Fall 2015

September 1

Organizational Meeting
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Info: We will be discussing plans for the upcoming semester and scheduling talks!

September 15

Discussion: Group Work
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: We will begin the semester with a discussion of group work in the classroom. Group work has the potential to be a valuable learning experience for students, but it can be difficult to implement. What sorts of activities are naturally good for collaboration? What problems have we encountered in trying to get our students to work in groups, and what techniques have we used to encourage them to engage? What can we do to make group assessments work? The format of the colloquium this week will be open discussion -- please come with ideas to share.

September 22

Discussion: Learning Goals Beyond Content
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: This week MIC will again be in discussion format. This time we will be discussing the question: What do we want our students to learn from our classes *beyond* the course content? Mathematics courses are valuable to our students for many reasons. They help college students early in their career to develop personal responsibility and study skills. They can improve students' ability to navigate dense technical texts, and to communicate abstract ideas. They can build critical thinking skills. What is it that we want our students to get out of our classes? How do we design our classes to better accomplish these goals? Do we explicitly communicate these non-content objectives to our students? Please come and share ideas with us.

September 29

CRR and MEAD
Speakers: Virginia Bohme and Melissa Hosten
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: CRR is an outreach program within the University of Arizona’s Department of Mathematics. It was founded in 2001 and is funded through partnerships with school districts and schools in addition to private donations.

Learn about opportunities to participate in CRR events including the Mathematics Educator Appreciation Day Conference (MEAD) which is held on Saturday January 23, 2016.

October 6

Canceled: However, please attend the Math Department Ice Cream Social at 4pm. This event will be happening around S395. Come and enjoy the company (along with the sweets)!

October 13

Title: A variety of invovlement opportunities in the math department and University!
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: Many people will present different projects they are involved with and possible volunteer opportunities. Some of the projects involve opportunities for instructional faculty, graduate students. Come to hear how you can be more involved in the mathematics department.

October 20

Title: Supplemental Instruction for Math 323
Speaker: Jason Aubrey, et. al.
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: Tyler Kloefkorn, Kyle Pounder and I have been running a small supplemental instruction section for Math 323 students this fall. This effort was inspired by a series of meetings held last semester to discuss difficulties students have with that course. In this talk I will discuss our efforts to devise effective supplemental instruction tasks for Math 323 students. The discussion will include a quick overview of the course, a survey of common difficulties students encounter (derived both from our experience and from relevant research), and examples of tasks we have developed for our supplemental instruction students. We welcome discussion and feedback, so anybody with opinions about how to teach students to prove things is encouraged to come.

October 27

Title: Exploring Roles of Cognitive Studies in Equity: A Case for Knowledge in Pieces
Speaker: Adi Adiredja
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: Underrepresentation of people of color in mathematics at the postsecondary level warrants more focus on equity issues. The prevalence of cognitive studies at the undergraduate level is met with the call for critical analysis about the kinds of knowledge that get privileged in mathematics education. Connecting to the Funds of Knowledge work, this paper discusses the utility of diSessa’s Knowledge in Pieces cognitive framework to uncover productive informal knowledge in learning formal mathematics. Seeing the valorization of knowledge as related to issues of power, a case of a Chicana student’s productive sense making about the formal definition of a limit illustrates the way diSessa’s framework can help challenge what counts as productive mathematical knowledge and reasoning.

November 3

Panel: Secondary Education Teachers
Title: Realities Of Teaching Secondary Education Mathematics
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: College educators often wonder: where are our students coming from? What skills do they have, what skills are they missing, and perhaps most importantly, *why*? This week we will have a panel of teachers from schools in the area to tell us about the junior high and high school teaching environment. They will discuss the goals they set for their students, the constraints that they work under, and the challenges that they face. (Note, since this is a larger panel we will plan to go until 5:30; however, if you need to leave earlier please come for however long you can.)

November 10

Discussion: What Makes a Good Math Test?
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: This week, MIC will host a discussion around the issue of exams. The question of whether we should give exams at all is, of course, an interesting question and worthy of debate, but as instructors, we are usually bound by departmental policy to give a certain number of exams each semester. Instead, then, the focus of our discussion will be on exams themselves. How do you write a good math test? What constitutes a good test? What should a test accomplish? Perhaps equally importantly, how do you grade a test fairly? Please join us to share your thoughts.

November 17

Title: Small Sample Sizes in SOTL
Speaker: Susan Durst
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: When we run studies for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research, often we have a limited pool of students to work with, which results in small sample sizes. How can we handle those sample sizes in a responsible way, and decide how meaningful our data is? In this talk we will focus on a study of student responses to True/False assessments. We will discuss what issues arose in the analysis of the data from this study, the methods that we used, and the strengths and weaknesses of those methods.

November 24

Title: What Research Can Tell Us About the Teaching and Learning of Algebra
Speaker: Rebecca McGraw
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: In this talk, I will outline recent research on students’ and teachers’ ways of thinking about variable, equation, and function, and describe a study that Dr. Cody Patterson and I are currently conducting. I will also share some mathematics problems that may be helpful in bringing forth students’ ways of thinking, and discuss implications for mathematics and pedagogy courses for future teachers.

December 1

Panel: Various Online Mathematics Courses
Title: TBD
Time: 4:30PM
Location: ENR2 - S395
Abstract: A variety of 100-level to 400-level math courses have been offered online. This week we will have a panel of some of those involved in these online courses (Math 100, 112, 116, 122-129, 425). They will briefly discuss how their online environment is structured--disseminating information, online programs used, any office hours--then the room will be open to ask questions. (Note, since this is a larger panel we will plan to go until 5:30; however, if you need to leave earlier please come for however long you can.)