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Martin, Taylor E. – PRIMUS, 2019

My goal in crafting homework in calculus is twofold: to provide scaffolding for students to develop a theoretical understanding of calculus concepts and to incorporate good mathematical exposition, including justification and proof when appropriate. I achieve these goals by creating weekly homework sets that students work on in groups of three or…

Descriptors: Calculus, Homework, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts

McCune, Lori – PRIMUS, 2019

In the age of the internet, it is increasingly difficult to write homework assignments in a way that encourages students to struggle with a problem on their own without seeking answers from other sources. This is especially true in lower-level courses, where students often start with the attitude of "I can't do this." In this article, I…

Descriptors: Student Journals, Electronic Journals, Student Evaluation, Self Evaluation (Individuals)

Anderson, Jacqueline – PRIMUS, 2019

A common challenge among mathematics professors is to structure a course so that students are motivated to complete enough work to master the material without creating an unmanageable grading workload. We will discuss a strategy that the author devised to successfully confront this challenge (after many other failed attempts): using online surveys…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, College Students, Student Evaluation, Feedback (Response)

Jordan, Daniel R. – PRIMUS, 2019

Workshops can be a powerful tool to support students as they develop proof-writing skills. In a workshop, each student writes a proof, provides feedback on other students' work, and reflects on critiques from peers. Workshops can be used in any class that emphasizes writing proofs or other forms of mathematical writing. They are highly efficient…

Descriptors: Workshops, Mathematical Logic, Mathematics Skills, Mathematics Instruction

Isihara, Paul; Townsend, Edwin; Ndkezi, Richard; Tully, Kevin – PRIMUS, 2019

Responding to a call for national reform of mathematical education, as well as a college-wide revision of general education (GE) requirements, we describe a new entry-level, GE course focused on the humanitarian utility of mathematics. This includes a detailed overview of how we taught the course using a Humanitarian MATLAB Lab Manual developed…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Computer Software, Educational Change, Introductory Courses

Anderson, Marlow; Hollings, Christopher; Wilson, Robin – PRIMUS, 2019

History of mathematics courses based on original source materials are becoming increasingly common. However, are they more suitable for particular types of students? Here we compare two such upper-level courses, with a similar structure and using the same textbook, taken by liberal arts students at Colorado College and mathematics specialists at…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, History, Foreign Countries

Soto-Johnson, Hortensia; Hancock, Brent – PRIMUS, 2019

Although students may develop extensive geometric intuition about derivatives during calculus, many complex analysis texts avoid geometric connections between the real and complex derivative. In this report, we discuss our implementation of, and student responses to, a Geometer's Sketchpad lab that was informed by mathematics education research.…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Geometric Concepts, Educational Technology

Czocher, Jennifer A.; Tague, Jenna; Baker, Greg – PRIMUS, 2019

In this paper, we tell a story of iterative design and continual improvement of an asynchronous technological resource, pencasts, to support development of students' modeling skills while studying at home. Our students were typically engineering majors, enrolled in differential equations as a prerequisite for their subsequent engineering courses.…

Descriptors: Homework, Mathematical Models, Technology Uses in Education, Asynchronous Communication

Anderson, Jeffrey A.; McCusker, Michael V. – PRIMUS, 2019

We present a new learning activity that enables students to apply eigenvalue theory to investigate a practical modeling problem. We demonstrate how to build a spring-coupled pair of pendula and describe how students can measure the movements of these pendula using open-source image processing software. We then illustrate how to analyze this…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Experiential Learning, Learning Activities

Diedrichs, Danilo R. – PRIMUS, 2019

Harvesting models based on ordinary differential equations are commonly used in the fishery industry and wildlife management to model the evolution of a population depleted by harvest mortality. We present a project consisting of a series of scenarios based on fishery harvesting models to teach the application of theoretical concepts learned in a…

Descriptors: Mathematical Models, Equations (Mathematics), Calculus, Industry

Futamura, Fumiko; Marr, Alison M. – PRIMUS, 2018

This paper summarizes the experiences of two mathematics faculty members who participated in an in-house study abroad program. Descriptions of math courses taught abroad are given, as well as how students were recruited, courses were designed, and the environment was incorporated. Tips for mathematics faculty wanting to offer study abroad are…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Study Abroad, Teaching Methods, Mathematics Teachers

Tunstall, Samuel Luke – PRIMUS, 2018

Issues within college algebra are well-documented. Over the past two decades, reform has brought about significant modifications in the course, yet to date there has been no synthesis of the efficacy of these efforts. This paper situates college algebra within a historical context, and synthesizes research on reform. I argue that, notwithstanding…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Algebra, Educational Change

Shaw, Christopher – PRIMUS, 2018

We present a short-term class project used in an introductory linear algebra course, designed to engage students in matrix algebra. In this activity, students responded to a survey of their pop culture tastes. Using the survey responses, they worked to design a series of matching algorithms, using matrices, with the goal of matching the students…

Descriptors: Algebra, Mathematics Instruction, Matrices, Popular Culture

Shannon, Kathleen – PRIMUS, 2018

This paper describes, as an alternative to the Moore Method or a purely flipped classroom, a student-driven, textbook-supported method for teaching that allows movement through the standard course material with differing depths, but the same pace. This method, which includes a combination of board work followed by class discussion, on-demand brief…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Textbooks, Mathematics, Portfolio Assessment

Helmreich, James E.; Krog, K. Peter – PRIMUS, 2018

We present a short, inquiry-based learning course on concepts and methods underlying ordinary least squares (OLS), least absolute deviation (LAD), and quantile regression (QR). Students investigate squared, absolute, and weighted absolute distance functions (metrics) as location measures. Using differential calculus and properties of convex…

Descriptors: Least Squares Statistics, Regression (Statistics), Active Learning, Inquiry