this is two-fold: the students will complete a Master s Thesis or complete a Comprehensive Exam to earn a Master s Degree in Mathematics. Students will acquire a substantial amount of experience in applied fields through summer projects. Many of the thesis projects will come from research alliances among faculty members in mathematics, chemistry, biology and computer sciences. Students will also be able to work on other projects of acceptable scope. During the Summer semester, the students will be given an opportunity to do internships with research laboratories and industries. The MSM program will seek to encourage and foster interactions between university-based mathematical scientists and users of mathematics in industry, government, and other areas. The following objectives have been adopted: a) To provide a supportive learning environment to all potentially successful students. b) To prepare students for pursuing Ph.D. degrees in science and mathematics. c) To prepare the department to establish a Ph.D. program in Mathematics. d) To prepare students for industrial employment and research related to specific market needs. e) To strengthen the existing programs in engineering, physics, biology, chemistry, pharmacy, computer science, mathematics education and environmental sciences. In addition to these objectives, the MSM program will recruit students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) throughout the nation and other ethnic groups in the state of Florida. 09/07/2008 Page 1

2 The MSM program will include a minimum of 39 semester hours of graduate course work. This includes a Thesis, and three (3) semester hours of internship or supervised research during the Summer. Each option allows up to six hours (6) hours in related fields such as Computer Science, Economics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Environmental Science, or Engineering. The content areas are Real Analysis, Complex Analysis, Algebra, Ordinary Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations, Topology, Differential Geometry, Numerical Analysis, and Probability/Statistics. 2. RELATION TO STRATEGIC GOALS/MISSION OF THE DEPARTMENT, COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY. The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Mission Statement contains the following: The mission of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), as an 1890 land-grant institution, is to provide an enlightened and enriched academic, intellectual, moral, cultural, ethical, technological and student-centered environment, conducive to the development of highly qualified individuals who are prepared and capable of serving as leaders and contributors in our ever-evolving society. The University seeks and supports a faculty and staff of distinction dedicated to providing outstanding academic preparation at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional school levels, with a particular emphasis on integrity and ethical conduct. FAMU is committed to inspirational teaching, exemplary research and meaningful public and community service through creative partnerships at the local, state, national and global levels. The University is also committed to the resolution of complex issues that will enhance humankind. The proposed MSM program will increase the graduate offerings at Florida A&M University. This will continue to meet the mission of the University through the development of highly qualified individuals who are prepared and capable of serving as leaders and contributors in our everevolving society. The expertise of the graduate students will highlight the new discoveries found during research, and the disseminating of significant information through publications in journals that help to mold the character of society. Due to the general population of Florida A&M University, a critical mass of African-American mathematicians will help not only the state of Florida but also will help the nation to desegregate these homogeneous fields. The MSM program will assist FAMU in carrying out its mission by providing a select group of well trained graduate students and faculty researchers who will develop the mathematical techniques to solve societal problems. 3. NEEDS AND DEMANDS FOR THE PROGRAM A. Increase the number of graduate students in mathematics from under represented minority groups. Florida A&M University is a leader in attracting the most talented high school students who show strong promise in mathematics, science, and engineering. Existing graduate programs in the State University System have disproportionately low numbers of African American student enrollments and low numbers of graduates in the area of mathematics. In the nation, Florida A&M University graduates the largest number of African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in Mathematics, the Natural Sciences, and Engineering. The MSM program will be strategically located at a university where a large number of potential mathematical, science, and technology leaders and high technology workers for the 21st century are choosing to attend. 09/07/2008 Page 2

3 B. Enhance undergraduate teaching in the Department of Mathematics. The MSM program will help the Department of Mathematics strengthen the undergraduate program in the following four aspects. i) Currently the department has a mathematics tutorial lab funded by Title III to help first year and second year undergraduate students. Although all the tutors are undergraduate students majoring mostly in Mathematics, they sometimes have difficulty in handling challenging questions. After the MSM program is established, the graduate students will replace some of the undergraduate tutors, which will improve the quality of the tutorial lab substantially. ii) iii) iv) One of the problems for undergraduate teaching at the Department of Mathematics is that most of the faculty teach full loads each semester with a large number of students in each class. Tedious teaching duties such as grading papers, quizzes, exams, as well projects, consume large amount of time. After the MSM program is established, some of these teaching duties can be assigned to graduate teaching assistants. This will enable the faculty to have more time to design lectures and help students on a one-to-one basis. The quality of undergraduate teaching in the Department of Mathematics is also compromised by the use of an excessive number of adjunct professors. Most of the adjunct faculty are unable to provide teaching support activities such as help sessions, outside of class time. After the graduate students finish 18 credit hours of course work, they will be able to teach recitation classes under the supervision of regular faculty. This is expected to occur during their second year. With the help of graduate students in classroom teaching, the department can construct the entry level courses to reduce the usage of adjunct faculty. The MSM program will also attract more qualified faculty to FAMU, thus enhancing the undergraduate teaching activities. C. Increase the number of undergraduate students in mathematics. It has been a national trend that the enrollment of undergraduates majoring in Mathematics has been steadily declining in recent years. With the establishment of the MSM, we will be able to use the program to attract more quality students and increase the number of students to pursue their undergraduate study in Mathematics at FAMU. D. Enhance the quality of the other science programs at FAMU. Mathematics is the foundation of all subjects of science. A need for graduate level studies in mathematics is compelled by the presence of graduate programs in biology, computer science, pharmaceutical science, MBA program, chemistry, physics, engineering, environmental sciences, and mathematics education that currently exist at FAMU. For instance, the curriculum of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering requires that graduate students take 6 credit hours of graduate courses in mathematics. But the requirement cannot be fulfilled at FAMU because of the lack of a graduate program in the Math Department. The Department currently provides courses for graduate students in Physics and Mathematics Education. Students taking these courses are enrolled at both Florida A&M University and at Florida State University. The enrollment of graduate students from other Departments will increase the FTEs of graduate courses in Mathematics. 09/07/2008 Page 3

4 4. CURRICULUM The curriculum for each track is provided below. As indicated from the list, 39 course hours are required for graduation. Course Course Title Hours Year One Fall MAA 5616 Real Analysis I 3 MAS 5307 Abstract Algebra I 3 MAD 5703 Numerical Analysis I 3 Year One Spring MAA 5616 Real Analysis II 3 MAS 5308 Abstract Algebra II 3 MAD 5704 Numerical Analysis II 3 Year One Summer MAA 5910 Supervised Research or Directed Independent Research 3 Year Two Fall MAP 5xxx Functional Analysis and measure theory? 3 MAP 5101 Probability theory 3 MAA 5406 Complex Analysis (for traditional math) 3 MAA 5xxx Bioinformatics (for applied math)? Year Two Spring 5326 MTG 5326 Differential Geometry? 3 MTG 5316 Topology (for traditional math) 3 MAP 5345 Partial differential equations (for applied math) MAA 5980 Dissertation or Thesis 3 Total Hours IMPACT ON OTHER DEPARTMENTS The Department of Mathematics currently offers graduate courses to students enrolled in the Master s of Secondary Education with a concentration in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Physics programs. Students in the Master of Mathematics Education program are required to take eighteen hours of graduate mathematics courses to satisfy their degree requirement. In addition, The Ph.D. program in the Department of Electrical Engineering of FAMU/FSU requires six (6) credit hours in advanced mathematics and/or advanced physics. At this moment, the Department has to offer an alternative course because of the lack of graduate program in the Math Department. The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences also has graduate programs that require graduate level 09/07/2008 Page 4

5 mathematics courses. The Master of Science Degree in Mathematics offers these disciplines additional scholarly and theoretic support. 6. PROJECTED ENROLLMENT We plan to enroll 15 students each year and 30 students in the subsequent years. The total faculty FTE is BUDGET The faculty involved in the program will handle the clerical duties. The saving from the reduced usage of adjunct faculty will be used to support graduate students. Some students will also be supported by faculty members who have research grants. The estimated budget is based on 10 in state and 5 out of state students. Graduate tuition is $ per credit hour for in-state students and $ for out of state students. Table 1: Feasibility Study Budget Form for Estimated New Resources Year One Year Two Year Year Four Year Five Three Faculty Stipend 90,000 90,000 90,000 90, Tuition 200, TOTAL 290, Institutional Capacity The Department of Mathematics has a strong group of faculty who are very active in scientific research. In the past five years, the Department has held research seminars on regular basis, including Applied Mathematics Seminar, Functional Analysis Seminar, Mathematical Finance Seminar, and Mathematics in Economics. The Department has hired 7 new faculty in the past 5 years and is expected to hire more new faculty to fill vacancies. Table 2: Faculty background and research field Name Kbenesh Blayneh Yanzhao Cao Charles Foster Bruno Guerrieri James Issos Vasile Lauric Andrew Jones Desmond Stephens Highest Degree and Institution Arizona Virginia Tech Berkley FSU Wisconsin Texas A&M Brown Florida Tech Rank Professor Assistant Prof. Area of Expertise Math Biology Numerical Analysis Algebra Applied Math Statistics Functional Analysis Applied Math Numerical Analysis 09/07/2008 Page 5

6 Sonya Stephens Gikiri Thuo Henry Williams Roselyn Williams Florida Tech Maryland Washington U. FSU Assistant Prof. Integral Equations Statistics Lie Groups and RM Algebra 09/07/2008 Page 6

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