Dixie State University receives national grant to offer new math class

By Jyl Hall

A grant from the National Science Foundation is allowing Dixie State University to expand its Mathematics Department and better prepare students for industrial careers as part of a new program through the Mathematical Association of America.

With the support of the grant, Dixie State will offer a new course during the Spring 2019 semester as part of the Mathematical Association of America’s Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences (PIC Math) program.

DSU Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Vinodh Chellamuthu, one of a select number of faculty members across the U.S. chosen to receive support, is creating the class, Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences. The course will allow students to work in small groups on semester-long undergraduate research issues directly from business, industry and government entities.

“In school, math is the subject with an absolute answer, but in real life, math can be messy and complex, and many times there’s not one single solution to a problem,” Chellamuthu said. “The PIC Math grant will provide an opportunity for DSU students to use the skills they learn in classes to solve these messy and complex real-world problems. Through this grant, our DSU students will get hands-on experience and explore more non-academic careers in the job market.”

PIC Math was created to increase the pool of technically talented professionals, improve students’ technical skills and broaden their experience solving open-ended problems. According to the MAA, undergraduate research improves students’ abilities in problem solving, critical thinking, independent thinking and communication — skills that are highly valued by science, engineering, technology and math employers.

The Dixie State University Mathematics Department helps students achieve their academic, career and life goals, including those related to basic computational skills, mathematical processes and knowledge that develops real-life applications, modeling and problem solving. The department’s comprehensive and integrated offerings help students master mathematical competencies for future career and educational endeavors. To learn more, visit math.dixie.edu.