Flowchart: Process: Spring 2015Flowchart: Terminator: WELCOMEFlowchart: Terminator: ARCHIVEFALL 2013









February 2th

Math East 143

Speaker: Muniram Budhu, Emeritus Professor, University of Arizona


Title: Get the knowledge about your studentís knowledge

Abstract: Emerging education standards and national programs are driving academic accountability and a shift from course completion to competency and evidenced-centered learning. But, what evidence is needed?How to gather this evidence in real time? The Knowledge Evaluation System (KES) by YourLabs is a National Science Foundation funded STEM learning and formative diagnostic assessment platform addressing these questions.

KES gathers detailed student feedback for real-time discovery of gaps in student understanding and identification of what students know and donít know. Designed to run on any Internet connected device, KES is both a community driven content repository with shareable questions, assignments, and entire classrooms.It is also a customizable diagnostic assessment application with built-in authoring tools to guide effective and efficient instruction.  Using KESí rich hierarchical analytics derived from student feedback data, instructors can identify gaps in student knowledge and inform instruction in real time.

KES analytics empowers instructors to make timely interventions and customize course content to optimize learning through collaboration and best practices.Students can compare their performance to their peers,
view detailed solution methodologies and the concepts associated with activities, self-reflect, and take immediate corrective action via linked content.Data collected by KES' real-time feedback system allows data mining across multiple levels from a single problem to course to department to University.

Dr. Muniram Budhu, Emeritus Professor, will present an overview of KES and discuss his experience in using it in undergraduate civil engineering courses at UA. YourLabs personnel will demonstrate key features in KES.

February 9th

Math East 143

Speaker: MIC Lightning Round

February 16th

Math East 143


Speaker: Amy Been, Graduate Student, University of Arizona


Title: What do mathematical modeling tasks really teach students and future teachers?

Abstract: With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, mathematical modeling tasks are being emphasized in classroom curriculum.  What do high-school level modeling tasks look like and what tools do students utilize in finding a solution?  This talk will summarize my research from this past semesterís RTG project with Dr. Cynthia Anhalt.  I will discuss the reactions, techniques, and solutions that pre-service secondary mathematics teachers presented in the Area of Tree Leaves modeling task.

February 23th

Math East 143


Speaker: Paul Blowers, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona


Title:Why Do We Assume Anything About Students' Preparation for Success in Our Classes, Or Even on a Day to Day Basis?


Abstract: Our discussion will begin with, "Why would we as faculty ever assume that a student knows how to study?"Case studies from engineering will be used to highlight transition patterns where students go from succeeding to failure, and then undergo resurrection of their academic abilities again.The discussion will move from this high level view down into the day to day trenches to discuss methods of engaging students with material while building experience in how to "know what they know" in order to bridge the gap between their understanding and our needs in helping them master content.At that point, we'll ask, "What does someone need to know in order to reach the end of my example I'm going to solve?"


Day to day monitoring of student responses to simple queries help us build our own teaching approaches so that we can respond flexibly to student gaps in comprehension that help us help them.Literally, there is no question too basic to help them go from our initial example question to where we hope them to get by the end of the example.This will be demonstrated with a very short lecture on a topic followed by demonstration of three methods of engaging students, seeking feedback, and building towards an end goal of having everyone on the same intellectual plane.†† The interactive examples will be used with metacognitive discussion to examine why the approaches work and what is accomplished by different methods.


We will explicitly discuss how including active exercises may seem to sacrifice content, but can lead to enhanced student learning, even though students are exposed to "less material".We will also discuss overcoming resistance from students when asking them to engage in the classroom, while also talking realistically about how we as faculty are challenged in preparing for a potentially new learning environment.†† The goal is to lower barriers to employing strategies that have been shown to help students become more proficient at content mastery in the classroom.


April 20th

Math East 143

Speaker: Susan Durst, Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow in Mathematics, University of Arizona

Title: Logical Misconceptions In True/False

Abstract: Students often struggle with true/false questions.  But is this a genuine reflection of gaps in their knowledge of the course content, or could it be partially due to the phrasing of the questions themselves? We intend to explore how students fare when given a true/false question of the form "If A, then B."  Do students make mistakes on these questions based on a misunderstanding of the logical form? If so, how can we design an assessment that is a better measure of their knowledge of the underlying mathematical ideas?



May 4th

Math East 143†††††††

Speaker: Julia Fisher and Joe Watkins, Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona
Title: Flipped or sleeping through my own lectures
Abstract: We will take a tour of Introduction to Statistical Methods, a semester-long course for mathematics minors. We will begin with an overview of the course - its goals and the curriculum. We will take a view of the curriculum though some threads that move throughout the course and a short visit to a day in the life of the flipped class. We then open up the discussion to the issues of the flipped course and the integration of student projects into the course. Finally, we can give first thoughts to changes we ought to anticipate in undergraduate statistics education.

We look forward to lively discussion.