RC Math on the National Stage

by minton on August 14, 2018

Mathematicians in Denver, Colorado, recently experienced several examples of the enthusiasm and imagination that make mathematics at Roanoke College special. MathFest is a national meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, held this year in Denver from August 1-4. Five Roanoke College professors presented pedagogical innovations at the meeting.

Chris Lee is at the forefront of mastery-based testing. His talk “A Case Study in Implementation across a Mathematics Curriculum” was noteworthy for the careful data collection he has done as he has introduced mastery-based testing in all of his classes. Karin Saoub discussed results from her INQ 241 course in her talk “Critical Thinking and Writing Development through Project and Paper Scaffolding in a Liberal Arts Math Course.” Dave Taylor and Adam Childers have been developing a data collection and analysis phone app, and presented its features in a poster session titled “Classroom Stats: Spice up Your Classroom with Fun, Live, Data Collection and Analysis.” Maggie Rahmoeller discussed the development with Jan Minton of an innovative mathematics course for biology majors in her talk “Quantitative Biology: An Alternative to Calculus for Biology Majors.”

Not to be left out of the summer fun, Hannah Robbins is writing a linear algebra textbook and will lead a session for the Roanoke College Teaching Conference describing her innovations in Topology, a course for math majors. Roland Minton is writing an article on his use of chaos theory in a freshman seminar class, and gave a talk (which has been posted online) titled “The PGA Tour: Playing to Your Strengths” at the Great Lakes Analytics in Sports Conference in June.

Roanoke College is blessed to have both the quantity and quality of classroom innovation represented by these presentations. The numerous Trexler hallway discussions that the math faculty conduct, reinforcing and improving each other’s ideas, pay dividends for Roanoke faculty and our students.