Information about Mathematics & Computer Science
Math Placement Test
Taking the Math Placement test is required of all Wittenberg students since a proper Math Placement score is a prerequisite for all mathematics, computer science and statistics courses. It is also a prerequisite for all M (math-intensive) courses (e.g. Econ 190).
The Math Placement test consists of 50 multiple choice questions. It tests two areas of mathematical skills: problem solving and algebra. For this reason the Math Placement score is two digits. The first digit (2 or 1) indicates pass/fail on the problem solving part (2 = pass). The second digit (1 through 5) indicates the algebra skill level (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest).
The Math Placement test may only be taken once; you cannot retake the test to raise your score. To raise your Math Placement score, you must go through the Math Workshop. How much effort this requires depends on what level you need since different courses have different Math Placement score prerequisites.
For example, raising your score from a 1x to 2x (e.g. 12 to 22) requires preparing for and passing a second test called the Basic Skills Math Test which is given by the Math Workshop (see the Math Workshop for details). To raise the second digit of your score requires the completion of a self-paced course of study. The Math Workshop can only raise a score to level 24, the prerequisite for Math 120: Elementary Functions (a.k.a. Pre-calculus). Passing Math 120 raises your Math Placement level to 25.
Since every Wittenberg student must take an M (math-intensive) course and a Q (quantitative - e.g. math/comp sci/stats) course and all M-courses have a Math Placement prerequisite of 22 and the minimal Math Placement prerequisite for a Q course is also 22, every student must minimally achieve a Math Placement score of 22. If your score is less than 22, visit the Math Workshop ASAP to begin the process of raising your score.
The following tables lists minimum Math Placement scores needed for M and introductory Q courses in mathematics, computer science and statistics.
Course Minimal MathPlacement Score Math 131, 201 25 Math 120 24 Math 127, Psych 107 23 Math 112, 118, 119 22 Comp 121, 150 22
The Math Workshop
The Math Workshop is located in 218 Hollenbeck Hall. If your Math Placement score is less than 24 and you need to raise it to satisfy the prerequisite for a course, you must visit the Math Workshop to do so. The amount of effort required to raise a Math Placement score depends on the score needed.
Since all M courses and Q courses have at minimum Math Placement level prerequisite of 22, if your score is less than 22 you will need to visit the Math Workshop to raise your score.
In addition the Math Workshop provides help and peer tutoring for students taking any mathematics course; in particular for students taking Math 120: Elementary Functions, Math 131: Essentials of Calculus, Math 201: Calculus I and Math 202: Calculus II.
For introductory mathematics courses like Math 120, Math 131, Math 201, or Math 202, the Mathematics department requires a TI-83, TI-83+ or TI-84 calculator (older TI-82's TI-85's and TI-86's are acceptable). TI 89's, TI- 2000’s or TI-Voyagers while useful for upper level math and science courses, are not permitted in introductory mathematics courses due to their advanced capabilities.
If there are questions about which calculator to purchase please contact the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
The Mathematics Major
Students considering a major in mathematics should complete the Math 201: Calculus I - Math 202: Calculus II sequence as soon as possible. This requires a Math Placement score of 25.
If a student has a Math Placement score of 24, he/she will need to complete Math 120: Elementary Functions (a.k.a. Pre-calculus), the prerequisite for Math 201. Math 120 should be taken in the Fall of the 1st year so that Math 201 can be taken in the Spring.
Students with a Math Placement score under 24 must go to the Math Workshop to raise their Math Placement score. Bringing your Math Placement score up to 24 in the Fall semester will allow you to take Math 120 in the Spring and Math 201 - 202 in your sophomore year.
The Computer Science Major
Students considering a major in Computer Science should complete the Comp 150: Computer Programming I Comp 250: Computer Programming II, Comp 255: Principles of Computer Organization sequence by the end of their sophomore year. Comp 150 is offered each semester, Comp 250 is offered only in the Spring and Comp 255 is offered only in the Fall. While the normal sequence is Comp 150 - Comp 250 -Comp 255 (Fall Spring Fall), a student may delay this by one semester and do Comp 150 - Comp 255 - Comp 250 (Spring Fall Spring).
Since Mathematics courses are required for the Computer Science major it is important that a student get started on taking Math 201: Calculus I ASAP. See the information for Mathematics majors about taking the Math 201 - 202 calculus sequence.
Minors in Statistics and Computational Science
Statistics: To minor in Statistics a student should begin by first completing either Math131: Essentials of Calculus or Math 201: Calculus I since the first course for the Statistics minor sequence, Math 227: Data Analysis has a calculus prerequisite. Check with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science for details.
Computational Science: To minor in Computational Science, a student should complete Comp 150 (Computer Programming 1) and Math 131 or 201. Both of these courses are prerequisites for the introductory course in Comp 260 - Computational Models and Methods. Check with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science for details.
FAQ’s About Math
What is the difference between Math 131: Essentials of Calculus & Math 201: Calculus I?
Math 201: Calculus I is the first course in a two-semester calculus sequence that covers both differential and integral calculus although completing Math 201 does not require one to take Math 202: Calculus II. Math 131: Essentials of Calculus is a one-semester terminal course in calculus meaning that students who pass Math 131 cannot go on and take advanced math courses. If your intention is to take more math courses, do NOT take Math 131, take the Math 201-202 sequence instead.
Unlike Math 201 - 202, Math 131 does not cover the differential and integration of trig functions. It covers more integration than Math 201 but much less than what is covered in Math 202.
Math 131 is usually taken by Management majors as a pre-requisite for Mgt 210: Business and Economic Statistics. However, the Math 201 - 202 sequence can also be used as a prerequisite for Mgt 210 and the Management department has been known to allow Math 201 by itself to be used as prerequisite. Students should only take Math 131 if they want a one-semester course in calculus and they do not intend to go on and take additional courses in calculus.
When is the latest I can start a Mathematics or Computer Science major?
Both majors can be started at the beginning of a student's sophomore year although this requires doubling up on mathematics/computer science courses in the junior and senior years.
If you have questions or comments please contact:
Brian J. Shelburne
Chair & Associate Professor of Computer Science
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
E-mail: bshelburne@ wittenberg.edu