The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

Proposal 2-20

Proposal for a new Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science

Department of Mathematical Sciences

1. Date submitted: 2 April 2019 (Typographical error corrected 29 August 2019).

Revised, 31 October 2019.

2. Contact:

• Mark S. Gockenbach, Professor and Chair, Mathematical Sciences (msgocken@mtu.edu, 487-2068).

• Linda Ott, Professor and Chair, Computer Science (linda@mtu.edu, 487-2315).

3. Interdisciplinary support: This proposal is made jointly by the Departments of
Mathematical

Sciences and Computer Science.

4. General description and characteristics of program: The proposed program requires
13– 14

courses (42–45 credits) in Mathematics, 11–12 courses (33–36 credits) in Computer
Science, and 39

credits of university-required General Education (eight credits of General Education
are covered by

degree requirements in Mathematics and Computer Science). It allows 11 credits of
free electives,

while requiring a total of 120 credits (plus co-curricular credit). MA4900 (Mathematical
Sciences

Project) acts as a capstone course, requiring a significant programming project addressing
advanced

mathematical content.

The learning goals of the degree are as follows:

(a) Mathematics:

i. Majors are familiar with the characteristics of problem formulation, balancing
necessary and

sufficient conditions.

ii. Majors demonstrate the ability to solve problems in Algebra, Analysis, Combinatorics,
and

Statistics.

iii. Majors demonstrate the ability to verify mathematical work by using different
methods to

approach the same problem.

(b) Computer Science

i. Majors are familiar with computer organization, data structures, and theoretical
computing

models.

ii. Majors demonstrate ability to construct clear and efficient software solutions
to computational problems.

iii. Majors demonstrate ability to design computational algorithms in a way that demonstrates

comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices.

5. Title of program: Mathematics and Computer Science (B.S.)

6. Rationale: According to numerous sources, some of the fastest-growing jobs are
in mathematics

and computer science. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published

its prediction of the 20 fastest-growing occupations for the period 2016–2026.1 Five
of these

occupations require training in mathematics or computer science, or both: statistician
(#7),

software developer (#9), mathematician (#10), information security analyst (#16),
and

operations research analyst (#18). Moreover, many of the other fastest-growing occupations

pay poorly, with only nine of the 20 paying at least $60,000 per year (2017 median

salary). Among the high-paying occupations, the mathematics and computer science occupations
rank

as follows: statistician (#3), software developer (#4), mathematician (#5), information
security

analyst (#7), and operations research analyst (#9).

Although the BLS does not currently recognize “data scientist” as an occupational
category,

and therefore does not provide any prediction about job growth in that field, other
sources are

predicting a large increase in the number of data scientist positions. For instance,
IBM published

the study The Quant Crunch: How the Demand for Data Science Skills is Disrupting the
Job Market,2

which predicted 364,000 new jobs openings for data scientists by 2020.

We have designed the proposed degree to include the core coursework in both Mathematics

and Computer Science, plus elective courses in these disciplines to allow for some
specialization.

As a result, a graduate with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science can be
prepared for

many of the positions mentioned above. For someone wishing to be a mathematician in
industry, there

is probably no better undergraduate degree than Mathematics and Computer Science.
(For example, Tom

Grandine, an applied mathematician at Boeing Corporation, has said that the work of

a mathematician in industry is almost always expressed in computer code.) Similarly,
Mathematics

and Computer Science form an excellent background for an operations research analyst,
especially

if the Mathematics electives are used to take additional courses in Statistics. The
free electives

allow additional work in a cognate discipline if desired.

Data Science is often described as the intersection of Mathematics and Statistics,
Computer

Science, and domain-specific knowledge. The proposed degree in Mathematics and Computer
Science

will provide a strong foundation in both Mathematics and Computer Science, and the
five

electives (two or three each in Mathematics and Computer Science) can give the degree
a

considerable emphasis on Data Science. For example, a student could fulfill these
electives

with Regression Analysis (MA4710), Time Series Analysis and Forecasting (MA4780),

Predictive Modeling (MA4790), Artificial Intelligence (CS4811), and Data Mining (CS4821).

The 11 credits of free electives allow a student to obtain domain-specific knowledge
in

another discipline. The degree would lead naturally into Michigan Tech’s M.S. in
Data Science.

If the Computer Science electives are used to take coursework in Software Engineering,
such as

Software Quality Assurance (CS3712), Model-Driven Software Development (CS4710), Software
Processes

and Management (CS4711), etc., a graduate can be well qualified for Software Engineering

positions that involve significant mathematical content. Finally, the Mathematics
and

Computer Science degree will provide an excellent foundation for a master’s degree
in Statistics or

Applied Statistics (assuming the elective courses in Mathematics are chosen appropriately).

7. Related programs:

(a) At Michigan Tech:

i. Michigan Tech currently offers several concentrations in Mathematics (including
Discrete

Mathematics and Applied and Computational Mathematics) and several in Computer

Science (including Computer Science, Computer Systems, and Applications), as well
as a stand-alone degree in Software Engineering. Students wishing to combine the two
disciplines

can complete a major in one and a minor in the other, or complete a double major.

A new degree is proposed because a minor does not provide enough training in the second

discipline, while the double major is too restrictive:

• Adding a minor in Mathematical Sciences to a B.S. in Computer Science requires only
two

additional mathematics courses (one theory-oriented course and one 4000-level

elective).

• Adding a minor in Computer Science to a B.S. in Mathematics requires an additional
six CS

courses. (CS1121 fulfills the programming requirement for the Mathematics

degree, CS1122 is a required prerequisite, and then the minor requires five more CS
courses and

MA3210, which is already required by the Mathematics degree.)

• The double major in Mathematics and Computer Science requires a total of 130 credits
and allows

no free electives (all the free electives in one program are used to

fulfill requirements in the other program).

The proposed program will be considerably stronger than the B.S. in Mathematics with
a minor in

Computer Science. Unlike the double major, it can be completed in eight semesters
while allowing

the student some freedom to explore other subjects.

(b) At other institutions (three examples):

i. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a long-standing Mathematics
and Computer

Science degree. It requires 7–9 courses in Mathematics (24–30 credits) and 10–12 courses
in

Computer Science (35–41 credits), for a total of 19 courses and 65 credits. The proposed
program

requires more Mathematics (primarily by requiring three advanced electives) and a
comparable

amount of Computer Science.

ii. Stanford University offers an interdisciplinary degree in Mathematical and Computational

Science (MCS) that draws on faculty in four departments: Computer Science, Mathematics,

Management Science and Engineering, and Statistics. The degree requires a core of
seven

courses in Mathematics (28 credits), five courses in Computer Science (22–24 credits),
two or three

courses in Management Science and Engineering (7–11 credits), three courses in Statistics
(11–12

credits), and one more course in Mathematics, Statistics, or Computer Science that
satisfies

the Writing in the Major requirement. An additional three elective courses (at least
nine

credits) must be chosen from any of the MCS departments.

iii. The University of Oregon offers an interdisciplinary degree in Mathematics and
Computer

Science that requires 11 courses in Mathematics (44 credits) and 10 courses in Computer
Science (40

credits). The requirements in Computer Science seem similar to those of the proposed
program;

for Mathematics, Oregon requires more depth (with three two-semester sequences in
Discrete

Mathematics, Linear Algebra, and Numerical Analysis or Statistics) and less breadth
than does our

proposal.

8. Projected capacity: We could enroll 100 students in this program, at the cost of
adding 5–7

new sections per year in Mathematical Sciences (one each of MA2330, MA3210, MA3310,
MA3450, MA4900,

and possibly one each of MA2710 and MA3560) and 4–5 new sections per year in

Computer Science (one each of CS2321, CS3141, CS3311, CS3425, CS4321).

9. Curriculum design: The degree requires 42–45 credits of Mathematics, 33–36 credits
of Computer Science, 39 credits of General Education (with eight of these credits
double-counted with the

Mathematics/Computer Science requirements), and 11 credits of free electives, for
a total of

120 credits. Three credits of co-curriculars are also required, as per university
rules.

• Mathematics: 13–14 courses, 42–45 credits:

– MA1160/2160/3160: Calculus sequence

– MA2330: Linear Algebra

– MA2710: Introduction to Statistical Analysis

– MA3210: Introduction to Combinatorics

– MA3310: Introduction to Abstract Algebra

– MA3450: Introduction to Real Analysis

– MA3560: Mathematical Modeling with Differential Equations

– MA4945: History of Mathematics or an approved upper division global literacy course

– MA4xxx: Electives (2 or 3 courses) (certain 3000-level courses are also allowed:
MA3202, MA3203,

MA3720, MA3740, MA3924).

– MA4900: Mathematical Sciences Project (capstone course; requires a significant programming

project addressing a mathematical problem or class of problems).

• Computer Science: 11–12 courses, 33–36 credits

– CS1121/1122: Introduction to Programming I and II

– CS1142: Programming at HW/SW Interface

– CS2321: Data Structures

– CS3141: Team Software Project

– CS3311: Formal Models of Computation

– CS3421: Computer Organization

– CS3425: Introduction to Database Systems

– CS4321: Introduction to Algorithms

– CS3xxx or CS4xxx: Electives (2–3 courses)

Note: Five advanced MA and CS electives are required, with at least two from each
discipline.

• General education: 39 credits. Eight of these required credits are covered by above
courses,

leaving a net of 10 courses and 31 credits, as follows:

– Core (UN1015, UN1025, Critical & Creative Thinking course, Social Responsibility
& Ethical

Reasoning course)

– HASS (four courses, as specified by university policy)

– Two science courses, one with a lab

• Free electives: 11 credits

10. New course descriptions: None.

11. Model schedule:

Year 1

Fall: (13 credits)

· UN1015 (Composition)

· MA1910 (Exploring Symmetry Groups) (free elective credit)

· MA1160 (Calculus with Technology I)

· CS1121 (Introduction to Programming I)

Spring: (17 credits)

· UN1025 (Global Issues)

· CH1150 (University Chemistry I)

· CH1151 (University Chemistry Lab I)

· MA2160 (Calculus with Technology II)

· MA2330 (Introduction to Linear Algebra)

· CS1122 (Introduction to Programming II)

Year 2

Fall: (16 credits)

· MA3160 (Multivariable Calculus with Technology)

· MA3210 (Introduction to Combinatorics)

· CS1142 (Programming at the HW/SW Interface)

· CS2321 (Data Structures)

· General Education Critical and Creative Thinking Core course Spring: (15 credits)

· MA2710 (Introduction to Statistical Analysis)

· MA3560 (Math Modeling with Differential Equations)

· CS3425 (Introduction to Database Systems)

· General Education Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning Core course

· Free electives (3 credits) Year 3

Fall: (15 credits)

∗ MA4945 (History of Mathematics) or an approved upper division global literacy course

· CS3311 (Formal Model of Computation)

· CS3421 (Computer Organization)

· GE 2000 (Understanding the Earth)

· HASS Social and Behavioral Sciences course Spring: (14 credits)

· MA3450 (Introduction to Real Analysis)

· MA4xxx (mathematics elective)

· CS3141 (Team Software Project)

· HASS Humanities and Fine Arts course

· Free electives (2 credits)

Year 4

Fall: (15 credits)

· MA3310 (Introduction to Abstract Algebra)

· MA4xxx (mathematics elective)

· CS4321 (Introduction to Algorithms)

· CS3xxx or CS4xxx (computer science elective)

· HASS Communication/Composition course Spring: (15 credits)

∗ MA4xxx (mathematics elective) or CS3xxx or CS4xxx (computer science elective)

· MA4900 (Mathematical Sciences Project)

· CS3xxx or CS4xxx (computer science elective)

· HASS course

· Free electives (3 credits)

12. Library and other learning resources needed: None.

13. Description of available/needed equipment: Michigan Tech already has the necessary
software

licenses and computer labs. However, it is possible that additional lab space will
be required when

the enrollment of this new degree program reaches beyond 80.

14. Program costs, years 1, 2, and 3: The only anticipated program costs for the first
three years

are for recruiting (specifically, advertising the new program to high school teachers
and

counselors, and directly to students). We expect to spend about $1000–2000 per year
for

buying names and mailings.

15. Accreditation requirements: Not applicable.

16. Planned implementation date: Fall 2020.

Additional information

1. Policies, regulations, and rules: The department chair of Mathematical Sciences
will

be responsible for administering the program in accordance with university policy.

2. Scheduling plans: Regular.

3. Space: No additional space required (except possibly additional computer science
lab space, as

noted above).

4. Faculty resumes: math.mtu.edu/~msgocken/MathCS_CVs

5. Financial implications: See below.

Financial implications

1. Relation to University Strategic Plan

(a) Relation of program to the university’s educational and research goals

This proposal directly supports our strategic plan in Education: Provide a distinctive
and

rigorous action-based learning experience grounded in science, engineering, technology,
business,

sustainability, and an understanding of the social and cultural contexts of our contemporary
world.

It is especially supportive of the following subgoals:

• Promote mutual appreciation of, and collaborative opportunities across, academic
disciplines.

Although housed in Mathematical Sciences, the proposed program is a joint effort

with Computer Science, and required coursework is fairly evenly divided between the
two

departments.

• Continually assess, review, and improve programs and develop new offerings in emerging

disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas. The proposed program is obviously interdisciplinary.
Although the disciplines involved cannot be said to be emerging, it is true that

the rapidly increasing demand for graduates with training in both mathematics and
computer

science is a recent phenomenon.

• Expand programs in response to social and economic needs and challenges. As described
above,

there is significant economic demand for individuals trained in both mathematics and

computer science. (b) Consistency with the university’s resource allocation criteria

The university has set a goal of increasing both undergraduate and graduate enrollment
(see, for

example, Portrait 2045). Resources are expected to be allocated to units that contribute
to

increased enrollment.

2. Impact on University Enrollment

(a) Projected number of students in the program

Our goal is a steady-state enrollment of 100 students. Given recent increases in computer
science

enrollments across the country, this seems to be an ambitious but not unrealistic
goal.

(b) Source of new students; in particular, will the students be drawn from existing
programs, or

will they be students who would otherwise not have come to MTU? Our intent is to enroll
students

who would not otherwise have come to Michigan Tech, though it is possible that some
of the students

might otherwise have enrolled in Computer Science or Mathematics at Tech.

(c) What is the likely correlation between demand for the new program and existing
enrollment

patterns at MTU?

Computer Science is already experiencing a growth in enrollments. It is expected that
demand for

this program would be highly correlated with Computer Science enrollments, which have
experienced

at least two significant cycles (rapid growth followed by rapid decline) in past

decades. If computer science, as a discipline, experiences another sharp decline in
enrollments,

enrollment in the proposed program may decline as well.

(d) What is the current enrollment in the unit?

2017–18 enrollment was 91 undergraduate students and 44 graduate students. In addition,
students were

enrolled in Mathematics as a secondary major.

3. Impact on resources required by department in which the program is housed

• We anticipate needing one additional faculty line in Mathematical Sciences if the
goal of 100

additional students is reached. This additional line would be needed to allow additional

sections to be offered, as specified above.

• Additional advising time is estimated at 50 hours per year. Mathematical Sciences
assigns

faculty members as advisors and will need to find at least two additional faculty
to act as

advisors (advising activities are counted as service on the part of the faculty).

• Additional assessment time is estimated as at most 10 hours per year. Mathematics

and Computer Science students will take the same core mathematics courses as students
majoring

in Mathematics, and the assessment can be done together for the most part. However,
time will be

required for obtaining assessment results from faculty in Computer Science and for
reporting.

4. Impact on resources required by other units within the university.

• We anticipate needing at least one additional faculty line in Computer Science if
the goal of

100 additional students is reached. Additional support for CS lab courses will also
be

needed, which could be provided by a lecturer or additional graduate teaching assistants.

• Additional advising time is estimated at 20 hours per year for Computer Science.
Mathematical

Sciences will be responsible for most of the student advising. However, the Department

of Computer Science will assist on advising especially when the computer science courses
are

involved. Computer Science has a full-time undergraduate advisor.

• Additional assessment time is estimated at 8 hours per year. Mathematics and Computer
Science

students will take the same core computer science courses as students majoring in
Computer

Science, and the assessment can be done together for the most part. Some additional
time will be

required for communicating assessment results to Mathematical Sciences.

5. Assessment of the ability to obtain the necessary resources assuming requested
funds are

obtained.

If funding allows Mathematical Sciences to fill an additional faculty line, we anticipate
no

particular challenges in filling the position. Recent faculty searches in mathematics
have been

successful. Recruiting faculty in Computer Science is somewhat more challenging, but
it is still

realistic to fill the anticipated line.

6. Past proposals.

• Last year, the department proposed a new M.S. in Applied Statistics. It was approved
by the

Senate in March 2018 by the State of Michigan in Summer. Update: As of Fall 2019,

28 students are enrolled in this program. (Note: Last year, we also proposed new M.S.
and Ph.D.

degrees in Statistics. However, these degrees represent a re-naming of existing programs

offered under the name of Mathematical Sciences.)

• In the 2013-14 academic year, the department proposed a new B.S. in Statistics,
which was

officially approved in June 2014. We projected an enrollment by now of approximately
30

students. However, the current enrollment is only 11 students. Recruitment for this
program in

ongoing. The B.S. in Statistics has incurred few costs or other resources, and no
new faculty.

Total undergraduate enrollment in Mathematical Sciences (including double majors)
was 100 in

2013-14. As of Fall 2018, it was 124.

7. Departmental Budget contribution

• What is the department’s total general fund budget?

– $4,485,914

• How much tuition does the department generate?

– Tuition generated by Mathematical Sciences students: $2,311,444

– Tuition generated from credit hours taught by the department: $15,793,773 These
figures are for

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018.

8. How do the benefits from this program compare to other alternatives that are currently
under

consideration or development?

In terms of the potential for increased enrollment, the department considers this
to be the most

promising bachelor’s degree that it can create at this time.