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MAA Minicourses are partially supported by the William F. Lucas Fund. Read more about Prof. Lucas here.

1. Creating a Purposeful Student Learning Experience

Part A: Thursday, July 27, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Boulevard A
Part B: Friday, July 28, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Boulevard A

Do your requirements for your departmental majors constitute an integrated framework designed to build skills necessary for students to succeed in the workplace or in graduate school, or are they just a set of individual classes covering a standard array of content? Do your faculty work together effectively to develop and implement plans to achieve those desired outcomes and to assess your progress? Do you strategically incorporate experiences outside the classroom in student learning? This minicourse, taught in a hands-on workshop format, will assist and guide you in identifying practical steps toward achieving those goals and creating a learning-focused departmental culture. Departmental teams of 2 – 4 are encouraged to enroll, but are not required.

G. Daniel Callon, John Boardman, Justin Gash, Stacy Hoehn, Paul Fonstad, and Angie Walls, Franklin College

2. Preparing Students for Success in Calculus: Aligning Placement, Curriculum and Assessment

Part A:, Friday, July 28, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Boulevard A
Part B: Saturday, July 29, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Boulevard A

The Mathematical Association of America has engaged in studies that have identified key variables that contribute to student success in calculus. These include use of: (i) student placement exams, (ii) curriculum that is engaging and meaningful to students, and (iii) valid formative assessments of student learning. In this minicourse participants will be actively engaged in examining placement data that has identified both barriers and foundational knowledge for learning calculus, including student conceptions of function and rate of change, needed to understand key ideas of calculus (e.g., limit, derivative, accumulation, FTC). Participants will examine and be given curriculum supplements validated to support student learning of key precalculus and calculus concepts. Course leaders will also share formative placement items that precalculus and calculus instructors can use to generate useful data of student learning in their courses.

Marilyn Carlson, Arizona State University
Michael Tallman, Oklahoma State University

3. Beyond Traditional Grading Schemes: Mastery Based Grading

Part A: Thursday, July 27, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Boulevard A
Part B: Saturday, July 29, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Boulevard A

Are you interested in trying standards-based grading, specifications grading, or mastery testing (collectively known as "mastery grading"), but don't know where to start? In the first half of this minicourse, participants will learn the basics of mastery grading. This will include evidence for the success of these methods, case-studies, how-to's and variations for implementation, and time for discussion. In the second half, participants will work actively with facilitators to outline a plan to convert one of their courses to use a mastery grading approach. Facilitators who are experienced with mastery grading will help participants choose an appropriate assessment method and create a realistic plan to implement it in their selected class. Participants should have a target course in mind and should come prepared for hands-on work in planning a new course assessment structure.

David Clark, Grand Valley State University
Robert Campbell, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University
Mike Janssen, Dordt College
Jessica Kelly, Christopher Newport University
Austin Mohr, Nebraska Wesleyan University
Jessica O'Shaughnessy, Shenandoah University

4. Visualizing Projective Geometry Through Photographs and Perspective Drawings

Part A: Friday, July 28, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Boulevard C
Part B: Saturday, July 29, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Boulevard C

This Minicourse will introduce hands-on, practical art puzzles that motivate the mathematics of projective geometry (the study of properties invariant under projective transformations) which is often taught as an upper-level course. This Minicourse seeks to strengthen the link between projective geometry and art. On the art side, we explore activities in perspective drawing or photography. These activities provide a foundation for the mathematical side, where we introduce activities in problem solving and proof suitable for a sophomore-level proofs class. In particular, we use a geometrical analysis of photographs and perspective drawings to motivate several important concepts in projective geometry, including Desargues's Theorem and Eves's Theorem and their applications. No artistic experience is required.

Annalisa Crannell, Franklin & Marshall College
Marc Frantz, Indiana University
Fumiko Futamura, Southwestern University

5. Teaching Introductory Statistics with Simulation-Based Inference

Part A: Thursday, July 27, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Boulevard C
Part B: Saturday, July 29, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Boulevard C

The goal of this minicourse is to help participants to revise their introductory statistics course to focus on the logic and scope of statistical inference by using simulation-based methods, as opposed to methods based on the normal probability distribution, to introduce students to concepts of statistical inference. The minicourse will provide direct experience with hands-on activities designed to introduce students to concepts of statistical inference. These activities make use of freely available applets to explore concepts and analyze real data from genuine research studies. Presenters will also offer advice and lead discussion about effective implementation and assessment of student learning.

Allan Rossman and Beth Chance, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo
Patti Frazer Lock and Robin Lock, St. Lawrence University

6. An Invitation to Euclid's Elements

Part A: Thursday, July 27, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Boulevard C
Part B: Friday, July 28, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Boulevard C

Euclid's Elements is a cornerstone text of our discipline. It was considered part of the bedrock of every liberal arts education into the nineteenth century, more than two millennia after its writing. This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to Euclid incorporating this humanities perspective as well as drawing connections across the undergraduate curriculum in mathematics. The workshop will outline how to guide liberal arts students, or an honors seminar, through Euclid by creating connections to other disciplines. Star turns will be made by the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and bumper stickers, all testifying to the singular potency of the axiomatic method. The workshop will also give suggestions on how to incorporate the Elements across the math major in a manner coherent with the CUPM 2015 recommendations.

Edwin O'Shea and Elizabeth Brown, James Madison University