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The Geometry of Vector Calculus

The Geometry of Vector Calculus

Tevian Dray, Corinne Manogue
June 18-22, 2004
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA

Material for this workshop developed with support from NSF Grants DUE-0088901 and DUE-0231032.

Registration: $250.00


Geometric reasoning is the key to bridging the gap between mathematics and the physical sciences. This workshop will introduce participants to the art of teaching geometric reasoning, emphasizing the teaching of multivariable calculus, and especially vector calculus. The geometric content of (single variable) calculus, trigonometry, and linear algebra will also be briefly addressed.

This workshop is aimed primarily at college and university teachers who use multivariable calculus in their courses. The workshop is suitable not only for mathematics faculty teaching multivariable calculus, but also for faculty in related disciplines, such as physicists teaching electromagnetism or engineers teaching statics. While prior familiarity with the content would be helpful, the workshop is equally appropriate for faculty who have taught this material for years and those who are about to teach it for the first time. Junior college faculty looking to expand their course offerings are especially welcome.

Workshop attendees will both participate in, and then lead, open-ended group activities intended to foster geometric reasoning, which have been developed as part of the NSF-funded Vector Calculus Bridge project at Oregon State University. Participants will also develop a plan for how to implement such activities at their home institution.

Participants completing the workshop will be in a position to:
• Increase student mastery of this material;
• Improve their own understanding of the geometry of vector calculus;
• Better communicate with colleagues in other disciplines; and
• Increase the geometric content of related courses.

There will be sessions each day devoted to both theory (the geometry of vector calculus) and practice (using group activities to improve geometric reasoning skills).

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