MichNExT 2002 Program
Supported by the Michigan SectionMAA and the Exxon Foundation
May 9, 2002,
3:006:30 PM
Lawrence Technological University
Room:T410
Here is a tentative schedule for the afternoon and evening.
Abstracts of the presentations appear below.
Schedule
3:003:20 
Greeting and Refreshments 
3:304:10 
Try This! Teaching Tips
Janet Andersen, Hope College 
4:154:55 
My First Foray into Undergraduate Research
Matt Boelkins, Grand Valley State University

5:005:40 
Learning Mathematical Symbolism:
Challenges and Instructional Strategies
Rheta N. Rubenstein, University of MichiganDearborn

5:456:25 
A Few of My Favorite (Technological) Things
Randal Pruim, Calvin College

7:009:00 
Dinner at La Fendi 
Try This! Teaching Tips
Janet Andersen
Hope College
My goal in this talk is to give you several teaching strategies that
can be used in most any course. Most of these are strategies that
I've learned from other people and modified for use in my own classroom.
The strategies range from creating placemats to writing "scripts" to an
electronic discussion board. Most of these ideas are techniques to
try every now and then to lend some variety (for both you and your students)
to your classroom.
My First Foray into Undergraduate Research
Matt Boelkins
Grand Valley State University
When I interviewed four years ago for my current position, I was asked
if I was "interested in undergraduate research." I answered honestly
in the affirmative, though I confess that I had little idea how such a
project would (or could) work. As with much in academia, one learns by
doing: during the last two years I have engaged in research with an
undergraduate on a project that has been a qualified success.
In this talk we'll discuss what is meant by "undergraduate research"
in mathematics, share some lessons learned in doing such work, and
discuss possible avenues for formulating future problems and opportunities
for projects with students. Audience participation and discussion will
be central to the talk.
Learning Mathematical Symbolism:
Challenges and Instructional Strategies
Rheta N. Rubenstein
University of MichiganDearborn
Symbolism is one of the hallmarks of mathematics. Yet the symbolic language, which we so treasure, is often a challenge for our students. Many students have difficulty verbalizing, reading, understanding, and writing mathematics to express their mathematical thoughts, reflect on concepts, or extend ideas. As a result many students are hindered in their mathematical development. In this talk we will look at a few specific symbol challenges facing students and some instructional strategies to support students' effective learning of this essential mathematical language.
A Few of My Favorite (Technological) Things
Randall Pruim
Calvin College
ALIVE (Active Learning in Virtual Environments) is a project at Calvin College
that pairs up undergraduate students with faculty mentors to put together
interactive, technologybased teaching and learning tools. This semester
I supervised
two ALIVE projects.
The first project set up WeBWork,
a webbased mathematics homework system that allows students to submit homework
solutions via the internet and receive immediate feedback on the correctness
of their solutions.
Problems can be written as randomized schemes so
that each student receives a unique but similar problem.
Freefrom numerical, textual or functional answers are supported
in addition to standard things like multiple choice, matching and
True/False. Our focus was on techniques of differentiation and
integration.
For the second project, the student and I searched for and also wrote
mathlets that can be used in calculus courses. One important component
of the project was to write highly cofigurable applets that allow
instructors to tailor mathlets to their specific situations by simple
editing of an html file (no java knowledge required to change colors,
preloaded examples, menu options, etc.).
I plan to be introduce and demonstrate briefly each of these projects
as well as the use of
Prosper, a LaTeX way of making mathematical
slide presentations that seeks to replace PowerPoint (at least for
mathematical purposes) by allowing the use of colors, overlays,
effects, and the like while maintaining LaTeX's mathematical capabilities.
This page is maintained by
Randall Pruim. Please email comments, corrections, suggestions and
the like to rpruim@calvin.edu.
Document last modified
Friday, 03May2002 14:05:39 EDT