FALL 2011

WELCOME                          2010-2011 SCHEDULE                          ARCHIVE

WELCOME                       SPRING 2012 SCHEDULE                        ARCHIVE


Speaker: Bruce Bayly, UA Math Dept and The Physics Factory (www.physicsfactory.org)

Title: Mobile Math Outreach: Where Are We?  Where Are We Going?

               Abstract: The "Arizona Mathematics Road Show" is a mobile math outreach

                 program modeled on "The Physics Factory", an established science outreach

                 program.  As an outgrowth of The Physics Factory, it consists of a small but

                 growing collection of hands-on gadgets and demonstrations that illustrate

                 mathematical concepts while also engaging the senses.  Although the           

                 mathematics may be well beyond the experience of the populations we're trying

                 to reach (elementary, middle and high school students, older folks who haven't

                 pursued math since high school), we want to convey the message that math is

                 the key to a lot of really interesting stuff.

We'll talk about our various pieces of equipment, what we've built and are planning to build (e.g. Plinko board, harmonograph, foam block arches), and what we hope people will get from it.  We'll also talk about how our basic approach could be developed in different directions.

August 30

Math 501

Speakers: Cynthia Anhalt, Mathematics Education Specialist at UA, Tal Sutton, Assistant Research Professor of Education at UA

Title: Experiences with Intel Mathematics Course

Abstract:  The Intel Math Course was taught to 56 TUSD K-8 teachers and administrators this summer.  It is a content-intensive professional development program adapted from the curriculum developed by Kenneth Gross, Professor of Mathematics and Education at the University of Vermont.  The course is 80 hours of professional development in mathematics co-facilitated by a mathematician and a mathematics educator as instructors.  Topics covered are integer arithmetic, the decimal number system, place value, rational number arithmetic, rates, linear equations, and functions.

September 6

Math 501

Speakers: William McCallum, William Velez, Moysey Brio, Professors of Mathematics at UA, and Lynette Guzman, Rachel Baumann, undergraduate students at UA

Panel Discussion: Mentoring undergraduate students in mathematics at UA

Abstract: Mentoring undergraduate students plays an important role in faculty lives. This panel discussion will focus on different aspects of mentoring undergraduates, and provide an overview of opportunities available to undergraduates at UA that junior faculty should be aware of. Faculty members in the panel will give advice in recruiting and advising math majors, and talk about their experience in leading undergraduate research projects. Two undergraduate students will join the panel and offer their insights on the relationship with their mentors.

September 13

Math 501

Speaker: William Faris, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at UA

Title: Why is it so hard to teach mathematical proof?

Abstract: This talk draws on experience teaching mathematical proof as part of a logic course. Over a number of years a pattern emerged. Students had the usual problems proving mathematical results about prime numbers and other mathematical objects. However, they had a new problem:  focusing on results about proof itself. This is an area where mathematics instructors may have an opportunity to benefit from the "natural deduction" approach  used in many philosophy departments. Beyond this, there are insights to be drawn from a branch of logic called "proof theory".

September 20

Math 501

Speakers: Virginia Bohme, UA Mathematics Department

Title: Overview of the ATI program

Abstract:  The Arizona Teacher Initiative, a three-year part-time degree for middle school mathematics teachers with elementary certification, has been funded by a 5-year, $4.8M National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership grant in partnership between the University of Arizona and Tucson Unified School District.  We will have a panel of folks involved with the ATI Program including Dan Madden, the principal investigator; several course instructors, school specialists, post-docs, and middle school teacher participants.

September 27

Math 501

Speaker: Rebecca McGraw, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at UA

Title: Promoting Reasoning and Proof in Geometry Instruction

Abstract:  In this talk, I will describe a study that investigated the potential of The Geometer's Sketchpad to support student learning of geometry and proof. I will also discuss common student misconceptions about the nature and role of proof in mathematics, and share some ideas about how to structure exploratory lessons in ways that promote reasoning and student engagement. The study I conducted involved 119 high school students, and the central focus of the talk will be on the ways these students used Sketchpad to make, test, and prove conjectures about the properties of quadrilaterals. Although the research was conducted at the high school level, it is likely that the findings could apply to much of both the middle grades, and university, student populations.

October 4

Math 501

Speaker: Nathan Carlson, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at California Lutheran University

Title: What's Life Like Teaching at a Small College, Anyway?

Abstract: Those interested in a career teaching mathematics at an undergraduate institution first spend n long years (or even more!) as a graduate student or postdoc at a larger research-oriented university. The new faculty inevitably goes through much transition when she at last finds herself at a smaller 4-year college. While excellent programs such as the U. of A. TPD program go a long way to address this adjustment, there are elements that may only become apparent after some time on the new job. This Instruction Colloquium talk by a former TPD will be an informal discussion aimed at grad. students and postdocs interested in learning more about "what life could possibly be like teaching at 4-year liberal arts college." Teaching and research expectations, tenure-related concerns, life around a small department, course loads, what in the world "service" means, and the larger faculty role around campus, are among the topics considered. Come with more!

October 11

Gould Simpson 849

Speaker: Cody Patterson, Assistant Director, The Institute for Mathematics and Education

Title: The Calculus Problem Workshop, One Year Later

Abstract:  In Fall 2010, I started the Calculus Problem Workshop in an effort to reach out to Math 124 students who wanted to sharpen their calculus skills.  One year later, the Calculus Problem Workshop is a thriving support program that has served over 60 students in various sections of Math 124, 129, and 223. Students in the Workshop attend weekly sessions in which they work in teams on challenging problems designed to stretch their conceptual understanding and problem solving skills. Each session culminates with teams presenting their solutions to other workshop participants.

While the main purpose of the program is to help students achieve success in their calculus classes, the Workshop has also served as a useful laboratory for the improvement of my own calculus teaching. Working with students in a relaxed setting on challenging problems provides a window into misconceptions and other obstacles they encounter; this in turn informs the development of problems and in-class exercises for my own sections of the course.

In this presentation, I will talk about the workshop model, the art of selecting good problems, and what we've accomplished so far. I will also talk about what I would like to do to make the Calculus Problem Workshop a platform for helping students navigate the transition from high school to college, and for recruiting students into the math program. Finally, I will tell you what you can do to get involved.

November 1

Math 501

Speakers: Josh Tabor, Canyon Del Oro High School (Sports Statistics), Brenda Ugalde, Rob Hilliker, and Steve Bracamonte, Tucson High Magnet School (two different courses--Statistics and Financial Mathematics), Michael Herzog and Sarah Mann, St. Gregory High School (Problem Solving), Greg Wenneborn, Flowing Wells High School, (Math/Finance course), Roz Wolfe, ATI Teacher on Special Assignment (Survey course including modeling and financial math)

Panel Discussion: New courses for the 4-th year of high school mathematics

Abstract: The class of 2013 will have to take four years of high school mathematics for graduation---the 4th year should be meaningful mathematics for students who have taken intermediate algebra. A panel of teachers from different schools and districts will discuss their ideas for a 4-th year mathematics course for students who are not ready for traditional college algebra, pre-calulus, or calculus. This is a great opportunity to get information about what is out there and what different schools are working on for next year, make contacts and see what might be changing as high school graduates come to the University, and share your ideas on this topic. See http://www.azed.gov/state-board-education/high-school-graduation-requirements/ for more information about the requirements for the 4-th year course.

October 25

Math 501

Speaker: Priya Prasad, Graduate Student in Mathematics Education at UA

Title: Equity in the Math Classroom

Abstract: Ever wonder if you could serve your students better? Literature about equity in math education is concerned with the idea of better addressing the mathematical issues of different students. This talk will be a framed discussion of how better to include aspects of equity and social justice in the tight framework of courses at the UA. Come with ideas/questions about the classes you're teaching next semester and together we can develop an equity-based mindset to bring to our future teaching.

October 18

Math 501


   ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING:  All are welcome.  Please bring your ideas for speakers and panel discussion topics -- We are especially interested this year to invite speakers from other departments with whom mathematics educators might collaborate.  Co-organizers: Brie Finegold and Silvia Saccon

August 23

Math 501

Speaker: Wayne Hacker, Pima Community College

Title: A hands-on approach to teaching mathematics

Abstract: In this talk I will give some examples of how I managed to replace the calculator, pre-made computer programs, and other, sometimes very expensive, ``technological miracle cures'' with simple low-cost solutions using hands-on manipulatives that I picked up at thrift stores. Student feedback indicates increased understanding over other methods. 

The examples presented will have been used in College Algebra, Trigonometry, Business Math, Vector Calculus, Differential Equations, and Dynamical Systems. Examples will be given of how mathematics is used in laboratory experiments using some of the physics labs that I have created over the last two summers. Many of these labs could be used as special projects in an undergraduate modeling course and they are freely available on my website http://dtc.pima.edu/~hacker/.

November 8

Math 501


November 22

Speaker: Matt Thomas, Graduate Student in Mathematics Education at UA

Title: Measuring Interactive Engagement in Calculus Classes

Abstract: Research suggests that students in interactively engaged classroom achieve greater conceptual gains than those in traditional lecture-based classrooms. In this talk, I will describe research in which classroom videos are being analyzed to classify interactive engagement at the college level. Measures of interactive engagement will be studied in correlation with conceptual gains measured by a test given to calculus students during the fall 2010 semester. I will describe the current state of the study and future plans.

Speaker: Joseph Watkins, Professor of Mathematics at UA

Title: Bio 2010: A look forward -2 years.

Abstract: The Committee on Undergraduate Biology Education to Prepare Research Scientists for the 21st Century (2003) produced BIO2010: Transforming

Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists for the National Research Council of the National Academies. They remark "Mathematics teaching presents a special case. Most biology majors take no more than one year of calculus, although some also take an additional semester of statistics. Very few are exposed to discrete mathematics, linear algebra, probability, and modeling topics, which could greatly enhance their future research careers."

We will first look at the transformation in curriculum choices that students are making at the University of Arizona,spend some time discussing one of these courses, a calculus based statistics course for life science students and a look forward to challenges ahead.

November 15

Math 501

November 29

Math 501