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Boyce, Steven; O'Halloran, Joyce – PRIMUS, 2020

We describe the process of adjusting the balance between computer-based learning and peer interaction in a college algebra course. In our first experimental class, students used the adaptive-learning program ALEKS within an emporium-style format. Comparing student performance in the emporium format class with that in a traditional lecture format…

Descriptors: Active Learning, College Students, Algebra, Mathematics Instruction

Bruder, Andrea; Kohler, Brynja R. – PRIMUS, 2020

Although modeling is an integral process in applied mathematics, students rarely encounter modeling opportunities in their calculus courses. We introduce a laboratory experience as a starting point for calculus students to investigate multivariable functions. A layered system of coffee and milk serves as a physical model for temperature gradients…

Descriptors: Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Climate, Food

Flórez, Rigoberto; Mukherjee, Antara – PRIMUS, 2020

We describe some classic experiments on the Möbius strip, the projective plane band, and the Klein bottle band. We present our experience with freshmen college students, college teachers, high school students, and Mathematics Education graduate students. These experiments are designed to encourage readers to learn more about the properties of the…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Secondary School Mathematics, Undergraduate Study

Eklund, Holly – PRIMUS, 2020

The purpose of this paper is to explain a newly implemented interactive delivery model for students at the Colorado School of Mines (Mines) repeating Calculus for Scientists & Engineers I during the spring of 2017. Since calculus is a necessary component for so many STEM degrees, it will continue to be a gateway to obtaining such degrees and…

Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Delivery Systems, Calculus, Scientists

Bagley, Spencer – PRIMUS, 2020

The flipped classroom model interchanges the roles of in-class and out-of-class time to allow students more time to engage with cognitively demanding tasks when expert help from their instructor is more available. An extensive body of literature supports the effectiveness of this model. In contrast, I present a case study of a less-successful…

Descriptors: Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Homework, Video Technology

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

Lewis, Drew – PRIMUS, 2020

This article describes a Standards-Based Grading (SBG) implementation used in a variety of lower-level mathematics courses, notably including the use of oral re-assessments. A retrospective study of this implementation was conducted that showed that female students take advantage of optional oral re-assessments at greater rates than male students…

Descriptors: Grading, Academic Standards, Mathematics Instruction, Student Evaluation

Schembari, N. Paul – PRIMUS, 2020

Ciphers based on rotor machines were the state-of-the-art in the mid-1900s, with arguably the most famous being the German Enigma. We have found that students have great interest in the Enigma and its cryptanalysis, so we created our own rotor cipher that is simulated with shifting tables and can be cryptanalyzed. Ours and the historic rotor…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Equipment, Technology, Teaching Methods

Davis, Tara C.; Spaeth, Anneliese H. – PRIMUS, 2020

This article includes a case study describing our innovative teaching technique of assigning reading journals in a first semester calculus course (Calculus I), as well as an exposition about and recommendations arising from our subsequent experiences implementing similar methods in Junior and Senior mathematics courses. In the primary case study…

Descriptors: Student Journals, Reading Assignments, College Mathematics, Calculus

McAllister, Alex M.; Wiglesworth, Lesley; Wilson, John H. – PRIMUS, 2020

Creating a cohesive team of coworkers can be challenging in any organization, and an academic department is no exception. The Centre College Mathematics Department has established a culture of collegial collaboration by investing in developing a strong mathematical community of faculty and students, and through careful attention to the hiring and…

Descriptors: Collegiality, Mathematics Teachers, Mathematics Instruction, Teacher Student Relationship

Ashline, George – PRIMUS, 2020

After serving multiple terms as department chair at a small, liberal arts college, we have had the opportunity to develop some insights in a variety of circumstances. Through these experiences, we have formulated some advice for current and future unit leaders. We have included some general transition advice and a "top ten list" of…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Department Heads, Administrator Role, Leadership Responsibility

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

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