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Markus Reitenbach – PRIMUS, 2024

We describe Shamir's secret sharing scheme and explain how it can be used for secure and redundant cryptocurrency storage. We include samples of individual and group assignments that can be used in an upper-division cryptology class for students who are familiar with modular arithmetic. It takes about one class to cover Shamir's secret sharing,…

Descriptors: Technology, Coding, Monetary Systems, Privacy

Jeffrey Ehme – PRIMUS, 2024

The Miller-Rabin test is a useful probabilistic method for finding large primes. In this paper, we explain the method in detail and give three variations on this test. These variations were originally developed as student projects to supplement a course in error correcting codes and cryptography.

Descriptors: Probability, Numbers, Coding, Algorithms

Jordan Kostiuk – PRIMUS, 2024

National studies continue to indicate that the graduating STEM student body is not representative of the diversity of the U.S. population. In addition to, or in the absence of, institutional change, instructors must learn how to implement equity-focused pedagogical changes in order to better support their students. This article describes my…

Descriptors: Reflection, Communication (Thought Transfer), Communication Strategies, Metacognition

Lyn McQuaid; Vanessa Maybruck; Yun Lu – PRIMUS, 2024

Since its founding in 2013, the Kutztown University Association for Women in Mathematics student chapter has built a supportive community of women students and faculty on campus and beyond. This article aims to share our successful experiences with the broader community by presenting our pre- and mid-pandemic AWM activities including Mathematics…

Descriptors: Womens Education, Females, Women Faculty, Higher Education

Melhuish, K.; Lew, K.; Hicks, M. – PRIMUS, 2022

Connecting and comparing across student strategies has been shown to be productive for students in elementary and secondary classrooms. We have recently been working on a project converting such practices from the K-12 level to the undergraduate classroom. In this paper, we share a particular instantiation of this practice in an abstract algebra…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Best Practices, Algebra

Piercey, Victor – PRIMUS, 2021

Since the content of the Theory of Interest course in an actuarial science program is tied to an external exam, instructors may be hesitant to attempt to use inquiry-based learning. In this paper, I outline how and why I did so, including descriptions of the materials that I wrote. I found that student performance on the final exam improved…

Descriptors: Risk Management, Inquiry, Mathematics, Money Management

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

Lucas, Adam R. – PRIMUS, 2012

"WeBWorK," an online homework system, can be be used to deliver daily reading questions to students. The author studied its use for this purpose with a lower division Introduction to Programming course and an upper division Probability and Statistics course. In the lower division course, "WeBWorK" significantly improved peer…

Descriptors: Homework, Student Attitudes, Active Learning, Grading

Cardetti, Fabiana; McKenna, P. Joseph – PRIMUS, 2012

The purpose of this article is to provide a deeper understanding of the natural rhythm of a typical semester, as observed in students' reflections in journals kept during the semester. Our analysis of students' writings rendered a breakdown of the semester into four distinct periods that were independent of the particular semester or section the…

Descriptors: Higher Education, Anatomy, Calculus, Teaching Methods

Otten, Samuel; Zin, Christopher – PRIMUS, 2012

The emergence of non-Euclidean geometries in the 19th century rocked the foundations of mathematical knowledge and certainty. The tremors can still be felt in undergraduate mathematics today where encounters with non-Euclidean geometry are novel and often shocking to students. Because of its divergence from ordinary and comfortable notions of…

Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Mathematics Education, Textbooks, Geometry

Gonzalez-Muniz, Madeline; Klingler, Lee; Moosai, Susan; Raviv, Daniel – PRIMUS, 2012

Florida Atlantic University implemented a number of changes in the College Algebra course in an attempt to improve student success. We summarize these changes, and how they have affected the course. We also discuss possibilities for future improvements. (Contains 3 figures and 1 footnote.)

Descriptors: Algebra, Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Higher Education

George, Michael – PRIMUS, 2012

Research has shown that a significant majority of students in remedial mathematics do not remediate successfully. Such widespread failure raises the question of motivation. Some would argue that the instructor should directly compel students to commit themselves to the course and its work. This can be done by mandating attendance and/or by…

Descriptors: Motivation, Remedial Mathematics, French, Intervention

Royer, Melvin – PRIMUS, 2012

Gabriel's Horn is a solid of revolution commonly featured in calculus textbooks as a counter-intuitive example of a solid having finite volume but infinite surface area. Other examples of solids with surprising geometrical finitude relationships have also appeared in the literature. This article cites several intriguing examples (some of fractal…

Descriptors: Mathematics Education, Textbooks, Scientific Concepts, Calculus

Rash, Agnes M.; Winkel, Brian J. – PRIMUS, 2009

This paper describes details of development of the general birth and death process from which we can extract the Poisson process as a special case. This general process is appropriate for a number of courses and units in courses and can enrich the study of mathematics for students as it touches and uses a diverse set of mathematical topics, e.g.,…

Descriptors: Equations (Mathematics), Probability, Calculus, Mathematics Instruction

White, James D.; Carpenter, Jenna P. – PRIMUS, 2008

Louisiana Tech University has an integrated science curriculum for its mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, biology-research track and secondary mathematics and science education majors. The curriculum focuses on the calculus sequence and introductory labs in biology, physics, and chemistry. In the introductory biology laboratory…

Descriptors: Education Majors, Laboratory Experiments, Laboratory Safety, Physics