Finite Math

 

Finite Mathematics is generally considered to be a business algebra course.  Among the CONNECT institutions, Bristol Community College (BCC), Cape Cod Community College (CCCC), and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMD) currently offer a finite math course; Massasoit Community College (MCC) has similar courses under development; Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) has a Quantitative Methods for Management course with a calculus prerequisite; and Bridgewater State University (BSU) has no course specifically designed for business majors.

 

Finite Math Table

 

There is some disparity among the current offerings. For example, BCC’s course covers the basics of linear equations, linear systems, matrices, etc., while CCCC’s course does not. UMD’s course includes linear systems, but also incorporates linear regression and correlation, as well as quadratic and exponential regression. Both BCC and CCCC cover linear programming from a graphical perspective and include an introduction to simplex. CCCC covers quadratic functions, while BCC does not. The curricula at all three colleges include an introduction to the mathematics of finance (interest and annuities).  The most significant difference among the schools is that CCCC and UMD introduce topics from basic probability and statistics, and BCC does not.  This is because Business Transfer students at BCC are required to take a two course sequence in business statistics.  Also, many Business Transfer students at BCC take Business Calculus, so the Finite Math course has the dual role of preparing students to take Business Calculus.

BSU does not have dedicated Finite courses for business majors; rather, they are required to take Precalculus prior to taking Applied Calculus for Business Majors. Please see the Precalculus track for more information.

Students’ level of preparation varies from school to school. For example, students may take this course at BCC with a 72 on the Elementary Algebra portion of the College Placement Test (CPT); BSU business students take their classes if they achieve a 48 on the College Math test; CCCC requires an 82 on the Elementary Algebra test and a score of 40 – 62 on the College Math test. UMD has a unique prerequisite for their course: students must have a weighted score of at least 1320 when combining their CPT Elementary Algebra score with their Math SAT score.

Faculty members receive a textbook and listing of topics to be covered, and are generally not required to include technology into the courses. UMD utilizes TI-83/84 graphing calculators, SPSS, and QM.

The makeup of the faculty members teaching these courses varies from school to school, from as little as 20% adjunct faculty members at CCCC to 80% adjunct faculty members at UMD.

 

March 2011 Update:

The mathematics departments of the CONNECT schools have agreed to a list of Essential Topics for a Finite mathematics course. Transfer course equivalencies have been determined for Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Please see the CONNECT Math Transfer Agreement and Appendix 3 for more details.

For further information on the Finite Mathematics Track, please contact:

Greg Sethares

Greg.Sethares@bristolcc.edu

508-678-2811, ext 2063