Writing in a History of Mathematics Capstone Course

Every so often, I’ll publicize through this blog an interesting article that I’ve found in the mathematics or mathematics education literature that can be freely distributed to the general public. Today, I’d like to highlight “Writing in a History of Mathematics Capstone Course,” by John Carter. Here’s the abstract:

This article presents two approaches to using original sources in a capstone writing project for a History of Mathematics course. One approach involves searching local libraries and is best suited to schools in metropolitan areas. A second approach involves online resources available anywhere. Both projects were used in a course intended for mathematics majors with an education concentration. The specific details of both projects will be discussed, including the motivation and setting, grading scheme, and revision process.

The full article can be found here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10511970.2014.905809

Full reference:John Carter (2014) Writing in a History of Mathematics Capstone Course, PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, 24:6, 544-556, DOI:10.1080/10511970.2014.905809

Classroom Voting Patterns in Differential Calculus

Every so often, I’ll publicize through this blog an interesting article that I’ve found in the mathematics or mathematics education literature that can be freely distributed to the general public. Today, I’d like to highlight Kelly Cline , Holly Zullo & Lahna VonEpps (2012) Classroom Voting Patterns in Differential Calculus, PRIMUS: Problems,Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, 22:1, 43-59, DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2010.491521

Here’s the abstract:

We study how different sections voted on the same set of classroom voting questions in differential calculus, finding that voting patterns can be used to identify some of the questions that have the most pedagogic value. We use statistics to identify three types of especially useful questions: 1. To identify good discussion questions, we look for those that produce the greatest diversity of responses, indicating that several answers are regularly plausible to students. 2. We identify questions that consistently provoke a common misconception, causing a majority of students to vote for one particular incorrect answer. When this is revealed to the students, they are usually quite surprised that the majority is wrong, and they are very curious to learn what they missed, resulting in a powerfully teachable moment. 3. By looking for questions where the percentage of correct votes varies the most between classes, we can find checkpoint questions that provide effective formative assessment as to whether a class has mastered a particular concept.

The full article can be found here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10511970.2010.491521

Weaving History Through the Math Major

Every so often, I’ll publicize through this blog an interesting article that I’ve found in the mathematics or mathematics education literature that can be freely distributed to the general public. Today, I’d like to highlight “Weaving History Through the Major,” by Betty Mayfield. Here’s the abstract:

The benefits of including the study of the history of mathematics in the education of mathematics majors have been discussed at length elsewhere. Many colleges and universities now offer a History of Mathematics course for mathematics majors, for mathematics education majors, or for general credit. At Hood College, we emphasize our commitment to the liberal arts by including history in many courses. We use various methods to weave the history of mathematics through all the courses in the major, culminating in our senior seminar. Other institutions looking for innovative ways to include history in their mathematics curriculum may wish to take this approach.

The full article can be found here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10511970.2014.900158

Full reference: Betty Mayfield (2014) Weaving History Through the Major, PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, 24:8,669-683, DOI:10.1080/10511970.2014.900158