Jun 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

College of Science and Mathematics

Samantha Prins, Dean

Steven J. Whitmeyer, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship

Mindy Capaldi, Associate Dean for Faculty Support and Development

Courtney Hope, Student Success Coordinator and Inclusive Excellence Director

Brycelyn M. Boardman, Assistant Dean

Allisa Vincent, Industrial Liaison

Phone: (540) 568-3508
MSC: 4114
Location: EnGeo Building Suite 3122-3132, 801 Carrier Drive
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/csm

Academic Units

Department of Biology  
Kyle Seifert, Head

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry  
Linette M. Watkins, Head

Department of Geology and Environmental Science  
Stephen A. Leslie, Head

Department of Mathematics and Statistics  
Krishnan “Ravi” Shankar, Head 

Department of Physics and Astronomy  
W. Christopher Hughes, Head

Mission Statement

The mission of the CSM is to establish a culture of “discovery practice,” in which students develop their knowledge, skills and habits of mind by participating in science and mathematics practice. We place undergraduate student learning at the center of a rigorous research-based environment.

Because the most creative discoveries happen when people with different perspectives work together, the college is committed to supporting a diverse community of learners. Our faculty and staff work to ensure that every student enrolled in CSM courses experiences a welcoming and supportive learning environment.

We pursue our mission through educational goals focused on:

  • Preparing future scientists and mathematicians
  • Advancing science and mathematics literacy of JMU students, the Harrisonburg community and our local schools
  • Providing the scientific and mathematical foundations needed for professional careers


The college offers a variety of academic programs, majors, minors, concentrations, cross disciplinary programs and tracks. Most of these are listed below. For an explanation and contact point of each, visit the college website.

Teaching Licensure Areas:

  • Algebra I Add-on endorsement
  • Earth Science Teaching Licensure
  • Mathematics for Middle Grades Teachers Minor
  • Secondary Biology
  • Secondary Mathematics
  • Secondary Chemistry
  • Secondary Physics

Some of these cross disciplinary programs are listed in the cross disciplinary programs section of the catalog. The college also supports the following resource and service centers, collections, events and outreach programs that enhance teaching, scholarly activity and community relations.

Resource and Service Centers

Astronomy Park

Contact: Sean T. Scully
Phone: (540) 568-4511
Website: https://www.jmu.edu/planetarium/star-parties.shtml

Located on the east side of campus near the Physics and Chemistry building is a permanent area for sky observing on campus. There are permanent mounts for two portable 11-inch and two 14-inch, computer-controlled telescopes. This site provides a convenient area for sky observing for introductory astronomy students. Students are able to easily see the moon, planets, nebulae, galaxies, star clusters as well as the sun using the appropriate solar filters. The department is also equipped with CCD cameras, spectrometers and multiple solar filters that provide more advanced students with experience in astrophotography and data collection techniques. The public is invited to attend public star gazes which are held several times each semester

Center for Computational Mathematics and Modeling

Contact: Roger Thelwell
Phone: (540) 568-5103

This cross disciplinary institute for scientific computing houses state-of-the-art graphics workstations and a 16 PII node Beowulf computer system. The Beowulf computer system is a parallel computing environment that can be used on large-scale problems. Faculty and students will have access to this “super computer” from the center and from their offices. The center also operates an Immersive 360o Visualization System. The center uses mathematics both to simulate real-world phenomena and to generate visual data.

Faculty members from the sciences, economics and business disciplines interact with mathematicians to model problems that they are researching with undergraduate students.

Center for Engineering Geoscience and Geohazards (CEGGA)

Contact: Yonathan Admassu
Phone: (540) 568-5016

The Center for Engineering Geoscience and Geohazards in Appalachia (CEGGA) is established to provide a collaborative platform to exchange ideas and best practices through its annual forum. CEGGA will also solicit research funding for geohazard related research affecting the Appalachian region.

Center for Materials Science

Contact: Brycelyn Boardman
Phone: (540) 568-8811

The educational mission of the Center for Materials Science is to develop and maintain an innovative interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary undergraduate program in materials science that will increase the maturation of students, their research experience and their employment opportunities. The mission includes the integration of undergraduate education with basic and applied research in materials science.

Faculty in the Center for Materials Science have expertise in a wide variety of areas including inorganic and organic synthesis, microfabrication, nanotechnology, thin film growth and surface modification, materials characterization, and modeling and simulation of complex systems. The facilities include a class 10000 clean room, electron beam lithography, and many types of microscopy and other analytical techniques.

Collaborative work is welcome and can include consultation with faculty, assignment of student projects or simply access to facilities.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry LC/MS Facility

Contact: Christine A. Hughey
Phone: (540) 568-6633

The JMU Mass Spectrometry Research & Teaching facility, housed within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry , was established in 2010 with two Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grants from the National Science Foundation.

The mass spectrometry facility houses four LC/MS instruments, one DART TOF and one GC/MS. The LC/MS instruments include: an Agilent 6460 triple quadrupole (QQQ) mass spectrometer coupled to two Rapid Resolution LC pumps and a diode array detector, an Agilent 6224 time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometer coupled to an Infinity UHPLC pump, and Agilent 6530 and 6546 quadrupole time of flight (q-TOF) mass spectrometers each coupled to Infinity UHPLC pumps with DAD detectors. All four LC/MS instruments are equipped with an electrospray source. The time of flight instruments afford the high mass accuracy and high mass resolving power necessary for identification of unknowns in complex mixtures. The MS/MS capability of the q-TOFs afford additional structural information. The sensitivity of the QQQ makes this instrument ideal for targeted small molecule quantitation. The DART TOF is used for the direct analysis of analytes from solid or liquid samples. The quadrupole GC/MS is used for separation, characterization and quantitation of volatile compounds. Collectively, these instruments provide a robust platform for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of both large and small molecules.

Electron Microscopy Center

Contact: Xiaofeng “Harry” Hu
Phone: (540) 568-8115

The Electron Microscopy Center is a multi-user shared facility serving the entire university community for teaching and research. The center also offers demonstrations, trainings and imaging services to other schools, specialized educational programs and local industries. It houses two scanning electron microscopes, Zeiss Sigma 300 VP and LEO 1430 VP, and sample preparation equipment as metal sputter coater, carbon coater and critical point dryer.

JMU Aeroacoustics Lab

Contact: Caroline Lubert
Phone: (540) 568-2922

JMU’s Aeroacoustics Lab is a research lab centered around a purpose-built 2m x 5m x 5m Anechoic Chamber. This soundproof room is used to conduct simultaneous acoustical (4 B&K microphones at different angles to the test section) and optical (a Schlieren system of mirrors and lenses) measurements. The lab offers research experiences to a large number of students in the field of aeroacoustics – jet noise modeling. The specific application of current interest within the lab is rocket launch noise. This project is carried out in conjunction with two Virginia partners, NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS).

JMU Center for Genome and Metagenome Studies

Contact: Karen Barnard-Kubow
Phone: (540) 568-6225

The mission of JMU Center for Genome and Metagenome Studies (CGEMS) is to support innovative research and training in the methods and principles of genomics, metagenomics and bioinformatics in order to provide an exemplary learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students. CGMES houses Next Generation DNA sequencers (NGS) and the computing infrastructure for analysis and storage of the sequence data that they generate, including the Illumina MiniSeq short read and the Oxford Nanopore MinION long read sequencers. The center supports and fosters collaboration among researchers and students in a variety of departments and colleges. CGEMS also sponsors seminars and provides outreach to other higher education institutions in Virginia as well as area schools.

JMU Greenhouse

Contact: Heather P. Griscom
Phone: (540) 568-5525

The biology department’s greenhouse is organized into a head house section and several compartments that can be controlled individually for experimental studies. Each compartment has independent temperature and lighting controls and an automatic watering system. The greenhouse currently contains a collection of plant species used for teaching classes and conducting research, including a population of African violets from an endangered species native to Kenya.

JMU Herbarium

Contact: Conley K. McMullen
Phone: (540) 568-3805

The JMU Herbarium, located in Bioscience 1003, comprises 20 full-size and 14 half-size herbarium cabinets that house approximately 18,000 pressed and dried plant specimens. The herbarium is recognized in Index Herbariorum, an international listing of the world’s significant herbaria and carries the acronym JMUH. JMUH presently houses a teaching and research collection of bryophytes, ferns and fern allies, gymnosperms and angiosperms, as well as a small collection of algae. These collections are predominantly from Virginia (particularly the Shenandoah Valley) and West Virginia, although specimens from Hawaii, Poland and the Galápagos Islands are also included. The earliest specimens date from 1825. Also present in the herbarium are a full-size drying oven, upright specimen freezer, three swing-arm dissecting microscopes, 20+ complete plant presses and collecting tools. In addition, JMUH houses a small library that contains a variety of Floras (including Flora of North America), botany textbooks, identification keys and journals. The latter include the American Fern Journal, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Castanea, Rhodora and Systematic Botany).


Contact:  Laura Taalman
Phone: (540) 568-3355

Originally known as the JMU Math MakerLab, the JEM Lab offers opportunities for experimental and exploratory research in mathematics to students who are early in their undergraduate careers. Students who work in the JEM Lab leverage a wide variety of computational tools and resources to explore mathematics. JEM Lab students are usually first-year or second-year undergraduates, with no previous experience with any mathematical or design software packages, and that is how we like it! In 2021 the JEM Lab became a member of Geometry Labs United, a consortium of technology research labs at national and international research universities. The JEM Lab is proud to be the first and only Geometry Lab at a primarily undergraduate institution.

JMU Math & Stat: Learning Suite

Contact: Ravi Shankar
Phone:  (540) 568-6184

Website:  https://www.jmu.edu/mathstat/learningsuite.shtml

The JMU Math & Stat Learning Suite is housed in the basement of Roop Hall, Room G25, and offers tutoring support in a variety of first year undergraduate mathematics and statistics courses.  Students can get free tutoring help in Math 155, Math 205, Math 220, Math 231/232, Math 235 from department faculty.  The Learning Suite offers a welcoming environment and tutoring of over 20 hours a week. 

JMU Meteorite Collection

Contact: Geary Albright
Phone: (540) 540-568-2659
Website: https://www.jmu.edu/physics/meteorite-collection.shtml

The James Madison University Meteorite Collection is a growing collection of the many sorts of meteorites to strike the Earth, and is located in Miller Hall in the lobby of the John C. Wells Planetarium. The display is open to the public year-round during university business hours, and after hours by special arrangement.

JMU Regional Undergraduate Laser Facility

Contact: Oleksandr Kokhan
Phone: (540) 568-1656
Website: www.jmu.edu/chemistry/lasers.shtml

The JMU Regional Undergraduate Laser Facility supports research and education in advanced optical spectroscopy. The facility houses a large number of continuous-wave and pulsed lasers together with a rich collection of detectors, digitizers and other equipment for characterization and handling of laser beams.

John C. Wells Planetarium

Contact: Geary E. Albright
Phone: (540) 568-2659
Website: www.jmu.edu/planetarium

Located in Miller Hall, the planetarium serves as a teaching laboratory for both the undergraduates and the local community alike. The facility is used as a resource for introductory astronomy classes and well as welcoming school groups from the region. Several public planetarium shows are offered every month that vary with the seasons. The planetarium is equipped with a GOT0- Chronos/Digistar-7 hybrid planetarium system that offers full dome video as well as exceptionally clear and accurate simulations of the night sky.

Madison Accelerator Laboratory (MAL)

Contact: Adriana Banu, Scientific Program Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-8940

Contact: Tilda Pendleton, Laboratory Manager
Phone: (540) 568-2650

Website: https://sites.lib.jmu.edu/mal

The Madison Accelerator Laboratory (MAL) is a multidisciplinary research user facility available for JMU faculty and students as well as for higher education institutions in Virginia and beyond. The facility features a converted medical electron linear accelerator (linac) with electron beam energies from 5-14 MeV and X-ray beam with endpoint energies from 6-15 MeV. The linac can be used for a variety of applications from basic nuclear physics and radiation effects testing to probing materials via Photon Activation Analysis, a non-destructive and versatile tool that provides high sensitivity for elemental chemical identification, particularly useful for irreplaceable or rare samples. In addition, MAL features a 140 kV X-ray imager with 3-D imaging capabilities allowing non-destructive internal imaging of materials, biological samples and archaeological/historical artifacts.

Microscopy Facility

Contact: Kristopher E. Kubow
Phone: (540) 568-4521
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/microscopy

The Biology Department’s Microscopy Facility is equipped with several light and fluorescence microscopes, including a Nikon C1 Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope, enabling time lapse imaging, 3-D image reconstruction and fluorescence imaging. The facility has a dedicated staff member who can provide training on the equipment and help faculty and students with any microscopy aspects of their research projects.

Mineral Museum

Contact: Elizabeth Johnson and Eric Pyle
Phone: (540) 568-6130
Website: https://www.jmu.edu/mineralmuseum/

Housed with the Department of Geology, the JMU Mineral Museum contains more than 700 exceptionally beautiful display specimens that provide mineralogy students with outstanding visual examples of some of the finest crystals from around the world. Each year, numerous educational groups, mineralogical societies and individual collectors visit the collection.

Science and Mathematics Learning Center

Contact: Laura Miller, Director of Science and Mathematics Learning Center
Phone: (540) 568-6203
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/smlc

The College of Science and Mathematics has established a Learning Center for Science and Mathematics. The center, which is a part of the JMU Student Success Center, provides extra help with math and science for students in general education and beginning science courses. The center is staffed by five full-time coordinators and carefully selected upper-level science and mathematics majors.

Shenandoah Valley Regional NMR Facility

Contact: Jun Yin
Phone: (540) 568-3683
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/chemistry/NMR.shtml

The Shenandoah Valley Regional NMR Facility was established with grants from The National Science Foundation (9650132) and The Merck Foundation with matching funds provided by James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite University and Bridgewater College.

The NMR Facility is comprised of three NMR spectrometers: 300, 400 and 600. The 600 features Bruker’s state of art AVANCE NEO Console. Both 300 and 400 are AVANCE III HD system, the 300 is equipped with a Sample Case that supports 24 sample for sequential or batch automation.

These instruments are housed at JMU and can be accessed remotely by the Regional NMR Consortium. The group is composed of chemists from Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University, James Madison University, Mary Baldwin University and the University of Virginia.

Shenandoah Valley Regional Science Fair

Contact: Corey Cleland
Phone: (434) 284-0543

The Shenandoah Valley Regional Science Fair has been administered by the JMU science faculty for over four decades. The science fair is a competition open to all students in grades 6-12 who live in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

Statistical Consulting Center

Contact: Hasan Hamdan
Email: statconsult@jmu.edu

Through this office, statistics faculty members and students provide JMU and the local community with assistance in the design and analysis of statistical surveys and experiments. Students obtain practical experience and an appreciation for the impact of statistical methods on today’s society.

Wriggling Organisms and Modeling (WOrM) Lab

Contact:  Eva Strawbridge
Phone: (540) 568-6938

The WORM Lab is an experimental space for research and undergraduate education at the interface of mathematics and biology. The primary focus of our research group is the numerical, analytical, and experimental study of the locomotion of the 1mm long worm C. elegans. The lab currently consists of a wet lab and a microscope dark room which houses an in-house built worm-tracking microscope as well as a Brookfield DV-III Rheometer. Research students in the WORM Lab conduct independent theoretical and experimental investigations into the question of the biomechanics of locomotion.