Spring 2022

Time Speaker Title (Click for Abstract)
Monday, January 24th Nancy Kress (University of Colorado Boulder) Student-Focused Instruction: What, Why and How?

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: This talk will start with an introduction and overview of what I refer to as "student-focused" instruction, including how it is similar to and distinct from what we think of as student-centered instruction. I'll present evidence for why this matters to students specifically with regard to how it supports more equitable and inclusive learning environments. We'll conclude with significant time allocated for considering how to implement student-focused instruction without redesigning your course or individualizing every assignment.
Monday, February 7th Keith Gallagher (University of Nebraska Omaha) Gesture, Struggle, and Progress: Examples from the Undergraduate Topology Classroom

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: Non-verbal communication can tell us a lot about what students are thinking, particularly when they are still learning formal mathematical language. Furthermore, research has shown that gesture use can influence the selection of problem-solving strategies in mathematics. I will present evidence from an introductory topology course that, during times of struggle, undergraduates may gesture more frequently when they are engaged in productive struggle – that they produce more gestures when they’re making progress on a difficult task than they do when they’re stuck. We will then discuss how the interplay of gesture and diagram usage facilitated proof construction for one of these students in topology, and we will conclude with a discussion of the implications of these results for classroom mathematics teaching.
Monday, February 21st Kasia Winkowska-Nowak (Florida Atlantic University) GeoGebra for Calculus

Video Recording
Abstract: GeoGegra is a dynamical mathematical software for teaching and learning mathematics. The virtual presentation will focus on examples of how GeoGebra can be used for teaching Calculus.
Monday, March 14th Cory Wilson (University of Oklahoma) Student Understanding of Domain and Range in Calculus I

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: We report on a study of college Calculus I students’ understanding of domain and range prior to instruction on derivatives. This study used nontrivial domain and range tasks on which students often were able to earn partial, but not full, credit. Results suggest students are familiar with domain and range but lack a deep understanding of either. For the analysis, 4 general categories (with 17 subcategories) were used to help pinpoint student difficulties. This study also considered whether the presence of a) symbolic or graphical representations or b) certain types of functions (trigonometric, piecewise-defined, etc.) impact student performance, but no patterns were found for either. Findings suggest that students performed slightly better on range tasks than on domain tasks often due to issues related to understanding continuity. However, the study concludes that even though many students did not demonstrate a deep understanding of domain or range at the beginning of the semester, this did not impact their performance on the final examination when compared to students who performed well on the domain and range tasks.
Monday, March 28th Rachid Ait Maalem Lahcen (University of Central Florida) Integrating Spaced Repetition in Math Course Redesign

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: Professors often see that students do not remember key concepts from prerequisite courses. This could be due to students’ studying habits of cramming information right before exams. Cramming is the worst way of learning math. So, what can we do to help students with learning how study and to approach a great deal of concepts and skills that math courses contain? In this presentation, I’ll discuss implementation of spaced repetition or distributed practice strategy in a math course redesign. I’ll use Calculus I and/or college algebra to show great positive results.
Monday, April 11th Michael Oehrtman (Oklahoma State University) Advanced students’ operationalization of quantification in analysis Abstract: We characterize meanings and purposes for quantification invoked by students while proving a theorem in functional analysis. We call these operationalizations of quantification "quantops" and present a framework based on student reasoning while interpreting statements and writing proofs. Each quantop flexibly appeared in forms that strategically foregrounded or backgrounded the quantification in different contexts to focus problem-solving on portions of a statement relevant in the moment.

Fall 2021

Time Speaker Title (Click for Abstract)
Monday, September 13th Steven Clontz (University of South Alabama) Free (in many senses of the word) tools for generating randomized assessments for mastery grading

Video Recording
Abstract: One of the barriers perceived by many instructors to adopting mastery grading is the workload of authoring, administering, and grading multiple assessments and re-assessments. The presenter developed the CheckIt Platform to provide a free (in as broad a sense as possible) mechanism for authoring and generating problems intended for use in assessing understanding of specific learning outcomes. In this talk, the presenter will show how to take advantage of existing banks to generate LaTeX/PDF assessments and import randomized exercises into Canvas for use with the Learning Mastery gradebook. He will also show how to author custom outcomes or banks from any web browser using CoCalc.com's free project tier.
Monday, October 4th Mary Nelson (George Mason University) A Tale of How Oral Reviews Morphed into Active Learning Classes

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: The use of oral reviews to improve grades, understanding and retention proved very effective, but prohibitively time consuming. Reserving rooms and scheduling facilitators and students was no small task. At Mason we have used the original ideas in new ways that have produced similar results. Our plan includes a two semester Calculus I course that is gradually replacing our precalculus course; acceptance of AP Calculus credit for scores of 3; Calculus recitations conducted like oral reviews, and a steady change to more active learning classes in the department (supported by Learning Assistants.)
Wednesday, October 20th (Joint with the DBER Seminar) Christine Andrews-Larson (Florida State University)

Victor Kásper (Florida State University)
Linear Algebra in the context of undergraduate STEM Education research: Recent developments, active learning, and equity Abstract: The first part of this talk will feature a brief presentation of findings from a recent US/Canada survey of linear algebra instructors (to appear in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society in August 2022). These findings will then be contextualized relative to current research around inquiry-oriented instruction in linear algebra. The second part of the talk will highlight findings regarding improved but uneven student outcomes in the context of active learning, more broadly conceived, in undergraduate STEM. This will foreground findings from recent literature that specifically examines how active learning relates to outcomes for minoritized student groups – and offer a theorization of core constructs likely to shape these outcomes. The talk will close with recent research that illuminates the experiences of racially minoritized STEM majors at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI).
Monday, November 8th Steve Benoit (Colorado State University) Mastery Precalculus with Integrated Math Placement

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract:The Precalculus Program at Colorado State University is based on a flexible structure of five 1-credit courses, with a tightly integrated math placement system focused on moving students efficiently and quickly through their required math courses. This talk describes the philosophy and design of this mastery-based program, the course delivery system that CSU has developed to support these courses, the Precalculus Center facility, and the operational practices we use to deliver these courses to a large population with diverse backgrounds and preparation, including a growing distance population. The program serves approximately 6,000 students each year.
Tuesday, November 16th Brittanney Adelmann (Florida Atlantic University) LAs in Calculus at FAU

Video Recording
Slides
In this presentation, we share details on the FAU redesign of Calculus 1 & 2 to implement the Learning Assistant (LA) model. Information will be provided on the logistics of designing and running the program, the essential partnership between the Math Learning Center (Undergraduate Studies) and Department of Mathematical Sciences, and the impact on course outcomes for all students.

Spring 2021

Time Speaker Title (Click for Abstract)
Friday, January 29th Jason Martin (University of Central Arkansas)


Videos Developing a Conceptual Foundation for Calculus

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: This talk reveals some of the design principles guiding the development of over 30 sets of instructional videos for first-semester calculus from the Calculus Videos Project (calcvids.org). Two overarching principles supporting video design were informed by intellectual need (see work by Guershon Harel) and quantitative reasoning (see work by Patrick Thompson). Particular focus will be given to video design supporting a coherent calculus curriculum rooted in quantitative reasoning. By quantitative reasoning, we mean a characterization of the mental actions involved in conceptualizing situations in terms of measurable attributes and relationships between those attributes. Core videos from the Calculus Videos Project begin by developing students’ notions of constant rate of change as an invariant multiplicative relationship between changes in covarying quantities’ measures. We will demonstrate how the development of this type of reasoning can be leveraged to support reasoning about instantaneous rate of change (derivative), accumulation (definite integral), and ultimately, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. While the Calculus Videos Project contains procedural type videos, these core videos separate this project from many other sources of calculus instructional videos. We conclude with a brief discussion of what we have learned so far while implementing these videos.
Friday, February 12th Kyeong-Hah Roh (Arizona State University) On the teaching and learning of mathematical registers

Video Recording
Abstract: In sociolinguistics, a register refers to a variety of language used for a particular purpose or in a particular communicative situation. My research team has conducted mathematics education research on a special type of registers, mathematical registers or registers of mathematics (Pimm, 1989), which is a set of meanings, together with the words and structures expressing these meanings in mathematics contexts. In particular, we focused on mathematical language (especially quantifier words) and mathematical representations (especially graphical representations) in calculus texts. In this presentation, I will illustrate some examples from the studies that my research team has conducted on undergraduate students’ interpretation and evaluation of statements in undergraduate calculus texts, including the Intermediate Value Theorem and the Definition of Convergence of a Sequence. This presentation will also include how students’ meaning of language and representations used in mathematical texts are similar to/ different from mathematical registers. I will also discuss some practical implications of these research to the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics.
Friday, February 26th Deb Hughes Hallett (University of Arizona & Harvard Kennedy School) Does Data Have a Place in a Calculus Course?

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: The world outside calculus courses is using more and more data. Many of our students want to know about AI, big data, and machine learning—and some will go on to be successful in these fields. While continuity is central to calculus, let’s think about how we can include discrete data in Calculus I and II. Does it have a place? Does it provide interesting examples? What does it add mathematically? We will talk about the benefits—and challenges—of using data, with examples from the pandemic, sustainability, and climate change.
Friday, March 12th David Lippman (Pierce College) IMathAS: What, why, how?

Video Recording
Abstract: IMathAS is an open-source math assessment and course management platform. The creator of IMathAS will talk about the origins of the platform and the evolution of the system and its open-source community. Some useful features to enhance assessment and online course delivery will be shared.
Friday, April 16th Hanna Bennett (University of Michigan) Developing a mastery assessment structure for Michigan Math

Video Recording
Abstract: The University of Michigan Introductory Program (Calculus I, Calculus II, and a course before calculus) has been using a "reformed" pedagogical model since the calculus reform movement in the mid-1990s. Our courses are taught in small sections and have a strong emphasis and collaborative problem solving. Most of students' time in class is spent working together on challenging problems that emphasize conceptual understanding and students' ability to communicate mathematics. We have in recent years begun looking at ways we can improve the degree to which our courses are inclusive and equitable. This work has focused especially on course assessment, course grading structure, and instructor training. One of the largest changes has been a movement away from high-stakes exams to mastery-based assessments that are a large component of students' grades. I will discuss what changes we've made so far, what effects we've seen as a result, and where we're hoping to go from here.

Fall 2020

Time Speaker Title (Click for Abstract)
Friday, October 16th Oscar Levin (University of Northern Colorado) Teaching with an Open Discrete Math Textbook Abstract: Discrete Math is my favorite math class. It is the reason I went to grad school and became a professor. I get to teach the course often, and each time I find a new interesting way to think about some of the topics. How to share these new ideas with my students? Put it in the textbook! This is possible because the textbook I wrote and use is open source. As an added benefit, others can assign the book, modify it, and all our students get it for free. In this talk I will share how the book came to be, highlight some of my favorite features, especially those that lead to an inquiry rich course, and explore where the book might be heading.
Friday, October 30th Eddie Fuller (FIU)

Charity Watson (FIU)

Adam Castillo (FIU)

Pablo Duran (FIU)
Developing, Implementing and Assessing Active Learning Approaches in Calculus:
An overview of the Modeling Practices in Calculus Approach and Some Results
from an NSF Study

Video Recording
Abstract: An NSF funded project lead by developed a curriculum for MAC 2311, Calculus 1, that has been shown to resonate well with students. After a two-section pilot in the Spring of 2018, the team has conducted randomized trials of this curriculum in the Fall of 2018 (3 sections) and Spring of 2019 (6 sections) and Fall 2019 (8 sections). The curriculum employs active learning strategies throughout that facilitate student development of concepts and skills by modeling mathematical inquiry as used by mathematicians to solve problems. The Modeling Practices Curriculum (MPC) relies on a high-touch environment and peer-learning supports that is implemented by in-class activities each day with undergraduate Learning Assistants as well as the lead instructor facilitating learning in a group structured, studio model. In this talk we will give an overview of the framework of the research results that support the MPC structure, discuss the use of that framework to develop materials, and present results from the study related to student success as well as some related to student affect from the first year of the project.
Friday, November 13th Darryl Chamberlain Jr. (University of Florida) Multiple-choice assessments as practical diagnostic tools

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: Multiple-choice assessments are widely used for their ease of implementation and grading. Yet, these assessments are largely criticized as being unable to provide diagnostic information about student knowledge for a variety of reasons. In collaboration with an industry expert in machine learning, we have proposed a method to utilize current research on student knowledge in unison with augmented intelligence to make diagnostic multiple-choice assessments possible. This presentation describes the results of developing and implementing this assessment generation method, Auto-DIG, in a College Algebra course over a three-year span. Quantitative and qualitative analysis suggest these assessments associate student knowledge with their choices and thus can be used as practical diagnostic tools.
Friday, December 4th Lotfi Hermi (FIU) The Random Walks of a Mathematician: Reflections on a Career

Video Recording
Slides
Abstract: This talk will offer examples of an active interest in STEM education programs by a research mathematician. Our effort spans more than two decades, with a variety of programs and initiatives to expand — through national and international partnerships — US model education and programs in the Middle East and Africa. The running theme is an attempt to answer the question: “How should we, as mathematicians and educators, offer students life-long employable skills that transcend the (mathematics) courses we teach?”

The adventure started with involvement in the teaching of a University of Arizona redesigned business math course ("Mathematics for Business Decisions", or MBD) for over 7 years. The year-long-course combined correct mathematical knowledge, fluency with information technology tools in the mathematics classroom (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), and focused on solving one business question per semester, group work, final reports, and project presentations attended by the local business community.

The 'periplus' meandered through the course ways of promoting MBD in the Middle East and North Africa (Turkey, Oman, Tunisia), and morphed into developing parallel tools to understand the mathematical aspects the Electoral College and the voting systems of the world - course materials developed and revised through 2013 for use at the Kennedy School of Government. I will also talk about the "Arizona Teacher Initiative" (ATI) experience, and the pleasure of interacting with K-8 teachers.

This metamorphosis is still underway: Mathematics is making a difference in Africa and the world, transcending traditional boundaries, and offering new horizons and solutions. We should pay close attention, get involved, and celebrate the genius of the mother of science, in creating alternative possibilities and pathways.

The talk will be peppered with “random” facts, and concrete examples. For instance: What is the least fraction of the popular vote that will elect a candidate to the office of president in the US? This is in our notes “On Voting Systems”.

All meetings are 4:00pm-5:00pm (Eastern Time) at this link Zoom

For any questions or additional information please email the organizers: