Math in Society

Course Number: MTH 105
Transcript Title: Math in Society
Created: December 14, 2015
Updated: July 10, 2019
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 65 or MTH 98 or equivalent placement test scores.

Prerequisite / Concurrent

Course Description

Explores applications of mathematics in society including quantitative techniques in personal and public finance, basic probability and statistics for understanding risk and uncertainty, and concepts and applications of formal logic to argumentation and persuasion. Investigates a variety of mathematical problem-solving techniques and provides a sampling of more advanced mathematics or mathematics-related topics. Integrates technology where appropriate. Prerequisites: MTH 65 or MTH 98 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Use relevant mathematical concepts and techniques to critically analyze and make knowledgeable decisions about issues in personal and public finance.
  2. Use relevant concepts and techniques from probability and statistics to critically analyze and make knowledgeable decisions about problems involving risk and uncertainty.
  3. Construct, interpret, and critique the graphical display of information.
  4. Formulate logically rigorous arguments and critique those that are not.
  5. Effectively communicate orally and in writing arguments and results based on quantitative and other rigorous forms of mathematical reasoning.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Major 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)


3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)

Not addressed

4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment shall include some combination of the following:

  • Class participation
  • Group projects
  • Presentations
  • Portfolios
  • Research papers
  • Homework assignments
  • Written paper
  • Quizzes
  • Exams
  • Other assessments of the instructor’s choosing

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Financial literacy

  • Taxes (percent sales, income, value added, other)
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Annuities
  • Loans and credit
  1. Logical reasoning and problem solving

  • Describing and critiquing arguments
  • Understanding the language of logic
  • Recognizing common logical fallacies
  • Non-algebraic problem-solving strategies
  1. Probability and statistics

  • Counting rules
  • Measures of central tendency and spread
  • Calculating and interpreting basic probabilities
  • Constructing and interpreting graphical displays of information
  • Margins of error and polling
  • Expectation
  • Probability distributions
  • Risk and uncertainty
  • Misuse of data and statistics
  1. Additional math and math-related topics

  • Applied trigonometry
  • Apportionment
  • Boolean algebra
  • Category theory
  • Chaos theory
  • Classical and quantum computing
  • Complexity theory
  • Cryptography
  • Data science
  • Dimensional analysis
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Economics
  • Fair division
  • Fractal geometry
  • Game theory
  • Graph theory and networks
  • Group theory and symmetry
  • History of mathematics
  • Machine learning
  • Math and ecology (biodiversity, climate change)
  • Math and the arts
  • Math and the law
  • Measurement theory
  • Modeling growth and decay
  • Non-Euclidean geometry
  • Number theory
  • Numerical analysis
  • Optimization
  • Probability (frequentist, Bayesian, randomization)
  • Scheduling and linear programming
  • Set theory and transfinite arithmetic
  • Topology (general, algebraic)
  • Voting theory

Department Notes

Word problems are to be answered using complete sentences and include appropriate units.