Fellow Profile: Scott Hottovy

Scott Hottovy
  • G-TEAMS Cohort: 2012-13
  • Graduate Program: Applied Mathematics
  • Teacher Partner: Jennifer Gould
  • School: St. Michael's Parish Day School
  • Grade level: 6-8
  • Topics: 6th Grade Math and Earth Science, Pre-Algebra, Algebra

"All possible definitions of probability fall short of the actual practice. -William Feller"

Research Interests

Scott Hottovy is a graduate student in the Program in Applied Mathematics at the University of Arizona. His research interests are at the intersection of mathematics and physics. He is interested in approximations of small, cell sized, particles traveling in fluids causing random motions.

See Scott Hottovy's website for more information.

Classroom Activities

The primary focus of Scott and Jennifer has been to incorporate more mathematical modeling to the earth science classes, and bring a new applied mathematics perspective to the mathematics courses.

During the first semester, the focus of the collaboration has been to incorporate more mathematics and higher level of thinking in the science classes and to explore new ways to teach material in the mathematics classes. For the science classes, we have conducted numerous experiments where we allow the students to choose what question they want to answer. The resulting data has been challenging to analyze and led to many interesting discussions about data analysis and outliers. In the mathematics classes we have taught using manipulatives (counting blocks, numberlines in chalk to walk on), small groupwork with stations, and experimental exploration labs.

Lessons Learned

It is amazing to see the interesting ideas that middle schoolers can have. Some questions shed light to connections in mathematics and science that I did not see untill much later in my career. Others are questions scientist struggle with today. With the diversity of students and classes that I am a part of this year, it has been a challenge to tailor each plan to the needs of the students. Some students absorb the material quickly and want more new material as soon as possible, while some students struggle and need more practice and individual attention. When both of these students are in the same class, it makes the instructor's job much more difficult.

Teaching Materials