General Information & Resources

Included in this section is general information about:

Calculator Policy

The Department of Mathematics maintains no single policy on student calculator usage in its courses. For courses which are fully coordinated with shared syllabi and examinations, calculator usage is determined by each course coordinator and one policy is set for all students. For other courses, calculator policies are set by each instructor.

Any calculator requirements or restrictions should be written on the course syllabus and distributed to students at the beginning of the quarter. It is advisable to consult with the instructional vice chairs on this issue prior to syllabus creation.

Class Rosters and Grade Posting

Access to class rosters and the electronic posting of final course grades is available on the University Registrar's website. A current OSU username and password are required for access; consult the University's Office of Information Technology for more information on activating your username.

Paper copies of rosters are not printed by the University; several staff members have this capability if you are unable to print yours. Please contact Dr. William Husen or Jessica Wheeler for more information.

Access of rosters may be adversely affected by various University offices not being able to recognize you as the instructor of record. If you are new to the Math Department or there has been a break in your service with the Department, there may be a delay in your ability to access rosters until your hiring is official. If this is the case, feel free to ask Jessica Wheeler to print rosters for you until access is granted. You will need to establish your access by the end of the semester so that you can post final grades.

FERPA: Privacy of Student Records

The Department of Mathematics is firmly committed to protecting the privacy of student information and grades. It is essential that all instructional staff are aware of the federal laws on the privacy of student records via the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and are in thorough compliance. If any instructor is unsure of what information s/he can share and with whom the information can be shared, s/he should err on the side of caution and ask an instructional vice chair or the departmental TA support staff for advice and clarification before transmitting any student information.

The University's interpretation of FERPA can be found on the main page of the University Registrar's website. In addition, the Office of Academic Affairs provides additional guidance for FERPA.

University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT)

Teaching support services at the University level are provided by UCAT. Publications on teaching and learning are available, and University-wide events on teaching and learning are sponsored.  In addition, UCAT can provide individual consultations on teaching. Their staff can be invited to observe and evaluate teaching or provide teaching feedback by interviewing students during class time.  A listing of services, resources, and events are on UCAT.

Support for Students and Instructors with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed to ensure that no person in the United States would be discriminated against because of any disability. At OSU, this means that students with disabilities will receive equal access to an education and accommodations will be made as needed to assist those students in their learning.

Before receiving any accommodation or special consideration in a mathematics course, a student must be registered through the University's Student Life Disability Services (SLDS). Informal accommodations made for students without officially going through SLDS can create inequities and conflicts with other students.

Our departmental liaison for working with SLDS in assisting math students is Ann Logan in the Course Office (Room 113 Mathematics Building). If any problems arise with accessibility issues with students or with working with SLDS, please see Dr. William Husen.

For instructors with disabilities in the Mathematics Department, Jessica Wheeler assists classroom TAs who request accommodations. Faculty requesting accommodations should contact one of the instructional vice chairs, Dr. William Husen or Dr. Timothy Carlson. Every effort will be made to accommodate an instructor's request in compliance with ADA guidelines.

In addition to SLDS and departmental resources for faculty and students with disabilities, the University has an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator for compliance.

Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) and Other Evaluative Tools

All TAs and faculty at OSU are required to give students the opportunity to evaluate their teaching each semester. The University Registrar's Office provides a ten-question survey, informally called the "SEI," for students to complete either in class or via the web. On the survey, each student is asked to evaluate their instructor's teaching effectiveness.

Students are also able to write open-ended comments about the instructor and/or the class on extra forms provided by the Department. The results of the survey and comments are available after the semester is completed. More information on the process and purpose of using SEIs is found online on SEI.

A nice feature of the SEI system is the cumulative history of SEI data for each instructor. Access to this data can be found on the Faculty section of the University Registrar's website.

Our department uses departmental SEI forms, administered in person in hard copy format, which are used in performance evaluations of GTAs.

Other available (optional) evaluation tools include:

  • For TAs: Department mid-semester student evaluations (see 'TA Support')
  • University sponsored early evaluations, where you design your own survey.  For more information, see the Faculty section of the University Registrar's website.

Resources for Students

The Department of Mathematics provides many resources for its undergraduate students. In addition, the University provides more general resources to assist students with learning, as well as personal issues.

Within the department, there are the following resources:

  • The Math-Stats Learning Center (MSLC) is a walk-in, free tutoring service staffed with trained tutors and course TAs. The MSLC is located in the basement and first floor of Cockins Hall and the basement of the Mathematics Building. Some evening hours are also available in the Younkin Success Center on the south end of campus on Neil Avenue. Specific hours and locations and any special events for students can be found on the MSLC website. The main office of the MSLC is Cockins Hall, Room 148.
  • The departmental ombudsmen provide an opportunity for mathematics students to discuss their experiences with an objective representative of the Department. The two vice chairs for instruction, currently Bill Husen and Timothy Carlson, have an open-door policy and students can visit without an appointment. Their offices are located in the Math Tower, Room 124.
  • The Math Advising Office provides advice on mathematics requirements for all majors and assistance with career options for mathematics majors. In addition, the staff oversees the Math Placement Exam for new undergraduate students and helps assess course credit and placement for students who transfer from other universities. This office is located in the Mathematics Building, Room 250. Here is more specific information about student issues and other resources for students.
  • For class registration problems or unusual enrollment requests, students can be referred to the Math Course Office, located in the Mathematics Building, Room 113. In addition to assisting students, the Course Office provides helpful information to instructors on Departmental and University practices and policies concerning student issues such as registration, enrollment, and the posting of grades.