Mathematica Militaris: Volume 23

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    A Note from the Editors
    (Mathematica Militaris, 2018) Williams, Everett; Kuiper, Patrick; Plucker, Andrew
    Mathematica Militaris issued its first publication in 1989 and has since served as a forum for exchanging ideas, views, experiences, and faculty research concerning mathematics education at the five Federal Service Academies. We are excited to share this year’s articles that include submissions from faculty of the United States Naval Academy and the United States Military Academy.
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    Coordinating IBL and non-IBL Calculus II
    (United States Service Academies, 2018) Allman, Justin; Hetherington III, Noble; Ksir, Amy; Selbach-Allen, Megan
    Increasing amounts of research support the efficacy of inquiry and projects based learning. However, teaching via inquiry can be challenging for an individual instructor to adopt in a highly coordinated environment where a course is taught by multiple instructors, and all sections are expected to follow a common syllabus and take a common final exam. In this paper, we describe our efforts to make space for an inquiry approach to teaching calculus within this constrained environment where the new approach is not adopted by all instructors. Our efforts started with the collection, adaption and development of materials to cover the topics already defined for the course. We piloted our materials with a small group of instructors in the first semester and then opened up the materials to other instructors in subsequent semesters. We have now implemented this method over the past four semesters. Through this process we have shown that the integration of inquiry methods and projects within the pedagogy of individual instructors can be effective, but efforts should be taken to ensure the timing of instruction and coverage of materials is comparable to the efforts of colleagues teaching via lecture methods.
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    Dynamic Lecturing: Book Review
    (United States Service Academies, 2018) Melles, Caroline G.
    In June of 2017, Todd Zakrajsek gave a fascinating interview on the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast, hosted by Bonni Stachowiak. The topic was the interplay between lecturing and active learning. Zakrajsek’s thesis was that the two need not be mutually exclusive. He discussed research supporting a blend of lecturing and student activities, depending on the level of the students and the learning objectives of the course. His balanced and positive approach is reflected in his new book, Dynamic Lecturing: Research- Based Strategies to Enhance Lecture Effectiveness, written with Christine Harrington.
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    Interventions to Develop a Growth Mindset in a Remedial Math Classroom
    (United States Service Academies, 2018) Seminelli, Michael D.
    College students in remedial mathematics programs not only struggle with fundamental concepts but tend to have a low mental outlook about their ability to succeed in a math class. Educators can implement interventions to promote a growth mindset with students, changing their attitude to one that recognizes hard work leads to mastery of any skill or concept. The students develop the confidence and desire to succeed in mastering the course material in their math classes as well as other academic subjects.
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    Introduction to Financial Mathematics Course
    (United States Service Academies, 2018) Garcia, Sonia M. F.
    The teaching of financial mathematics at the university level has become more common in the past decade. It is crucial that young officers of our military system be aware of its intricacies in the financial market in order to present themselves before the world with a more rounded and broader literacy.
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    Know Your Customer: Driving Calculus Course Design through Data
    (United States Service Academies, 2018) Plucker, Andrew
    Research suggests that students struggle with calculus on various levels. Student and instructor feedback is a necessary cycle to restructure and improve course curriculum. The aim of this paper is to discuss and illustrate how solicited feedback and administrative data can be coupled together to drive decisions about course design.
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    Reflection on Oral Quizzes
    (United States Service Academies, 2018) Bromberg, Lisa; Steward, Michael
    In this article we reflect o n a n instructional technique piloted in our discrete mathematics course this past semester. Motivated by a desire for students to better prepare for class and for them to receive adaptive feedback, we introduced oral quizzes as a check on preparation. We observed oral quizzes to be a good inspiration for out of class reading and practice, they forced students to practice oral and written communication of mathematics, and allowed us to tailor feedback to be appropriate for each student. We will discuss our motivation in more depth and detail oral quizzes as we implemented them. Finally we reflect on the instructional method and consider how oral quizzes can be improved and modified for other c lasses. We found oral quizzes to be very successful, and we believe they can be adapted to suit nearly any college math class.
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    Enhancing US Security by Modernizing USMA Education with Modeling and Complexity Science
    (United States Service Academies, 2017) Arney, Christopher; Yankovich, Michael
    Given the complex nature of the contemporaneous security environment, we discuss the importance of preparing future officers for their roles in helping to solve challenging and complicated problems. We argue that a reductionist approach to problem-solving is no longer sufficient for the challenges of this century. Rather, the problem-solvers of today and tomorrow should incorporate complexity science into their methods and models. Just as West Point served as a national leader in modernizing the content and pedagogy of technical post-secondary education in the 19th century, we argue that West Point should take the lead in helping to modernize post-secondary education in this century. We conclude by encouraging today's instructors to begin incorporating complexity analysis into their classrooms.