Mathematics

Undergraduate Research

Research & Scholarship Defined

What is research?
Research is "a diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications, etc." (Dictionary.com) Research also includes writing mathematical computer programs, simulating physical situations, and developing teaching techniques.

What is scholarship?
The Math Department has adopted the Boyer model for scholarship, which describes scholarship as discovery, integration, application, and teaching. Scholarship involves study, inquiry, and the search for solutions.  (Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate Ernest L. Boyer, 1990.)

Scholarship of Discovery:
Discovery is finding previously unknown mathematical results, creating new teaching methods, and building mathematical models.  Investigation of a question may be driven by an application or it may be fueled by the quest of knowledge for its own sake.

Scholarship of Integration:
Integration is the bringing together of knowledge from more than one discipline, enriching each field.  The synergy of mathematics with computer science, biology, finance, engineering, and other areas brings advances in understanding not otherwise possible.

Scholarship of Application:
Applications are motivated by real-world problems.  The practical scholarship involves mathematical models and subsequent simulations used to explain and predict behaviors. Math education findings are applied in classrooms and other learning environments.

Scholarship of Teaching:
Knowledge is meant to be shared. However, teaching is more than the transmission of facts. Teaching involves the shaping and stimulation of the mind.  Education in mathematics develops problem solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, hard work, deductive reasoning, and a thirst for learning.