Assessment of Student Learning

Mathematics Major Portfolio

As part of our assessment program, the Mathematics Discipline will eventually require each major to keep a portfolio. In order to facilitate implementing this requirement, we would like to enlist your help as current or prospective majors.

Each portfolio should include a substantial amount of information compiled by the students about courses taken relevant to their mathematics major (or related area of concentration program). This will include two essays and a summary for each course taken.


Your portfolio will address your development in a few broad areas: mathematical techniques, applications of mathematics, use of abstract ideas (proofs; how they are used to develop mathematics), and problem solving.

Your initial essay may address your idea of mathematics and how important each of these broad areas seems to you. Other aspects of mathematics might come to mind. You should also describe your academic plans and expectations. (Graduating seniors could address their future plans for the coming academic year and the years immediately following graduation.)

Your last year here, you should write an essay describing your development as a mathematician: how the mathematics you have learned fits together, for example.

Course Summaries

For each course taken in the mathematics discipline, and for any other relevant courses, you should write a brief report on the course. This will answer questions like: What did you learn? Why do you think this course is important to your mathematics education? How will you be able to use the knowledge that you have gained in this course after your graduation?

Review of Portfolios

Since this is part of our discipline's assessment program, these files will be read by faculty in the discipline and will be made available to external consultants and reviewers. Students will be allowed to keep copies of any material included in their portfolio.

Because these portfolios will be used for assessment of the discipline as a whole, portfolios might also include the following data: