Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Education Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 22 of 22

Full-Text Articles in Education

Mathematics For Human Flourishing, Francis Su Jan 2017

Mathematics For Human Flourishing, Francis Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

Why does the practice of mathematics often fall short of our ideals and hopes? How can the deeply human themes that drive us to do mathematics be channeled to build a more beautiful and just world in which all can truly flourish?


Race, Space, And The Conflict Inside Us, Francis Su Nov 2016

Race, Space, And The Conflict Inside Us, Francis Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

Talking about race is hard. Our nation is wrestling with some open wounds about race. These sores have been around a while, but they have been brought to light recently by technology, politics, and an increasingly diverse population. And regardless of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, we will all need to work at healing these sores, not just in our personal lives, but in our classrooms and in our profession.


Freedom Through Inquiry, Francis Su Aug 2016

Freedom Through Inquiry, Francis Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

I delivered this speech at the Inquiry‐Based Learning Forum & 19th Annual Legacy of R.L. Moore Conference on August 4, 2016. It is partly an homage to an influential teacher, partly an excuse to articulate what makes some styles of teaching so effective, and partly an excuse to talk about difficult issues facing our nation and our classrooms today.


Math Education: A Messy Problem, Gizem Karaali May 2016

Math Education: A Messy Problem, Gizem Karaali

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

The current state of math education in America is certainly not ideal, writes Gizem Karaali, but mathematicians, researchers, policy makers and others are working on it -- and it is definitely a problem worth working on.


Guidelines For Good Mathematical Writing, Francis Su Aug 2015

Guidelines For Good Mathematical Writing, Francis Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

Communicating mathematics well is an important part of doing mathematics. Many of us know from writing papers or giving talks that communicating effectively not only serves our audience but also clarifies and structures our own thinking. There is an art and elegance to good writing that every writer should strive for. And writing, as a work of art, can bring a person great personal satisfaction.

Within the MAA, we value exposition and mathematical communication. In this column, I’m sharing the advice I give my students to help them write well. There are more extensive treatments (e.g., see Paul ...


Extended Book Review: Really Big Numbers, By Richard Evan Schwartz; The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life Of Paul Erdös, By Deborah Heiligman; The Short Seller, By Elissa Brent Weissman, Gizem Karaali Aug 2015

Extended Book Review: Really Big Numbers, By Richard Evan Schwartz; The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life Of Paul Erdös, By Deborah Heiligman; The Short Seller, By Elissa Brent Weissman, Gizem Karaali

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

The genre of math lit for children is not huge, but it is growing. My kid loves the early reader books by my friend and colleague Julie Glass (A Dollar for Penny (1998), The Fly On the Ceiling (2000)). I found Izolda Fotiyeva’s Math with Mom (2003) too late for my daughter but will definitely read it with my son. For a neat twist on the traditional alphabet book, I recommend The Technical Alphabet (2014) by the engineer sisters Lavanya and Melissa Jawaharlal. More recently a colleague introduced me to Laura Overdeck’s Bedtime Math series; these will soon ...


To The Mathematical Beach, Francis Su Jun 2015

To The Mathematical Beach, Francis Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

What context am I missing that hinders my connection with my students? How often do I take the time to get to know their backgrounds? What are the primary experiences that shaped them, and do those present obstacles or opportunities for learning? And in what ways does the mathematical beach say “open to all” but still feel restricted?

These questions appear unrelated to mathematics, but if we ignore their effects, some of our students will not flourish.


Extended Book Review: Mathematics In Popular Culture: Essays On Appearances In Film, Fiction, Games, Television And Other Media, Edited By Jessica K. Sklar And Elizabeth S. Sklar; Loving+Hating Mathematics: Challenging The Myths Of Mathematical Life, By Reuben Hersh And Vera John-Steiner; Mathematicians: An Outer View Of The Inner World, By Mariana Cook, Gizem Karaali Dec 2013

Extended Book Review: Mathematics In Popular Culture: Essays On Appearances In Film, Fiction, Games, Television And Other Media, Edited By Jessica K. Sklar And Elizabeth S. Sklar; Loving+Hating Mathematics: Challenging The Myths Of Mathematical Life, By Reuben Hersh And Vera John-Steiner; Mathematicians: An Outer View Of The Inner World, By Mariana Cook, Gizem Karaali

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

I was delighted to have the opportunity to review three books on a topic near and dear to my heart. In recent years it has become a passion of mine to think of and speak about the place of mathematics in the real world, in the world of those who are not doing mathematics for a living. I care about the applications and the implications of mathematics, but more than that, I care about the feelings and the impressions attached to it. Often math anxiety or skepticism comes up; the latter may be due to how frequently others (mis)use ...


The Lesson Of Grace In Teaching, Francis Su Jan 2013

The Lesson Of Grace In Teaching, Francis Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

I want to talk about the biggest life lesson that I have learned, and that I continue to learn over and over again. It is deep and profound. It has changed the way I relate with people. It has reshaped my academic life. And it continually renovates the way I approach my students.


The Awards Project: Promoting Good Practices In Award Selection, Betty Mayfield, Francis Su Oct 2012

The Awards Project: Promoting Good Practices In Award Selection, Betty Mayfield, Francis Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

Every year the MAA honors many members of our community with a wide variety of prizes, awards, and certificates for excellence in teaching, writing, scholarship, and service (see maa.org/awards). The winners exemplify our ideals as an association; consequently, they are often viewed as role models and leaders. So it is important to ask: Do these awards, as a whole, reflect the outstanding contributions of the breadth of association membership?


In Defense Of Frivolous Questions, Gizem Karaali Jan 2012

In Defense Of Frivolous Questions, Gizem Karaali

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

Is there any reason for today's academic institutions to encourage the pursuit of answers to seemingly frivolous questions? The opinionated business leader who does not give a darn about your typical liberal arts classes "because they do not prepare today’s students for tomorrow's work force" might snicker knowingly here: Have you seen some of the ridiculous titles of the courses offered by the English / literature / history / (fill in the blank) studies department in the University of So-And-So? Why should any student take "Basketweaving in the Andes during the Peloponnesian Wars"? Just what would anyone gain from such ...


Humanistic Mathematics: An Oxymoron?, Gizem Karaali Jan 2012

Humanistic Mathematics: An Oxymoron?, Gizem Karaali

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

Mathematics faculty are trained as mathematicians, first and foremost. If we did not experience the soul-expanding possibilities of liberal education during our own undergraduate years, we may hesitate to bridge disciplinary divides when pursuing our core human need to inquire and understand. Although most mathematicians I know are amazing teachers, communicators, and mentors, many still teach the same material that their professors and their professors’ professors taught. This time-tested approach can be powerful, fascinating, and even quite entertaining. But it can also seem far removed from the world we inhabit. Yes, we teach “real world applications” of mathematical concepts. Yet ...


What Does It Take To Teach Nonmajors Effectively?, Feryal Alayont, Gizem Karaali, Lerna Pehlivan Jan 2012

What Does It Take To Teach Nonmajors Effectively?, Feryal Alayont, Gizem Karaali, Lerna Pehlivan

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

Most MAA members teach mathematics at the college level, and many often teach courses intended for nonmajors. Indeed this is one of the main responsibilities of a mathematics department: offering service courses for client departments and general education courses for nonmajors. The three of us have been thinking about the question of how to teach nonmajors successfully for a while now. Finally we decided on a time-tested method of figuring things out: if you don't know what to do, ask the experts. We organized a panel titled "Effective Strategies for Teaching Classes for Nonmajors" for MAA MathFest 2012 and ...


Teaching Research: Encouraging Discoveries, Francis E. Su Nov 2010

Teaching Research: Encouraging Discoveries, Francis E. Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

What does it take to turn a learner into a discoverer? Or to turn a teacher into a co-adventurer? A handful of experiences—from teaching a middle-school math class to doing research with undergraduates—have changed the way that I would answer these questions. Some of the lessons I’ve learned have surprised me.


Mathematicians Playing A Role In Math Education: What We Learned At The Ime/Mime Workshop, Anna Bargagliotti, Rama Chidambaram, Gizem Karaali Jan 2008

Mathematicians Playing A Role In Math Education: What We Learned At The Ime/Mime Workshop, Anna Bargagliotti, Rama Chidambaram, Gizem Karaali

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

In Hollywood, some actors are regularly cast as mean, others as sweet and endearing, and some typically play innocent big-eyed youths who inevitably succeed after awakening to the particular facts of life that their producer wants them to awaken to. It is unusual and difficult for actors to cross the bridge between different types on a regular basis. However, there are always exceptions to the rule.

In the seemingly unrelated world of academics, mathematics faculty may find themselves playing different roles. People with different skills and interests strive to balance their careers in ways that will be uniquely fulfilling to ...


Communicating Applied Mathematics: Four Examples, Daniel E. Finkel, Christopher Kuster, Matthew Lasater, Rachel Levy, Jill P. Reese, Ilse C. F. Ipsen Jan 2006

Communicating Applied Mathematics: Four Examples, Daniel E. Finkel, Christopher Kuster, Matthew Lasater, Rachel Levy, Jill P. Reese, Ilse C. F. Ipsen

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

Communicating Applied Mathematics is a writing- and speaking-intensive graduate course at North Carolina State University. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief description of the course objectives and the assignments. Parts A–D of of this article represent the class projects and illustrate the outcome of the course:

The Evolution of an Optimization Test Problem: From Motivation to Implementation, by Daniel E. Finkel and Jill P. Reese

Finding the Volume of a Powder from a Single Surface Height Measurement, by Christopher Kuster

Finding Oscillations in Resonant Tunneling Diodes, by Matthew Lasater

A Shocking Discovery: Nonclassical Waves in ...


Magical Miscellany, Francis Su Feb 2004

Magical Miscellany, Francis Su

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

What is a Math Fun Fact, you ask? A Math Fun Fact is any mathematical tidbit that can be presented or grasped quickly, is surprising or captivating, can be generally enjoyed by friends of mathematics, and is hopefully fun! Of course, part of the fun is thinking about why the Fun Fact is true--so we won't spoil the fun. Though, we may give you some hints and references

However, since there are infinitely many Math Fun Facts (prove this), we can only bring you a few each time... here are a few whose conclusions might be considered "magical".


Mathematical Magic, Arthur T. Benjamin Jan 2004

Mathematical Magic, Arthur T. Benjamin

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

In this paper, we present simple strategies for performing mathematical calculations that appear magical to most audiences. Specifically, we explain how to square large numbers, memorize pi to 100 places and determine the day of the week of any given date.


An Integration Of Chemistry, Biology, And Physics: The Interdisciplinary Laboratory, Gerald R. Van Hecke, Kerry K. Karukstis, Richard C. Haskell, Catherine S. Mcfadden, F Sheldon Wettack Jul 2002

An Integration Of Chemistry, Biology, And Physics: The Interdisciplinary Laboratory, Gerald R. Van Hecke, Kerry K. Karukstis, Richard C. Haskell, Catherine S. Mcfadden, F Sheldon Wettack

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

As a new venture to integrate research and education, a pilot section of a first-year laboratory sequence known as the Interdisciplinary Laboratory (ID Lab) was introduced on the Harvey Mudd campus during the 1999–2000 academic year and continues to be offered. The ID Lab attempts to bridge laboratory experiences from biology, chemistry, and physics for the first-year student. Taught by a team of faculty from these disciplines, the course seeks both to illustrate commonality of investigative methods and laboratory techniques in these sciences and to introduce discipline-specific principles. Experiments with a chemistry component include the Molecular Weight of Macromolecules ...


Finest Science Not Always Found In The Fanciest American Universities, David E. Drew Oct 1987

Finest Science Not Always Found In The Fanciest American Universities, David E. Drew

CGU Faculty Publications and Research

Recent controversies about federal science funds for university research have become highly visible-and acrimonious. Debate about who should get support and why, long the province of a carefully developed system of peer, or merit, review, have been the subject of special task-force reports, congressional hearings and cover stories.


A Study Of The Nsf College Science Improvement Program, David E. Drew Jan 1971

A Study Of The Nsf College Science Improvement Program, David E. Drew

CGU Faculty Publications and Research

The College Science Improvement Program was launched in 1966 and has as its stated goal "... to accelerate the development of the science capabilities of predominantly undergraduate institutions and to enhance their capacity for continuing self-renewal" (National Science Foundation, 1969, p. 90). Between the program's inception and the end of fiscal year 1969, COSIP made 105 grants representing a total amount of over $18,000,000 to such institutions


On The Allocation Of Federal Funds For Science Education, David E. Drew Jan 1970

On The Allocation Of Federal Funds For Science Education, David E. Drew

CGU Faculty Publications and Research

Massive Federal expenditures for science research and development have been commonplace since World War II and the spectacular technical success of the Manhattan project. Shortly after the war the case for continued government support of basic science research was made by Vannevar Bush (1945) and others; the major organization which grew out of this Federal concern was the National Science Foundation. Subsequently the late fifties (and the voyage of Sputnik) saw science education become a national priority. That period spawned a wide array of measures in support of science education, e.g., the National Defense Education Act.

The passage of ...