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

We consider the use of projects in math courses as a mechanism for promoting coding, communication, and interdisciplinary application of math skills. Final projects play an important role, but we also discuss several alternate types of projects. We describe a model that incorporates projects at all stages across the undergraduate mathematics…

Descriptors: Student Projects, Mathematics Curriculum, Mathematics Activities, Mathematics Skills

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

Savitz, Ryan; Savitz, Fred; DiMarco, David; Hollingsworth, Blane – PRIMUS, 2020

This paper discusses a concept that we call "'m'-tile means," which are the arithmetic mean of data values that break a data set into "m"-1 equal parts. Studying "m"-tile means can engage students' critical thinking skills and demonstrate the concepts underlying commonly used measures of central tendency, and so they…

Descriptors: Mathematical Concepts, Statistics, Mathematics Instruction, Student Projects

Hanusch, Sarah – PRIMUS, 2020

A summative portfolio is a project completed at the end of the semester that gives a student an opportunity to look at a course as a whole. This study investigates whether collegiate mathematics students gain a deeper understanding of course material through the portfolio project, via an analysis of the students' work, and a survey of students'…

Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Alternative Assessment, Portfolio Assessment, Summative Evaluation

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

Spindler, Richard – PRIMUS, 2020

Modeling projects in differential equations and engineering courses create an authentic activity and an opportunity to attain the holy grail of "deeper" learning. However, what do we mean by "deeper" learning and how do we create an environment that encourages that? This article describes a proposal and case study in using…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Educational Objectives, Classification, Undergraduate Students

Marciniak, M. A. – PRIMUS, 2020

The values and benefits of introducing undergraduate research to the college curriculum are both recognized and advocated in the literature. Although the community college environment may not appear to be favorable for undergraduate research projects in STEM fields, a dynamic and visible group of students, who take their path extremely seriously,…

Descriptors: Student Research, Community Colleges, Two Year College Students, STEM Education

Carlisle, Sylvia – PRIMUS, 2020

Specifications grading is a version of mastery grading distinguished by giving students clear specifications that their work must meet, and grading most things pass/fail based on those specifications. Mastery grading systems can get quite elaborate, with hierarchies of objectives and various systems for rewriting and retesting. In this article I…

Descriptors: Grading, Standards, Mathematics Instruction, Calculus

Ding, Wandi; Florida, Ryan; Summers, Jeffery; Nepal, Puran; Burton, Ben – PRIMUS, 2019

We share our experience and lessons learned from using Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations (SIMIODE) modeling scenarios in our Differential Equations I class at Middle Tennessee State University. Specific projects with Python codes are presented. Discussions are brought forth on how to…

Descriptors: Calculus, College Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Models

Spindler, Richard – PRIMUS, 2019

Project-based learning supports unique and authentic problems in differential equations courses. An intuitive, interesting and deep differential equations project is described. The description illustrates a case study of guiding students through a complex project and the technical and personal rewards gained from it. Valuable advice is provided to…

Descriptors: Student Projects, Calculus, Equations (Mathematics), Mathematics Instruction

White, David – PRIMUS, 2019

In an increasingly data-driven world, facility with statistics is more important than ever for our students. At institutions without a statistician, it often falls to the mathematics faculty to teach statistics courses. This paper presents a model that a mathematician asked to teach statistics can follow. This model entails connecting with faculty…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Student Projects, Teaching Methods

Simic-Muller, K. – PRIMUS, 2019

This manuscript describes a quantitative literacy course focusing on issues of economic and racial justice, developed for a summer bridge program. The curriculum for the course, described in the manuscript, consisted of open-ended assignments that dealt with real-world issues and required basic modeling skills; whereas the culminating assignment…

Descriptors: Social Justice, Mathematical Models, Logical Thinking, Mathematics Skills

Ross, John; Shelton, Therese – PRIMUS, 2019

We present several modules that address social justice issues in an introductory statistics course. The activities consider possible disparities of housing location, language spoken at home, and job sector as they relate to, respectively, access to healthy foods, air pollution via proximity to traffic, and health concerns via proximity to fracking…

Descriptors: Statistics, Social Justice, Fuels, Introductory Courses

Warner, Jared – PRIMUS, 2019

We describe a semester-long project for an introductory statistics class that studies the broken windows theory of policing and the related issues of race, policing, and criminal justice. The most impactful feature of the project is the data-collection phase, in which students attend and observe a public arraignment court session. This "Court…

Descriptors: Police, Race, Correctional Rehabilitation, Statistics

Karaali, Gizem; Khadjavi, Lily S. – PRIMUS, 2019

We provide context and motivation for an instructor to use real-life examples in the calculus classroom. To this end we describe two specific project ideas, one related to the devastating impact of methylmercury fungicide in a grain seed supply and the other to a catastrophic methane leak. By using calculus in contexts that have social justice…

Descriptors: Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Social Justice, Interdisciplinary Approach