MIT Electronic Seminar on Mathematics Education
This is an online seminar centered on mathematics education at the university level. Talks will cover curriculum, pedagogy, inclusiveness, professional development, blended and flipped classrooms, and other topics of interest.
Past Talks
Click on the title of a talk to show the abstract and references (you should see a next to the title if the talk has a folder).

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 Active Calculus landing page
 PNAS metastudy on active learning
 Matthew Jones and Stan Yoshinobu on "coverage"
 Activities Workbooks
 Daily Prep Assignments
 WeBWorK sets (.def files)
 Geogebra labs
$\begingroup $Matt Boelkins, Grand Valley State UniversityPresentation:
Other Resources:
Ancillary materials for Active Calculus that are available upon request at boelkinm at gvsu dot edu:
Several recent EMES presentations have focused on active or inquirybased learning (such as those by Angie Hodge, Darryl Yong, Robin Pemantle, David Pengelley).Indeed, it is wellestablished that active learning offers, on average, significant benefits to students.At the same time, implementing active pedagogy effectively is challenging on several levels, including achieving student buyin, developing engaging investigations for students, and addressing what Stan Yoshinobu and Matthew Jones have called “the coverage issue.”
In this seminar, I will share some samples from my free and opensource text, Active Calculus, and demonstrate some of the features of the HTML version of the text. In addition, our practicefocused discussion will center on how I structure my calculus courses around active learning: daily preparation assignments, inclass activities, computer laboratory investigations, and outsideofclass WeBWorK and writing assignments.Seminar participants will be invited to share their experiences and questions regarding methods of interactive engagement in calculus and more. Following the seminar, I’ll be glad to share any of the discussed supporting materials upon request.
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$\begingroup$$\begingroup $Alissa Crans, Loyola Marymount UniversityDave Kung, St. Mary's College of Maryland
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Underrepresented minority students are more likely to drop out of college. Minority students and women are more likely to leak from the STEM pipeline at every stage from middle school on. Why do we need to address these issue? What can we do in our classrooms, departments, and institutions to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to succeed? When faced with a challenging situation, what will you do to make our world a more just place? In this session, we’ll dive into these issues  as an example of the kinds of professional development we provide to new mathematics faculty in MAA Project NExT.
Speakers:
Dave Kung teaches at St. Mary's College of Maryland and directs MAA Project NExT. After studying analysis, he switched to mathematics education, looking at instructor knowledge of student thinking. He has won his MAA section’s teaching and service awards, and he has passionately pushed to diversify mathematics. In his spare time, he runs, bikes, and plays violin  and coerces his daughter to join him.
Alissa Crans is a Professor of Mathematics at Loyola Marymount University and an Associate Director of MAA Project NExT. Her professional interests include higherdimensional and quantum algebra, relationships between math and music, and encouraging and supporting diversity and inclusivity in mathematics. She enjoys playing the clarinet, running, and baking (not cooking!).
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$\begingroup$$\begingroup $Angie Hodge, Northern Arizona University
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Calculus is often said to be the most difficult class in which to implement inquirybased learning (IBL) techniques. There are questions of class coverage, larger class sizes, and the mathematical maturity of the students taking calculus. Instead, IBL is historically known to be used in upperdivision mathematics courses where students are responsible for generating proofs with little to no help from the professor. In this seminar, I will discuss ways to successfully incorporate IBL into the calculus classroom. A variety of techniques will be discussed ranging from adding short active learning strategies into a lecture based classroom to a classroom where little to no lecture is given by the instructor.
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 Linear Algebra materials
 Abstract Algebra
 Support for use of these curricula, including summer workshops.
$\begingroup $Chris Rasmussen, San Diego State UniversityPresentation:
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Other Inquiry oriented initiatives:
Undergraduate mathematics education today faces a number of challenges and difficulties. One way to address these challenges is to build on promising theoretical advances and instructional approaches, even those not originally developed with undergraduate mathematics in mind. The Inquiry Oriented Differential Equations Project (IODE) is one such effort, which can serve as model for other undergraduate course innovations. In this presentation I describe central characteristics of the IODE approach, report on results of a comparison study, and provide an overview of the modeling sequence that leads to the emergence of a bifurcation diagram, a surprising and illustrative example of student reinvention. The overview and examples of student work tendered offers a fresh perspective on modeling and how an inquiryoriented sequence of tasks can lead to the reinvention of significant mathematics.
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$\begingroup$$\begingroup $David Bressoud, Macalester College
I've used history to motivate and organize introductory real analysis and Lebesgue integration. This talk will explain how it should be used to improve calculus instruction. The standard order of the four big ideas—limits then derivatives then integrals then series—is all wrong both historically and pedagogically. In addition, the standard models for derivatives and integrals, slopes of tangents lines and areas under curves, also throw obstacles in the path of many students. Drawing on history and recent research in undergraduate mathematics education, I'll make the case for calculus introduced first as problems of accumulation (integration), then ratios of change (differentiation), then sequences of partial sums (series), and finally the algebra of inequalities (limits).
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$\begingroup$$\begingroup $Andrew Tonge, Kent State University
In 1997, Virginia Tech dramatically changed how they taught lower division mathematics courses. They abandoned lectures and created a 500 seat “Mathematics Emporium” computer lab where students learned calculus and linear algebra assisted by software together with individualized input from teams of graduate students. Success rates soared and instructional costs plummeted. Other institutions soon adapted this model to their own needs with similar success. Emporiums, large and small, sprouted all over the country. They became popular for teaching remedial mathematics, often in highly modularized formats. A commonly reported outcome was a 25% increase in student success rates along with a 25% reduction in instructional costs. Most Emporiums were instructorcentered, driven by MyMathLab software, with students progressing through the curriculum lock step as a cohort. At Kent State we took a different, more studentcentered approach. In 2010, we created a 250 seat Emporium driven by adaptive, “artificially intelligent” ALEKS software. This builds and constantly updates an accurate representation of each student’s “knowledge space.” It allows students to choose individualized pathways through the curriculum and to advance efficiently, focusing their efforts primarily on learning what they don’t already know. We’ll discuss how and why we set up our ALEKS Emporium, describe a variety of positive outcomes, outline a recent radical metamorphosis, and situate everything within an emerging national agenda.
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 Illinois Geometry Lab
 Geometry Labs United
 GLU conference (August 2017, University of Washington)
 The IGL has a family resemblance to the MIT Math Lab
$\begingroup $Jeremy Tyson, UIUCPresentation:
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The Illinois Geometry Lab (IGL) was founded in 2011 to promote undergraduate research and community outreach in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois. From modest origins, the IGL has grown substantially: Spring 2018 witnesses nineteen IGLsponsored research projects involving over 80 undergraduates and 23 graduate students. The IGL has also quickly become the premier departmental organization focusing on engagement with and outreach to community organizations and schools. I will discuss the IGL’s history and modus operandi, and the challenges and rewards of administering a largescale undergraduate research enterprise within a researchoriented public mathematics department. The IGL partners with a number of similar undergraduate research labs across the country as part of the umbrella organization Geometry Labs United (GLU). I will briefly describe GLU’s vision for a nationwide network of experimental research labs for undergraduates in the mathematical sciences.
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 References for the connection between active learning and more equitable student outcomes can be found here.
 Ed Prather has material on thinkpairshare in an astronomy classroom available here. Prather has a compelling presentation.
 Groupworthy material has been developed by Inquiryoriented Differential Equations. Chris Rasmussen will report on this project in EMES on May 1.
 A sobering study by Gerhard Sonnert, Philip Sadler, Samuel Sadler, and David Bressoud.
 Here are further references.
$\begingroup $Darryl Yong, Harvey Mudd CollegePresentation:
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Active learning has many documented benefits both for students and instructors. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that it disproportionately benefits women, students of color, and students who previously denied the same learning opportunities as others. However, the empirical evidence for this disproportionate benefit doesn't explain why it happens, nor does it guarantee that all students will benefit from active learning. In fact, my own experience with active learning is that it is difficult to do well and sometimes it can have detrimental effects on students if we're not careful. So, we should aim not just for active learning, but learning that is both active and inclusive. We'll discuss some principles and practical strategies for making active learning more inclusive. (If you are able to, please watch David Pengelley's EMES presentation on active learning before this session.)
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 Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
 Progression Documents for the Common Core Math Standards Institute for Mathematics and Education, University of Arizona
 Illustrative Mathematics
 Aleks, Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Webbased, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system.
 Ohio Mathematics Initiative Two suggestions from Natasha Speer:
 Carnagie pathways project in quantitative reasoning and statistics
 Researchbased educational products
$\begingroup $Dev Sinha, University of OregonPresentation:
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We discuss a dozen years of experience in course development with an aim of changing students' perceptions of what mathematics is and what success in mathematics classes ought to entail. Key components are identifying important common student misunderstandings and designing activities, often inclass, to address those, and aiming for authenticity of student practice. We share groundup (re)design of three courses: introduction to proofs, math for preservice elementary school teachers, and mathematical modeling in preparation for college algebra, the latter of which has very positive though smallpopulation data which indicates some success. We end with discussion of the challenges presented to campuses in trying to strategically implement such practicefocussed courses.
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 College Mathematics Instructor Development Source (CoMInDS) Website. To join the CoMInDS listserve, email Emily Braley.
 CoMInDS program profiles:
$\begingroup $Robin Gottleib, HarvardEmily Braley, HarvardPresentation:
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Part of providing a valuable classroom experience for undergraduate students is supporting teachers so that they are well equipped to deliver high quality instruction. Graduate students at research universities often serve as teaching assistants (GTAs) and many serve as instructors of record in undergraduate courses. We will profile two well established graduate student professional development support programs, one at Harvard University and the other at Duke University. Then we will talk about the College Mathematics Instructor Development Source (CoMInDS) project of the MAA and how this program aims to support graduate students and professional development providers.
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 Active Learning at Penn
 Student paper article on active learning at Penn
 Teacher prep courses
 Active learning math courses:
 Calculus for business students: mock canvas, mock calendar, mock handouts, real course materials
 Active version of Calculus I
 Active version of Calculus II
$\begingroup $Robin Pemantle, University of PennsylvaniaPresentation:
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This is a mathcentric history of the active learning initiatives at Penn, starting in 2013 with our involvement in a project funded by the AAU.
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$\begingroup$$\begingroup $Teena Gerhardt, Michigan State University
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Over the last three years I have led a transformation of the Survey of Calculus course at Michigan State University. This applied calculus course serves over 3600 students per year. I will discuss the new course design, as well as the challenges in transforming large courses. This course redesign is part of a push by the MSU math department to improve introductory math courses, as well as a broader effort across the university to improve STEM gateway classes. I will briefly discuss efforts and programs at the department and university level that have led to these changes in institutional teaching culture.
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 Mathematical Assocation of America MAA Instructional Practice Guide (draft)
 Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences Active Learning in PostSecondary Mathematics Education
 MAA Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics Curriculum Guide
 American Statistical Association Guide for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) Report
 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles to Actions
 Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics
$\begingroup $Beth Burroughs, Montana State UniversityPresentation:
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The MAA Instructional Practices Guide is a companion guide to the 2015 CUPM Guide to Undergraduate Programs in the Mathematical Sciences. The IP Guide focuses on three core practices: Classroom Practices, Assessment Practices, and Course Design Practices. The guide is in draft form, preparing for release in 2018. This seminar will describe the principles the author team used in creating the guide, will provide an overview of the contents of the guide, and will provide an opportunity to discuss some of its recommendations indepth. Anyone wishing to review the guide in advance can access it here.
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 Beating the LectureTextbook Trap with Active Learning and Rewards for All
 The Calculus Concept Inventory—Measurement of the Effect of Teaching Methodology in Mathematics
 Evaluation of the IBL Mathematics Project: Student and Instructor Outcomes of InquiryBased Learning in College Mathematics
 Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics
 Largescale comparison of science teaching methods sends clear message
 Enough with the lecturing
 MAA Instructional Practices Guide (December 20, 2017) accepting reviewer comments until December 1st.
$\begingroup $David Pengelley, Oregon State UniversityPresentation:
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What is active learning? What is the scientific evidence about it in the classroom? What is the lecturetextbook trap? What are the alternatives, and how difficult are they? What about issues such as "first contact", and linkages between before, during, and afterclass. Is there a motto about student reading? What are the rewards of active learning for both teachers and students? How much inertia is there? I will address these questions based on pedagogy developed in 17 distinct university courses at all levels over 20 years. And there will still be plenty of time left for discussion.
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$\begingroup$$\begingroup $Haynes Miller, MIT MathematicsJennifer French, MITx
Since about 2002 a team at MIT has been developing a suite of specialpurpose applets to support student understanding of mathematical concepts and operations. They have been used extensively as lecture demonstrations and in homework assignments. We will show some examples of these uses, discuss their design and reception, introduce the website mathlets.org, and end with a description of how they have been integrated into online courses.
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 Course materials
 Discussions and information on the educational decisions taken when designing and implementing the flipped version of 18.05 are available here.
$\begingroup $Jerry Orloff, MITJon Bloom, MITPresentation:
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Several years ago at MIT we decided to flip our introductory probability and statistics class. This involved the use of technology both in and out of class as well as a major revamping of the syllabus. We will discuss our experience: what worked well and not so well. At this point we expect many participants will have tried flipping a class, so we hope to generate a discussion of our various experiences.
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 MOOC on how to design and produce content from Stanford: Blended and Online Learning Design
 JovE: peerreviewed scientific journal that publishes experimental methods in video format
$\begingroup $Petra BonfertTaylor, DartmouthSarah Eichhorn, University of California at IrvineDavid Farmer, American Institute of MathematicsJim Fowler, Ohio State UniversityPresentation:
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CuratedCourses in Mathematics is a project to create, gather, curate, tag, review, organize and make available high quality online open educational mathematics resources. The project aims to coordinate work being done at multiple institutions on similar courses, enabling faculty to share resources they create or curate from other sources. By creating a system for curating and tagging resources our hope is that faculty can more easily find high quality materials to utilize in their classes and more broadly disseminate good resources they create.
We will describe the project itself, describe resources we have created for faculty about how to design and produce online mathematics content, describe our tagging system for content submitted to our site as well as present our future goals for the project.
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