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Mathematics can be roughly divided into two basic fields — theoretical mathematics and applied mathematics. Practitioners of applied mathematics solve problems in various fields using mathematical models. Practitioners of theoretical mathematics investigate mathematical conjectures and construct proofs of their validity or find counter examples to prove their falsity. In either case, mathematics majors must be able to communicate verbally and in written form the solutions of problems, proofs of theorems, or counter-examples. As mathematics incorporates the use of symbolic reasoning involving, not surprisingly, the use of symbols not a part of common language, practitioners must be able to use communication technology to create a record of the results of their learning endeavors. The Student-as-Practitioner components in mathematics courses are designed to promote that communication.
Mathematics majors at Lakeland are asked to submit solutions and proofs in either written form or as oral presentations. In general, freshman and sophomore courses instructors allow handwritten solutions and proofs for submitted work. In junior- and senior-level courses the use of a word processor with an equation editor is required for submitting work. In addition, students in College Geometry (MAT 322) are required to write an expository term paper containing both historical information as well as mathematical content.