ERIC Number: EJ1034703
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Reference Count: 5
Adding a New Dimension to Algebra
Gordon, Sheldon P.
Mathematics Teacher, v107 n2 p104-110 Sep 2013
Much of what is taught, especially in college, is designed to support other disciplines. To determine the current mathematical needs of twenty-three partner disciplines, the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) conducted the Curriculum Foundations Project (Ganter and Barker 2004; Ganter and Haver 2011), as discussed in the appendix (www.nctm.org/mt042). Overall, the recommendations from the partner disciplines reflected an amazing degree of unanimity. One surprising recommendation was to introduce functions of several variables into introductory mathematics courses. To most mathematicians, this concept probably suggests partial derivatives, gradients, and multiple integrals--topics not accessible before calculus. Physicists, economists, and chemists, for instance, have a different interpretation; they want the same multiple representations--symbolic, numerical, and graphical--that are the mainstays of algebra through calculus. In this article, the author discusses how these multiple representations apply to functions of two variables in intermediate algebra or precalculus and provides examples to illustrate the request of the partner disciplines.
Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Algebra, Mathematical Concepts, Calculus, Interdisciplinary Approach, Introductory Courses, Graphs, Symbols (Mathematics), Learning Activities, Secondary School Mathematics, High Schools, College Mathematics
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A