MichNExT 2005 Program

Supported by the Michigan Section-MAA and the Exxon Foundation

The 2005 Michigan NExT Symposium will include four presentations on Thursday. Michigan NExT is also sponsoring a special session on Friday evening open to all attending the Section Meeting.

The symposium will begin at 3:00 on Thursday, April 28 in Room 216 of the Swanson Academic Center on Alma's campus. A tentative schedule with times of talks and parking information is available as a pdf file.

Thursday Symposium Presentations

Incidence geometry as a "research" topic for secondary teachers
Brian Mosher, University of Michigan

For many students preparing to become secondary teachers, a college geometry course is their introduction to mathematical proof and to the process of doing mathematics. Teaching such a course is challenging in part because the mathematical backgrounds of the students vary widely. Incidence geometry, the beginning of an axiomatic development of geometry, provides opportunities for students to explore open-ended questions that suit their level of training. This talk is a report on a unit of incidence geometry, and the resulting work by students, presented in a course of geometry for secondary teachers at the University of Michigan.

Community in the mathematics department
Mark Pearson, Hope College

One of the goals for the mathematics department at Hope College the past few years has been to build community among our mathematics students and faculty. I will talk about some of the things we are doing at Hope to engage our students in the life of the department and in mathematics outside the classroom.

Using Proof to Compare Geometries - an example involving Menelaus' Theorem
Stephen Blair, Grand Valley State University

The role of proof is often presented to students from a single perspective, namely as a means by which the truth of mathematical statements can be verified. In practice, however, proof has several other roles, such as that of explanation and systemization (Bell, 1976). The study of non-Euclidean geometry highlights the multiple roles of proof because it concerns not only the verification of theorems within a particular geometry, but also the formal comparison of geometries. We will discuss Menelaus' Theorem as one example of how this might be done in an undergraduate geometry course.

Looking Back to Check Your Work: How Hard is it to Check an Answer?
Dale Winter, University of Michigan

A math professor of mine once told a story about an exam solution that he graded. The question on the exam gave the distance of a car to a very solid wall as a quadratic function of time, and asked whether or not the car would hit the wall. The solution that the professor related to me was: "Yes! In fact it hits twice--once on the way in and then again on the way back."

The substance of this talk will be a description of a teaching experiment motivated by these kinds of teaching and learning issues. In particular I will suggest some of the factors that might be involved in developing the ability to assess the "reasonableness" of answers to mathematical problems and present some of the results of efforts to help students develop this ability.

The overarching goals of the talk will be to familiarize the audience with the emerging area of scholarship known as the "Scholarship of Teaching and Learning," and to suggest one particular model for what it might mean to approach college mathematics teaching as a scholarly endeavor.

Friday Special Session

Publishing in the Monthly: A Conversation with the Editor
Bruce Palka, University of Texas

All are invited to join in this informal discussion with Bruce Palka, current editor of the American Mathematical Monthly. This session is sponsored by Michigan Project NExT."

Programs from previous years

You may like to look at the programs from recent years.

This page is maintained by Randall Pruim. Please email comments, corrections, suggestions and the like to rpruim@calvin.edu.

Document last modified Sunday, 24-Apr-2005 10:27:39 EDT