UChicago Math Pedagogy Seminar

Time: Wednesday 1:30 - 2:30 PM
Location: Eckhart Hall 312

Organizers: Sarah Ziesler & Daniel Hess

Talks in Autumn 2022

October 5

Teaching the Math 150s

Abstract: During this session, we will discuss approaches to and experiences with teaching the Math 150s sequence. Specifically, we will focus on teaching Math 151/152/153 in the Autumn quarter (where 152 and 153 in particular run a little bit differently than if they were taught in the Winter or Spring quarters). We will discuss questions like: How exactly do these courses differ from the Math 130s? How do the students tend to differ? What challenges or successes have we had (or anticipate) in teaching these courses? Sample materials will also be shared during the meeting.

October 12

Mastery-Based Grading: Some Preliminary Results
(Nikki Pitcher, UChicago)

Abstract: In mathematics classrooms, assessments are often seen as a necessary evil. Instructors wish to ascertain student understanding but assigning points and grades does not always correlate directly with learning goals. Mastery-based grading has been gaining traction in learning environments in recent history to overcome some of the hurdles of traditional grading schemes. The goal of mastery-based grading is to make learning goals more concrete while allowing students to revisit topics until mastery is achieved. Over the past two summers, I have utilized a mastery-based grading approach in my CAAP (Chicago Academic Achievement Program) classrooms. I will present the pros and cons of the approach, and then attendees will workshop ideas for improving upon the execution.

October 26

Teaching the Kuhn-Tucker Theorem (in Math 15250)
(Mark Bly, UChicago)

Abstract: Having invested some time acquainting myself to the Kuhn-Tucker Theorem (and techniques of Convex Optimization, more generally) while teaching Math 19520 during the quarters that Math 15250 was developed, I have (on two occasions) worked the teaching of the Kuhn-Tucker Theorem into my Math 19520 courses. Notably, these experiences helped me gain a better understanding of just how Kuhn-Tucker can be effectively woven into a quarter-long course of study that starts from the basics of multivariable differentiation theory. During this talk, my plan is to share as much as possible about my experiences teaching Kuhn-Tucker so that together we can develop as much departmental knowledge as possible (in 50 minutes) about the pedagogical particulars associated with this topic.

November 2

MAA Guide Discussion
(Selma Yildirim, UChicago)

Abstract: This meeting is a continuation of our series of discussions on the MAA Instructional Practices Guide. Specifically, we will be covering sections AP.3, AP.4, and AP.5 in this guide, which correspond to Session 6 in the Book Study Guide.

November 9

Examining Student Voices on Inclusion in Calculus Courses
(Karl Schaefer and Ali York, WUSTL)

Abstract: To create more inclusive and equitable environments for our students, we must seek to understand how students interpret their feelings on how 'inclusive' they feel their courses are. To do this, we've developed and implemented a mixed-methods survey measure to better understand inclusion, and whether or not students feel measures are being taken in their courses to make it more inclusive. In this talk, we will introduce our inclusion survey and discuss some of our findings, which suggest that instructors have a lot of power in terms of creating an inclusive course, no matter the subject, and that these findings can provide faculty with strategies to improve their teaching.

November 16

MAA Guide Discussion
(Seyed Zoalroshd, UChicago)

Abstract: This meeting is a continuation of our series of discussions on the MAA Instructional Practices Guide. Specifically, we will be covering sections AP.6 and AP.7 in this guide, which correspond to Session 7 in the Book Study Guide.

Past Talks: 2021-2022, 2020-2021