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Ko, Sei Jin; Marx, David M.; Nickerson, Susan D.; Bjorkman, Katie – PRIMUS, 2020

In this paper we provide a detailed account of how to implement a peer role model (PRM) program similar to the one that we developed at San Diego State University (SDSU) to broaden participation of college women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In particular, we summarize our findings of the PRM program's best practices,…

Descriptors: Role Models, Peer Influence, College Students, Calculus

Harsy, Amanda – PRIMUS, 2020

As educators, it is important for us to recognize that our assessment methods affect student attitudes. If we want students to learn from their mistakes and counteract a fixed-mindset of learning, perhaps we should look at what we incentivize in the classroom. Some professors are attempting to counteract math and test anxiety, poor STEM retention,…

Descriptors: Testing, Mastery Tests, Mastery Learning, Mathematics Instruction

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

Shelton, Therese; Laurent, Theresa; Agyemang-Barimah, Beulah – PRIMUS, 2019

We present adaptable activities for models of drug movement in the human body -- pharmacokinetics -- that motivate the learning of ordinary differential equations with an interdisciplinary topic. Specifically, we model aspirin, caffeine, and digoxin. We discuss the pedagogy of guiding students to understand, develop, and analyze models,…

Descriptors: Equations (Mathematics), Active Learning, Calculus, Pharmacology

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

Buell, Catherine A.; Greenstein, Steven; Wilstein, Zahava – PRIMUS, 2017

It is widely accepted in the mathematics education community that pedagogies oriented toward inquiry are aligned with a constructivist theory of learning, and that these pedagogies effectively support students' learning of mathematics. In order to promote such an orientation, we first separate the idea of inquiry from its conception as a…

Descriptors: Inquiry, Active Learning, Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction

Quinn, Terry; Rai, Sanjay – PRIMUS, 2012

The method of variation of parameters can be found in most undergraduate textbooks on differential equations. The method leads to solutions of the non-homogeneous equation of the form y = u[subscript 1]y[subscript 1] + u[subscript 2]y[subscript 2], a sum of function products using solutions to the homogeneous equation y[subscript 1] and…

Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Equations (Mathematics), Calculus, Textbooks

Roh, Kyeong Hah; Lee, Yong Hah – PRIMUS, 2011

In this article, we suggest an instructional intervention to help students understand statements involving multiple quantifiers in logical contexts. We analyze students' misinterpretations of multiple quantifiers related to the epsilon-N definition of convergence and point out that they result from a lack of understanding of the significance of…

Descriptors: Intervention, Maya (People), Psychological Patterns, Teaching Methods

Savoye, Philippe – PRIMUS, 2011

In this article, I summarize how I present the Rayleigh-Ritz procedure, in a second-semester differential equations course that I teach, and describe some benefits that I believe my students have derived from exposure to this topic. (Contains 3 figures.)

Descriptors: Majors (Students), Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Equations (Mathematics)

Lucas, Timothy A.; Spivey, Joseph – PRIMUS, 2011

In the Spring of 2007, a group of highly motivated mathematics graduate students conducted a review of Duke's Calculus curriculum. They focused on two main problems. The first problem is the result of a very positive trend: a growing number of students are earning AP credit for Calculus I in high school. However, this results in Calculus II…

Descriptors: Mathematics Curriculum, Graduate Students, Advanced Placement, Calculus

Kowalski, R. Travis – PRIMUS, 2011

This article presents an extended analogy that connects infinite sequences and series to the science of genetics, by identifying power series as "DNA for a function." This analogy allows standard topics such as convergence tests or Taylor approximations to be recast in a "forensic" light as mathematical analogs of genetic concepts such as DNA…

Descriptors: Genetics, Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics

Burks, Robert – PRIMUS, 2010

This article describes key elements for educators to successfully implement a student mathematics portfolio in an undergraduate mathematics course. This article offers practical advice for implementing a student mathematics portfolio in a freshman precalculus course. We look at the potential value added to student class preparation and compare our…

Descriptors: Portfolios (Background Materials), Self Efficacy, Calculus, Mathematics Instruction

Hamdan, May – PRIMUS, 2008

Through an account of the history of exponential functions as presented in traditional calculus textbooks, I present my observations and remarks on the spiral development of the concept, and my concerns about the general presentations of the subject. In this article I emphasize how the different arrangements and sequencing of the subjects required…

Descriptors: Mathematics Education, Textbooks, Definitions, Calculus

Chin, Cynthia E. – PRIMUS, 2007

The history of Fermat's Last Theorem, recounted in the theatrical piece "Fermat's Last Tango," is a useful vehicle for introducing students to the variety of personalities, processes, and products involved in advanced mathematical investigation. The musical's accessible, informative, and positive portrayal of mathematicians and their work is…

Descriptors: High School Students, Teaching Methods, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts

Fraboni, Michael; Hartshorn, Kevin – PRIMUS, 2007

In the typical first-year mathematics course--whether it be calculus or a general education quantitative proficiency course--we struggle to help students see the relevance of mathematics to their own lives. Particularly in a focused course such as calculus, there is a danger that students see mathematics as an isolated subject, with applications…

Descriptors: Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Relevance (Education), College Mathematics