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Online master’s in mathematical sciences offers convenience, flexibility

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

Mathematics and statistics were once thought too difficult to teach in an online environment. However, times and technology have evolved allowing the University of West Florida the ability to offer an online Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences. UWF is the only university in Florida and one of a few in the United States to offer the degree using Elluminate, an online training and collaboration tool.

“Through Elluminate, students are able to complete a master’s degree in mathematics from any location with Internet access,” said Kuiyuan Li, chair of the UWF Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “Elluminate allows students to listen to live lectures, show examples to instructors, ask questions in real time and chat with classmates.”

Unlike traditional online courses, all courses offered through the master’s in mathematical sciences program are taught in tandem with face-to-face courses. Online students must log-on to the Internet at designated class times. For each class, a group of students will be sitting in a brick-and-mortar classroom, while many other students participate in the same course over the Internet. Two-way audio and video enables live interaction between the instructor and the online students.

“I am very pleased with the interaction level I experienced through my online courses using Elluminate,” said Nicole Richards, graduate student pursuing her master’s in mathematical sciences. “The instructors are very attentive and pay the same attention to online students as to the on-campus students. The ability to post all of my questions for the class to see is amazing; not only do I get feedback from the instructor, I also receive feedback from other students.”

UWF’s unique delivery method gives students the flexibility to attend class online or in person, depending on their ability to commute to campus on any given day. Some students may opt to participate in a class only through Elluminate, while others may choose to attend some days online and some in person. Participation in the online program does not require any special software or computer knowledge; students only need a computer with Internet access and a microphone.

“We have continually assessed the program and found that students are very pleased with the convenience and flexibility afforded to them through this delivery model,” said Raid Amin, professor of Mathematics and Statistics. “In fact, one third of our master’s students enrolled in the program are online students. The program is truly a blessing for students who are unable to travel to Pensacola, but want to earn a master’s degree.”

The master’s in mathematical sciences is designed for students seeking careers in science, business, industry; for students who want to teach in high schools or at the community college level; and for students who plan to pursue doctoral studies. Flexibility in course options allows students to tailor the program to meet their specific career objectives.

For more information, contact the UWF Department of Mathematics and Statistics at (850) 474-2276, e-mail mathstat@uwf.edu or visit uwf.edu/mathstat/graduate/. Summer courses in the program are currently open for enrollment. Visit uwf.edu/summeronline for complete details.

Written by Jaimie Woodard, University Marketing Communications

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