Parker Glynn-Adey

A Community of Mathematicians: Using a Wiki in a Large Calculus Class

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2019/07/04

PCMI 2019 Workshop on Equity and Mathematics Education
2019 Organizer: Rochelle Gutiérrez, University of Illinois College of Education

Participants will further develop their understanding of equity (identity & power issues) in mathematics and consider how to expand our goals to rehumanize mathematical experiences for those with whom we engage. In this workshop, we will explore different perspectives/theories, reflect on our own practices, learn from experts in the field who have been altering their practices, and create our own action plans for work we intend to carry out after the workshop ends.

Ideal participants will include mathematicians, mathematics teachers, and mathematics education professors who have a specific project upon which they would like to focus. For example, you may have in mind a course you would like to alter in some way; a new initiative to launch; a summer camp or bridge program; a professional development or teaching activity to update; or simply a new way to think of assessments or evaluations. By the end of the session, you will leave with a more developed action plan and feedback from others so you can put your best foot forward in your future work.

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Denlow Public School

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2019/06/14

I visited Denlow Public School and did two workshops for the Grade 4 and 5 students. The Grade 4s played with probability, learned to play Pig. This simple dice game has been subject to a lot of deep analysis. Some folks at Gettysburg College have given an optimal solution to the game.

The Grade 5 students learned about Cat’s Cradle. They were very excited, and wanted to learn more. Many students already knew a figure or two. We covered Half Second Star, Cup and Saucer, and Jacob’s Ladder. I’m told that they’re still playing with the string that I gave them.

NIBL&T 2019 Day 1

Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2019/06/07

I just finished up my first day at the Inquiry Based Learning and Teaching Conference in Denver, Colorado. It is great to see my friends from the Inquiry Based Learning Workshop last summer. My colleagues Alex Rennet and Jaimie Thind from UTM are here as well. A couple people at the conference have commented on what a strong IBL presence we have at UTM. Woot!

Setting the Stage for Small Group and Whole Class Discussions: Eliciting and Building on Student Thinking

Karen Keene, National Science Foundation & Nicholas Fortune, Western Kentucky University

Description: During this workshop, faculty will focus on two main themes: 1) how to set up their classrooms’ norms and environment to be able to have productive small group and whole class discussions, and 2) what teacher moves they can use during small group and whole class discussions to directly elicit their students’ thinking and build on that thinking. Each of these main themes will come with a mini-activity to gain first-hand experience. Topics for the first theme include but are not limited to ways to set up groups, how to provide an encouraging environment where it is acceptable to make mistakes, and using challenging tasks. Topics for the second theme include but are not limited to eliciting and building on students’ thinking, revoicing, peer to peer interactions, and connecting small group work to whole class discussion.

An active approach to calculus II and how it can help address (and create?) challenges

Jeanette Mokry, Dominican University; Aliza Steurer, Dominican University

Description: In addition to the new content that calculus II brings to our students, it also requires more decision-making and explanations of solutions than calculus I. Many topics in calculus II require students to make a decision. For example, “What series test should I use?” After deciding what series test to use, students must correctly interpret the results of the test and/or explain their reasoning. This can make the material quite challenging for students. Also, much of the content builds on prior knowledge, which can create challenges for the instructor, such as needing to present new material and also connect with the “old.” Mathematics also requires great attention to detail, including derivative notation, limit notation, and proper use of an equals sign. In the face of these challenges, how do we keep students motivated and help them see that, contrary to what they may have heard about the course, the material is doable? We will discuss how we have used active-learning worksheets to address some of these challenges as well as new challenges this approach can bring to the students and the instructor. At the beginning of our presentation, we will ask the audience what challenges they and their students have encountered with calculus II. Participants will also complete a short worksheet and, together as a group, we will discuss how that worksheet might address or create challenges in our classrooms.

From Place Values to Place Matters: An Indigenous Perspective on Calls for Diversity, Equity, and Justice in Mathematics and Mathematics Education

Belin Tsinnajinnie, Santa Fe Community College

Abstract: Despite perspectives that view mathematics as universal and culture free, policies and practices in mathematics education continue to perpetuate forces of settler colonialism and assimilation. Failed U.S. policies in Native American education illustrate the damaging impacts of assimilation and settler colonialism in education. What practices in our mathematics programs perpetuate settler colonialism and assimilation? In what ways can attenuating to our sense of place better serve goals of equity, justice, and inclusion?

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10,000 PhD Project

Posted in University of Toronto by pgadey on 2019/06/04


The University of Toronto just released a huge study of the job outcomes of recent graduates, the 10,000 PhDs Project. It is really eye opening. I wish that I had seen this data when I was in the dregs of grad school job despair. It is really remarkable that 30% of people wind up in tenure stream appointments. Those are incredibly good odds. If I had had to guess, I would have estimated it at less than 10%.

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Posted in Teaching and Learning by pgadey on 2019/06/01

Today the Canadian Math Education Study Group started up in Antigonish, NS. The purpose of CMESG is to get people in math education together in small working groups. Each group focuses on one specific “theme” in math education, and meets for three days to work on it.

The first event that I went to was an introduction to ‘for the learning of mathematics‘ a math education journal closely affiliated with the CMESG. It looks like a good venue for discussing ideas in math education, considered broadly. I am going to read through the issue that they gave me, and report back soon.

We also had a plenary presentation by Jean-Marie de Koninck, an amazing polymath from Laval University. He is a prolific researcher in analytic number theory, a world class swim coach, a math populariser, and more! He told us about the growth and development of Science and Math in Action. We got to hear how a change encounter with TV has grown in to a full time production of math shows for schools. The history about the gradual development of ShowMath 1 and 2 (for High Schools) and Le Petit ShowMath (for Elementary Schools) was fascinating. These are live performances involving a math professor and some professional comedians or clowns. It sounds amazing.

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Science Rendezvous!

Posted in Math by pgadey on 2019/05/12

This year, at Science Rendezvous, we shared symmetry and geometry. These areas of math are very beautiful and full of lovely patterns. In particular, we focused on how to connect geometry and symmetry using group theory. This approach was pioneered by Donald Coxeter, one of the most famous mathematicians of the twentieth century, and former professor at the University of Toronto. The big theme of our display was the notion of symmetry groups. This talk Symmetry and Groups by Professor Raymond Flood of Gresham College gives a great introduction to this connection.

Lukas brought his kaleidoscope, and I got it on video!