Mathematical Sciences (21) This collaborative project integrates: (a) the study of important mathematical content, (b) the use of applications, and (c) reflection on mathematical learning theories by faculty and students in the context of an advanced undergraduate linear algebra course. The development and implementation of this new course involves co-teaching and collaboration among faculty with expertise in a variety of areas including mathematics, computer science and mathematics education. The project includes professional development of college faculty who will form professional learning communities to support implementation of innovative teaching modes. The project is designed to: 1. Motivate students by connecting math to their experiences; 2. Match the analysis of content to theories of learning and instructional models; and 3. Provide collaborative support so that expertise in content and pedagogy are used to design effective instructional practice.

A novel characteristic of this project is the integration, within a single course of study, of content and applications, in a manner guided by current theories of teaching and learning mathematics at the undergraduate level. The project work involves a significant and long-term collaboration among mathematics and mathematics education faculty.

Intellectual Merit This project is transforming STEM education at the participating institutions by demonstrating the impact of curriculum design based firmly in a rich collaboration among disciplines that contribute content, application, and educational theory. There is a strong interest in mathematics in these schools, and particularly in linear algebra, because of its importance for secondary mathematics, computer science, abstract mathematics and engineering.

Broader Impacts: This project is impacting a large number of students even in its initial phase, given the number of colleges and potential linear algebra students involved. In addition, the number of faculty who will be involved (at least 10) in the initial phase promises a strong impact in STEM pedagogy and content at the five participating institutions. All of the mathematics educators in this project are either placed in mathematics departments or have strong working relationships with their colleagues in math, and therefore there is an opportunity to begin a genuine dialogue about how STEM education could evolve, and the way that these mathematics professors, and others who could use the disseminated instructional materials, think about how their students learn mathematics.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
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Michael Jacobson
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North Dakota State University Fargo
United States
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