Foundations - Mathematical Sciences

The development of formal reasoning and abstract thought has been a defining characteristic of civilization. Through the study of the mathematical sciences, you develop your ability to reason and solve problems with abstract ideas or quantitative information. Full participation in many professional and public policy discussions requires the ability to express scientific, economic, or social issues in quantitative terms. Study of the concepts, history, contexts, and methodologies of the mathematical sciences assists you in becoming a quantitatively literate citizen.

Courses introduce you to the foundations of mathematical, logical, and quantitative reasoning. They develop your mathematical, statistical, quantitative, or logical reasoning skills in ways that allow these skills to be transferred or used in other content areas.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain principles and questions that define computer science, logic, mathematics, or statistics.
  2. Apply techniques for problem solving including recognition of key elements, the choice of suitable methods for solving a problem, and the appropriate application of these methods. 
  3. Skill Outcome #1:
    • Critical thinking: Comprehensively evaluate issues, ideas, artifacts, or events before forming a conclusion; or
    • Quantitative literacy: Competently work with numerical data.
  4. Skill Outcome #2:
    • Collaboration: Effectively work on a team; or
    • Problem solving: Design and evaluate an approach to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.


You are required to take one course or MTH 126 + STA 126 in the Mathematical Sciences Foundations category.

CIS 101 — Thriving in Our Digital World
Computing technology has a profound influence in our society. Students work together to use technology for creative expression, write computer programs to solve problems, use digital tools to make meaning from vast amounts of information and to understand how the internet supports modern communication. Prerequisite: MTH 110. Skills: collaboration, quantitative literacy 

CIS 160 — Learn to Code in Python
The ability to apply computation to address challenging problems is a critical skill in any discipline. Students will develop programming and computational skills emphasizing problem solving, logical inference, and algorithmic thinking to solve specific problems in the areas of the arts, humanities, healthcare, and business. Prerequisite: MTH 110. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

GPY 200 — Computer Cartography
This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of computer cartography. We explore various techniques for the analysis, manipulation, and visualization of spatial data. Topics include earth models, datums, map projections, coordinate systems, map types, spatial and statistical data analysis, cartographic generalization/symbolization, data classification, cartographic design, and thematic mapping. Prerequisite: MTH 110. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy 

MTH 122 — College Algebra
A culminating experience in algebra for conceptual understanding and application in other fields. Primary topics include families of functions (polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic and their compositions), algebraic skills for making and using mathematical models, and multiple representations of algebraic relationships. Please see the mathematics program for placement test details. Prerequisite: MTH 110 or assignment through Grand Valley math placement. Skills: collaboration, quantitative literacy

MTH 123 — Trigonometry
A study of the trigonometric functions with an emphasis on graphing, identities, inverse trigonometric functions, and solving equations. Additional topics include solving triangles, vectors, complex numbers, and polar coordinates. Please see the mathematics program for placement test details.  Prerequisite: Placement into MTH 123 via the calculus readiness test or MTH 122 (may be taken concurrently). Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

MTH 124 — Precalculus: Functions and Models
Study of preparatory material for calculus using symbolic algebra and trigonometry for solving equations, representing functions, and modeling, plus appropriate technology. Core topics: concept of function, average rate of change of a function, inverse and composite functions, trigonometric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and right triangle trigonometry. Prerequisite: MTH 110 or assignment through Grand Valley math placement. Credits: 5. Skills: quantitative literacy, collaboration 

MTH 125 — Survey of Calculus
A study of the concepts of calculus for students majoring in business, economics, life sciences, and social sciences. Differentiation and integration of algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Emphasis on applications. Prerequisite: MTH 110, or assignment through Grand Valley math placement. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy 

MTH 126 — Mathematics for Elementary Teachers
Exploration of the teaching and learning of geometry and measurement in elementary school mathematics, emphasizing development of mathematical representations and communication. Concepts are developed through hands-on experiences exploring mathematical models, strategies, relationships, and problem solving. MTH 126+STA 126 fulfills Foundations - Mathematical Sciences. Credits: 2. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

MTH 131 — Introduction to Mathematics
A survey for nonmathematics majors. Topics selected from inductive and deductive reasoning, geometry, statistics, computers, modeling, number theory, numeration systems, the mathematics of decision-making, and applications. Prerequisite: MTH 110, or assignment through Grand Valley math placement. Skills: collaboration, quantitative literacy

MTH 201 — Calculus I
A development of the fundamental concepts of calculus using graphical, numerical, and analytic methods with algebraic and trigonometric functions of a single variable. Limits and continuity, derivatives, indefinite integrals, definite integrals, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, and applications of derivatives and integrals. Please see the mathematics program for placement test details. Prerequisites: (MTH 122 and MTH 123), MTH 124, or placement into MTH 201 via the calculus readiness test. Credits: 4. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy 

PHI 103 — Logic
What does it mean to think clearly and correctly? What rules govern classification and definition? What is the nature of propositions? What are the rules for correct reasoning? How can we improve our reasoning skills? This course addresses these questions with the help of a standard textbook in classical logic. Prerequisite: MTH 110 or equivalent. Skills: critical thinking, problem solving

STA 126 — Statistics for Elementary Teachers
Learn practices and pedagogy in support of statistical knowledge for elementary teachers. Topics include posing actionable research questions, measuring/collecting data, understanding variability, interpreting results in context, and analyzing data through visualizations, numerical summaries, and statistical inference. Topics will be reinforced through meaningful experiences in applied contexts.  MTH126+STA126 fulfills Foundations-Mathematical-Sciences. Credits: 2. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

STA 215 — Introductory Applied Statistics
A technique-oriented approach to data analysis using statistical techniques.  Graphical and numerical summaries of data, multivariable thinking, confidence interval estimation, regression and correlation, testing hypotheses including chi-square tests and one-way analysis of variance. A statistical software package will provide computational assistance. Prerequisite: MTH 110 or equivalent. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

Page last modified April 13, 2021