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Intellect

BYU calculus program among top 16 in the nation, says new study

The Mathematical Association of America, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., has named the Brigham Young University Department of Mathematics as one of 16 college or university programs that have demonstrated notable measures of success in calculus instruction.

More than 200 colleges and universities participated in the survey representing 600 calculus instructors, nearly 900 calculus classes and more than 34,000 students, making BYU one of the top calculus programs in the nation.

The first phase of data collection and analysis in 2010, supported by the National Science Foundation, identified factors that improved students’ intention to continue their study of calculus, their enjoyment of mathematics and their confidence in their mathematics ability.

The second phase of the study will feature an in-depth case study of each school. During fall semester 2012, a team of three scholars will visit BYU to observe classes and interact with faculty and students.

This distinction is the latest in a series of related honors for BYU. In 2011, mathematics professor Jessica Purcell was one of 20 mathematicians to receive the Sloan Research Fellowship, which is awarded to early-career scientists with the potential to make substantial contributions in their field. And BYU “mathletes” continue to place well in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition -- a six-hour-long contest between students from more than 400 universities.

The 20,000-member Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Its members include university, college and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and many others in academia, government, business and industry.

For more information, contact Mathematics Department Chair Tyler Jarvis at 801-422-5925.

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