Workshops Offered Prior to JMM
The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) will offer three Mathematical Association of America ancillary workshops on January 8, 2013, the day preceding the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. There is no registration fee for these workshops, though advanced registration is required.
Playing Games with a Purpose: A New Approach to Teaching and Learning Statistics
Shonda Kuiper, Grinnell College, and Rod Sturdivant, West Point Military Academy
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
This workshop is designed to help instructors and students bridge the gap between short, traditional homework questions and the open-ended nature of a real-world problem. Web-based games and other materials will be demonstrated that introduce undergraduates to statistical methods from a variety of disciplines. The materials encourage students early in their undergraduate studies to experience the role of a research scientist and understand how statistics help advance scientific knowledge. By making students grapple with intriguing real-world problems that demonstrate the intellectual content and broad applicability of statistics as a discipline, these materials will encourage students to incorporate statistical thinking into any career. These materials were developed through NSF-supported grants (NSF DUE #0510392 and NSF DUE #1043814). Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop.
Functions, Parameters, and Fitting for Teaching Calculus
Daniel Kaplan, Macalester College, and Randall Pruim, Calvin College
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
This workshop is designed to help instructors move toward teaching introductory calculus in a modeling- and data-oriented way. The parameters of basic functions are often treated casually in introductory calculus, as if they were a nuisance or merely fodder for the chain rule. In the first half of the workshop, we’ll show how to interpret them physically, how to relate them to data, and how to use them for model-building. In the second half, we will emphasize polynomial approximation, the relationship between Taylor series and model-fitting, and model-building using information about derivatives. A small, general-purpose mathematical toolkit suffices to build and interpret compelling models in a wide range of settings that span economics, biology, physics, etc. We’ll provide in-class activities, assignments, student project topics, and example exam questions. Both paper-and-pencil and computer-oriented approaches (using R, Sage, or Mathematica) will be featured, drawing on the materials developed through the NSF-supported Project MOSAIC, which aims to construct strong connections in teaching modeling, calculus, statistics, and computation. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop. If you don’t currently use software for teaching calculus, we’ll set you up with the free R system running through a web browser.
Identifying and Addressing Difficult Concepts for Students in the Introductory Statistics Course
Marjorie Bond, Monmouth College
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
We know students have difficulty with certain topics in statistics and it can be difficult to determine the best approach to take to help students work through these topics. In this workshop, we will take a selection of difficult concepts; zoom in on exactly what the problems are from the students’ point of view; and examine where, when, and how to address them in our course. Along the way, we will examine these difficult statistical concepts in detail and look for common threads that may lead us back to issues from Chapter 1. We also will discuss the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) objectives for a statistically educated citizen. The workshop is particularly geared toward instructors at two-year colleges. Instructors new to teaching statistics and those who have been teaching for a while will find the workshop beneficial. Supported by NSF DUE #0942924 & 0942456. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop.
Online registration and details are available at CAUSE website. Advance registration is required; confirmation of acceptance will be sent via email.