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Mathematics Department

Teaching Seminar

Fall 2015

All talks are from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Seminar Room, unless otherwise specified.

  • Dec
    02
  • Active Learning Lunch
    Group discussion
    USNA
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    Discussion of active learning strategies
  • Nov
    17
  • Co-teaching, Cloud Computing, and a Freshman Research Course
    Reza Malek-Madani
    United States Naval Academy
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    The speaker will discuss student cloud computing with Mathematica. The speaker will also discuss SM282, Introduction to Laser Research, a 1-credit interdisciplinary course on research methods and data analysis, team-taught by members of the mechanical engineering, systems engineering, and mathematics departments. Primarily for plebes, the course is an elementary introduction to the three basic tenets of research conducted by the USNA Laser Group: field measurements, laboratory measurements, and computer modeling. The course has been very successful as a “pre-Trident” course, with several students going on to complete Trident projects.
  • Nov
    04
  • Discussion of technology in the classroom
    Group discussion
    USNA
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    Discussion of how wireless internet access, smart phones, and other technology affect the way we teach and the way students learn.
  • Oct
    21
  • Active Learning Lunch
    Group discussion
    USNA
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    Discussion of active learning strategies
  • Oct
    14
  • Eric Mazur on "Assessment: the silent killer of learning"
    Sommer Gentry
    United States Naval Academy
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    Presentation and discussion of "Assessment: the silent killer of learning," a lecture (available on YouTube) by physicist Eric Mazur of Harvard University. Mazur suggests that we should give up on the "ranking students" purpose of assessment because that can't be done fairly or reliably unless you ask only rote memorization questions. Instead, focus on the "give feedback" purpose of assessment, make feedback immediate, and ask authentic questions that are driven by the competencies we actually desire our students to have.
  • Sep
    30
  • Tegrity Demonstration
    Julie Zhu
    USNA
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    Tegrity is a powerful lecture capture system that can capture instructor audio and any information presented through a computer, a laptop (including tablet), and peripheral devices such as a document camera. More details are available on the IDSC web site.
  • Sep
    23
  • Active Learning Lunch
    Group discussion
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    Discussion of active learning strategies
  • Sep
    16
  • The USNA Academic Center
    Seth Endicott and Becky Shepherd
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    Seth Endicott, the new Learning Specialist for the Academic Center will talk about his newly created position and services offered. Becky Shepherd will talk about the "extra help" class XS121.
  • Sep
    09
  • Creativity and Mathematical Problem-Solving
    Caroline Melles
    United States Naval Academy
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    The creative process seems mysterious, yet increasingly, individuals in many fields are trying to gain a better understanding of creativity and find practices that increase creative output. We will look at ideas from several sources. Cal Newport, a computer scientist with a Ph.D. from M.I.T, has written books about learning and elite knowledge work. He discusses the importance of scheduling time for deep work, and recommends trying to master a new and difficult technique each year. Todd Henry has a background in music and writes about creativity from a business perspective. He discusses creativity as a skill that must be protected, nurtured, and grown. His recommendations include interacting regularly with a network of creative professionals, having a deliberate plan of study, filtering the stimuli you are exposed to when working deeply on a creative project, and developing other parts of your brain by having creative outlets unrelated to work. Twyla Tharp is a dancer, choreographer, and author of The Creative Habit. She describes creativity from an artistic point of view, with an emphasis on habits and discipline. Her thoughts on artistic structure and the concept of a spine of a piece of art are particularly interesting. Michael Atiyah has a beautiful article on mathematical creativity in The Princeton Companion to Mathematics. He discusses research as the search for understanding, rather than merely proofs. He suggests going to the roots of a problem and having a good collection of examples on which to test conjectures. He recommends looking for your own proof when a speaker presents a complicated or messy result. He also stresses the importance of mathematical collaboration. Finally, the MAA has recently published Mathematicians on Creativity, a collection of ideas from many distinguished mathematicians on the creative process.
  • Sep
    02
  • USNA Center for Teaching and Learning
    Karyn Sproles, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
    USNA
    Time: 12:00 PM

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    Professor Sproles will discuss the center's resources and programs for supporting faculty, talk about her vision for the center, and answer questions.
  • Aug
    26
  • Active Learning Lunch
    Group discussion
    USNA
    Time: 12:00 PM

    View Abstract

    Discussion of active learning strategies
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