Mathematics Turned Inside Out: The Intensive Faculty Versus the Extensive Faculty

Por • 29 ene, 2011 • Sección: Educacion

Joseph F. Grcar

Research universities in the United States have larger mathematics faculties outside their mathematics departments than inside. Members of this «extensive» faculty conduct most mathematics research, their interests are the most heavily published areas of mathematics, and they teach this mathematics in upper division courses independent of mathematics departments. The existence of this de facto faculty challenges the pertinence of institutional and national policies for higher education in mathematics, and of philosophical and sociological studies of mathematics that are limited to mathematics departments alone. The methodology of this paper differs from previous sociological studies of mathematics in several respects. Most significant is the examination of mathematics throughout the university rather than only in eponymous departments. All previous studies implicitly equate mathematics with the intellectual content of papers and syllabi written by the faculty of mathematics departments. It is novel in the extreme to investigate where else mathematics expertise can be found. Further, only quantitative data is gathered to reveal the actual roles of participants rather than perceptions of those roles from opinion survey data. Mathematics activity is observed through databases for university courses, enrollments, and publications. Comment on the straightforward procedures that were employed togather each type of data are included with the results.

Cite as: arXiv:1101.0426v1 [math.HO]

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