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2012

Science and Mathematics Education

Claremont Colleges

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Education

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 ...