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Hamilton, Jason; Pfaff, Thomas J. – PRIMUS, 2014
In this article we provide a simple way to think about the concept of sustainability and provide a number of examples for incorporating sustainability education into commonly taught mathematics courses. Scientific assessments have concluded that ecosystem services (the benefits that humans derive from the functioning of Earth's natural…
Descriptors: Sustainability, Mathematics Instruction, Environmental Education, Relevance (Education)
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Pfaff, Thomas J. – PRIMUS, 2011
We give an overview of why it is important to include sustainability in mathematics classes and provide specific examples of how to do this for a calculus class. We illustrate that when students use "Excel" to fit curves to real data, fundamentally important questions about sustainability become calculus questions about those curves. (Contains 5…
Descriptors: Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Sustainable Development, Mathematical Concepts
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Pfaff, Thomas J.; Zaret, Michele – PRIMUS, 2006
We give an example of a student project that experimentally explores a topic in random graph theory. We use the "Combinatorica" package in "Mathematica" to estimate the minimum number of edges needed in a random graph to have a 50 percent chance that the graph is connected. We provide the "Mathematica" code and compare it to the known theoretical…
Descriptors: Student Projects, Mathematics Instruction, Theories, Graphs
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Pfaff, Thomas J. – PRIMUS, 2006
If we let all students at Ithaca College be our population, then our Office of Institutional Research can provide us with various parameters about this population. For example, we can obtain parameters regarding SAT scores, birth month, and GPA. Each student samples from the population and we compare their results to the parameters. This allows us…
Descriptors: Institutional Research, Intervals, Grade Point Average, Sampling
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Boelkins, Matthew R.; Pfaff, Thomas J. – Primus, 1998
Addresses the problem of poor study habits in calculus students and presents techniques to teach students how to study consistently and effectively. Concludes that many students greatly appreciate the added structure, work harder than in previous courses, and witness newfound success as a consequence. (Author/ASK)
Descriptors: Calculus, Higher Education, Learning Strategies, Mathematics Instruction