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ERIC Number: ED246924
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Lessons of Williamstown.
Maurer, Stephen B.
In July 1982, a conference was held at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to discuss the need for more discrete mathematics in the first two years of the core undergraduate mathematics curriculum. This paper reviews the recommendations that were made during the conference, the progress that has been made in the implementation of those recommendations, and the resistance and doubt that met the proposed changes. After briefly reviewing the areas of agreement and disagreement that emerged during the conference, the paper discusses the current status of undergraduate mathematics education in the United States, pointing to increasing interest in discrete mathematics, the specific activities of colleges funded to develop new undergraduate programs, and the revised curriculum at Dartmouth College. Next, reasons for the apparent resistance to curricular change are discussed, with respect to proposals for emphasizing discrete mathematics and reducing the calculus core to 1 year. This discussion is followed by a number of personal observations about what college freshmen and sophomores do and do not need to know about mathematics, and about the implications of these educational needs for curriculum development. Finally, the relevance of the debate over discrete mathematics for two-year colleges and the options available in developing math courses for non-transfer oriented students are explored. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Discrete Mathematics
Note: Paper presented at the Sloan Foundation Conference on New Directions in Two-Year College Mathematics (Atherton, CA, July 11-14, 1984).