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JMM 2020 Blog

Project NExT

Project NExT Workshop, Wednesday–Saturday, 8:00–6:00 pm.

Project NExT Lecture on Teaching, Federico Ardila-Mantilla, San Francisco State University, Todxs Cuentan: Difference, Humanity, and Belonging in the Mathematics Classroom, Thursday, 11:10 am–12 noon.

Project NExT Sessions

Getting Started in Undergraduate Mathematics Education Research, Wednesday, 4:30–5:45 pm, organized by Steve Bennoun, Cornell University, Aubrey Kemp, California State University Bakersfield, Zoe Misiewicz, State University of New York Oswego, and Christina Osborne, Ohio State University. As mathematicians and educators, it is natural that we care about how our students are learning mathematics and what we can do to improve their learning. However, for mathematicians with no prior experience in the field of mathematics education, conducting a formal research project in the field may seem complicated or even intimidating. During this session, we will target specific concepts related to research in mathematics education.  We will provide practical suggestions, such as journals to which one could submit papers. We will also provide examples of different theoretical frameworks and research methodologies, and discuss when it is appropriate to use each of them, as well as other important facets of this type of research. The main goal of this session is to have participants leave with concrete steps on how to get started on conducting their own research project. Further, we hope to form a network of mathematicians and math educators that can be accessed to establish research interests and find collaborators for future projects. Facilitators will include Naneh Apkarian, Western Michigan University, Matt Boelkins, Grand Valley State University, Shandy Hauk, San Francisco State University, Brian Katz, Augustana College, Karen Keene, North Carolina State University, Yvonne Lai, University of Nebraska Lincoln, and Chris Rasmussen, San Diego State University.

Math for Non-Math Majors, Thursday, 1:00–2:15 pm, organized by Matt Charnley, Rutgers University, Samantha Pezzimenti, Pennsylvania State University Brandywine, Jake Price, University of Puget Sound, and Marcella Torres, University of Richmond. Whether teaching a business calculus class or a general education survey course, most mathematics faculty commonly teach students who are not majoring in mathematics. How can we teach these courses so that non-mathematics majors leave with a positive feeling about their own mathematical ability? What are the expectations we should have for students in terminal mathematics courses? Furthermore, what is the role of a general education mathematics class in the greater university curriculum? This workshop will explore these questions and more! Participants will leave with sample projects and activities that can involve non-mathematics majors in and out of the classroom, as well as sample syllabi for general education mathematics courses that have successfully engaged students outside of mathematics. Facilitators will include Tim Chartier, Davidson College, Russ deForest, Pennsylvania State University, Keith Devlin, Stanford University, Della Dumbaugh, University of Richmond, and Christine von Reneese, Westfield State University.

Inspired by Real, Fun Math: Practical Outreach for Sharing the Power and Beauty of Mathematics with our Communities, Thursday, 3:00–4:15 pm, organized by John Cummings, The University of North Georgia, Beth DeWitt, Trinity Christian College, Carl Giuffre, Adelphi University, and Naama Lewis, Marian University. To meet the demands of an increasingly STEM-focused society, it is essential that we help our communities become comfortable, capable, and curious about mathematics. The phrase "I don't like math" proliferates in our society, from children to adults, slowing intellectual progress and innovation. To change this, we must work to make mathematics more accessible and appealing to everyone. In this interactive session, we explore community outreach activities that model what mathematicians and leaders in the community are already using to inspire mathematical curiosity. We hope attendees leave with specific ideas for fun and rigorous mathematical activities to expose students, parents, teachers, and community members to the richness of mathematics beyond typical coursework and to encourage a more positive sentiment about mathematical learning. Facilitators will include Amanda Harsy, Lewis University, Manmohan Kaur, Benedictine University, Sarah Koch, University of Michigan, Nate Pollesch, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and The Young People's Project.

NSF Proposal Writing Helpful Hints and Fatal Flaws, Friday, 4:00–5:15 pm. Participants will engage in several activities related to preparing quality proposal submissions for the National Science Foundation, with emphasis on programs in the Division of Undergraduate Education. Presenters will share tips for successful proposal preparation and general proposal writing pitfalls. Presenters will include Karen Keene, Sandra Richardson, Talitha Washington, and Lee Zia, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation.

Fostering An Equitable Classroom, Friday, 1:00–2:15 pm, organized by Heather Brooks, University of California Los Angeles, Christina Edholm, Scripps College, Ryan Moruzzi, Ithaca College, and Mark Weaver, Elon University. Students enter our classrooms with widely varying backgrounds, which contribute to how they engage in the learning experience and environment. As mathematics educators, how can we increase the likelihood of success for every student in our class? How can we ensure that each student feels welcomed in the room and contributes to the learning environment? An equitable classroom is one that maximizes fairness and where all students are explicitly welcomed into the discussion. This session will explore strategies to help all students feel engaged and confident to participate, as well as to make the subject accessible for all. Participants should take away strategies to try in their own classrooms. Facilitators will include Brian Katz, Augustana College, Todd Lee, Elon University, Suzanne Lenhart, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Kelly MacArthur, University of Utah, Anisah Nu’Man, Spelman College, and Peri Sheeren, California State University Monterey Bay.

Group Work: Demonstrations of Best Practices, Saturday, 8:30-9:45 am, organized by Carly Briggs, Bennington College, Nicole Fider, University of Arizona, Eric Stachura, Kennesaw State University, and David Walmsley, St. Olaf College. Collaborative learning has been shown to improve student outcomes when used effectively but many college educators find it challenging to know how best to use it in their classrooms. How should groups be chosen? How do you determine which structure should be used for different activities? Should students be assigned roles? How should group work be evaluated? This interactive session will focus on best practices for making group work successful. Instructors from a variety of classroom situations will lead participants through group tasks illustrating what has worked well in their experiences. Time at the end of the session will be reserved for facilitators to answer questions. Facilitators will include Martha Byrne, Sonoma State University, Danielle Champney, California Polytechnic State University, and Lauren Keough, Grand Valley State University.

Overcoming Anxiety in the Active-Learning Classroom, Saturday, 1:00–2:15 pm, organized by Emelie Curl, Christopher Newport University, Stephen Deterding, West Liberty University, Jordan Kostiuk, Brown University, and Jillian Morrison, The College of Wooster. Active-learning methods are demonstrably the most effective means by which positive student learning outcomes can be realized. However, many of the students entering our classrooms suffer from anxiety – often triggered by fear of mathematics – which inhibits their involvement in and learning from such methods. However, students are not the only demographic in the classroom that may suffer. Instructors also experience anxiety - possibly due to fear of students’ responsiveness to the material. So, implementing active-learning methods can often feel like a high-stakes risk that they may not wish to take. This interactive session will discuss tools and tips that aim to help instructors identify student anxiety, help students overcome their anxiety, and help instructors combat their own anxiety surrounding teaching mathematics using alternative methods, such as active-learning techniques. Facilitators will include Adriana Salerno, Bates College and Ursula Whitcher, University of Michigan.

Project NExT Reception. See details about the reception on Friday in Social Events.