Math Curriculum

Calculus I and II Course Redesign

The initial survey of faculty that led me to make the Calc I and II curricular changes, led to a IRB proposal and a study on “Why do you require Calculus?”  I presented a paper of the survey results and interviews at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Jan 2012, the largest math meeting in the world.  I also presented curricular changes at Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research meeting in Dec 2012 and organized a Minisymposium on “First-year mathematics course reform for biology major” at the Annual meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology in July 2012.  I am working with colleagues at the University of Tennessee to trial their text for the Calc I and II sections, which makes the textbook cost free and paperless for students.  In return, I provide the authors with corrections, input on topics covered, and other suggestions on a regular basis.   On the agenda next year is to assess the effectiveness of this new curricular structure for the Calculus sequence for upper level Gen Ed, ecology, and biology courses.  I also designed a suggested writing level outcome for students in mathematics courses and have been working with Stephanie Wade on incorporation into the curriculum.

Syllabus for Calculus I Fall 2012

Design:  Difference Equations, Limits, Derivatives, Constructing Compartmental ODEs

Writing Level: Some concept essays, some short POGIL exercises with individual write-ups, some group collaborative research reports

HW and Resource list for Calculus II Fall 2011

Design:  Anti-derivatives and Integrals, Programming, Probability and Weighted Functions, Solving ODEs

Writing Level: POGIL exercises with individual research reports and formal peer-review, end of the semester research project

Note: Notice the resources list on the syllabus with screencasts of lectures and example problems as well as reference websites for each topic.

Relevant Publications and Presentations

  1. Mathfest MAA Contributed Paper Session on Incorporating Writing and Editing in Mathematics, “Mathematics writing, collaboration, and peer review using GoogleDocs”, Madison, WI, August 2012
  2. Annual Meeting of the Society of Mathematical Biology minisymposium on First-year Mathematics Course Reform for Biology Majors, “First-year Biomathematics: Considerations, possible frameworks, and resources,” with Dr. Erin Bodine, Knoxville, TN, July 2012
  3. Joint Mathematics Meetings MAA Contributed Paper Session on Trends in Undergraduate Mathematical Biology, “So why do you require Calculus?” Boston, MA, January 2012
  4. Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research, “Calculus I and II for Ecologists and Wildlife Biologists,” Portland, OR December 2011

Applied Math and Statistics Minor

 We have developed a new Applied Mathematics and Statistics minor program.  We also added a theme-based math course to encourage students to recognize and explore theory in science and humanities.  We also hope that it will increase enrollment in our existing mathematics offerings and provide an avenue for alternative teacher certification in mathematics if it is desired.

"A minor in Applied Math and Statistics will familiarize students with techniques and applications of mathematical modeling in fields of interest to them. Fundamentals of modeling system change will be discussed in the Calculus sequence. Working with data will be addressed in the Statistics sequence. By taking a mathematics-intensive course in their field of interest, students will learn how mathematical models apply to the world around them."

MA 2003 Applications in Mathematics: Theme

MA 2243 Elementary Statistics

MA 2333 Calculus I

MA 3263 Biometry or MA 3253 Applied Statistics

MA 3443 Calculus II

Two of the following:

BI 3423 Evolution and Population Genetics 

PL 4313 Econ. and Quant. Analysis of Enviro. Policy

BI 4423 Ecosystem Ecology 

PS 2303 Physics I

ES 3213 Applied Geographic Information Systems 

PS 3003 Sustainable Energy

GL 4003 Global Change 

WF 3023 Population Assessment and Management