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Cooper, Andrew A. – PRIMUS, 2021

In this note, I argue for and discuss my experiences with explicitly incorporating principles of critical and creative thinking in a transitions course which serves mathematics, mathematics education, and statistics majors. I describe several specific assignments and classroom tasks designed to enhance critical and creative thinking. I also…

Descriptors: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Mathematics, Statistics Education

Jones, Leslie B.; Hopkins, Britney J. – PRIMUS, 2020

Computer programming and mathematical algorithms are natural partners in the development of programming skills, logical thought, and a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. We present the details of a course which blends the two at the sophomore level. This course is required of our mathematics majors, but attracts mathematics minors from…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Programming, Teaching Methods, College Mathematics

Cline, K.; Fasteen, J.; Francis, A.; Sullivan, E.; Wendt, T. – PRIMUS, 2020

We have integrated computer programming instruction into the required courses of our mathematics major. Our majors take a sequence of four courses in their first 2 years, each of which is paired with a weekly 75-minute computer lab period that has a dual purpose of both computationally exploring the mathematical concepts from the lecture portion…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Majors (Students), Programming, Teaching Methods

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

Clark, Thomas J. – PRIMUS, 2019

The first day of many mathematics classes is filled with the formalities of the syllabus and a lecture introduction to the course content. Here, an alternative is presented where modeling is placed as the centerpiece to orient students to the work of differential equations; namely, to capture as beautifully and compactly as possible through the…

Descriptors: Equations (Mathematics), Calculus, Mathematical Models, College Mathematics

Dray, Tevian; Gire, Elizabeth; Kustusch, Mary Bridget; Manogue, Corinne A.; Roundy, David – PRIMUS, 2019

Calculus, as commonly taught, describes certain operations on explicit functions, but science relies on experimental data, which is inherently discrete. In the face of this disparity, how can we help students transition from lower-division mathematics courses to upper-division coursework in other STEM disciplines? We discuss here our efforts to…

Descriptors: Calculus, Physics, Majors (Students), Science Instruction

Unfried, Alana; Canner, Judith – PRIMUS, 2019

Many students experience mathematics as a neutral entity, without understanding its impact on social justice and equity. Students must understand that mathematics and statistics are powerful tools for creating social change, and that students themselves are capable to enact positive social change through their mathematical abilities. In this…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Undergraduate Study, Social Justice

Shelton, Therese – PRIMUS, 2018

Mathematical modeling allows flexibility for a project-based experience. We share details of our regular capstone course, successful for virtually 100% of our math majors for almost two decades. Our research-like approach in this course accommodates a variety of student backgrounds and interests, and has produced some award-winning student…

Descriptors: Mathematical Models, Mathematics Instruction, Active Learning, Student Projects

Dwyer, Dave; Gruenwald, Mark; Stickles, Joe; Axtell, Mike – PRIMUS, 2018

Resequencing Calculus is a project that has reordered the typical delivery of Calculus material to better serve the needs of STEM majors. Funded twice by the National Science Foundation, this project has produced a three-semester textbook that has been piloted at numerous institutions, large and small, public and private. This paper describes the…

Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, STEM Education, Majors (Students), Calculus

Pourciau, Bruce – PRIMUS, 2018

In a first proof-oriented mathematics course, students will often ask questions--for example, "What is this problem asking me to do?" or "What would a proof of this even look like"--that have more to do with logic than mathematics. The logical structure of a proof is a dance involving those basic logical forms--such as "p…

Descriptors: Mathematical Logic, Problem Solving, Undergraduate Students, Majors (Students)

Cook, Samuel A.; Borkovitz, Debra K. – PRIMUS, 2017

In this paper we present data from one-on-one interviews conducted with students who have taken intermediate and advanced inquiry-based mathematics courses in a program that prepares future preK-8 teachers. Many of these students entered college with a fear of math, but then gained confidence from a required introductory math course and chose to…

Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Introductory Courses, Inquiry, Mathematics Education

Camenga, Kristin A. – PRIMUS, 2017

Inquiry is promoted as a way to engage students so that they learn more deeply; inquiry is also an end in itself, introducing students to the research process and the behaviors of a mathematician. This article reflects on an individual exploratory project used in a sophomore-level number theory course, examining how it supported student inquiry…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Inquiry, Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods

Baum, Brittany Smith; Rowell, Ginger Holmes; Green, Lisa; Yantz, Jennifer; Beck, Jesse; Cheatham, Thomas; Stephens, D. Christopher; Nelson, Donald – PRIMUS, 2017

As part of Middle Tennessee State University's (MTSU's) initiative to improve retention of at-risk STEM majors, they recruit first-time, full-time freshman STEM majors with mathematics ACT scores of 19 to 23 to participate in MTSU's "Mathematics as a FirstSTEP to Success in STEM" project (FirstSTEP). This article overviews MTSU's…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, STEM Education, Majors (Students), College Freshmen

Larripa, Kamila R.; Mazzag, Borbala – PRIMUS, 2016

Our paper describes a solution we found to a still existing need to develop mathematical modeling courses for undergraduate biology majors. Some challenges of such courses are: (i) relatively limited exposure of biology students to higher-level mathematical and computational concepts; (ii) availability of texts that can give a flavor of how…

Descriptors: Mathematical Models, Biotechnology, Undergraduate Students, College Science