## SIGMAA QL: SIGMAA on Quantitative Literacy

### Reception

*Thursday, August 7, 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Hilton Portland, Plaza Level, Broadway I & II*

### SIGMAA QL Turns 10

#### A Discussion of the Past and Future of Quantitative Literacy

*Thursday, August 7, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Hilton Portland, Plaza Level, Broadway I & II*

2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the founding of the SIGMAA on Quantitative Literacy. SIGMAA QL was founded in order to provide a structure within the mathematics community to advance the understanding and teaching of quantitative literacy, which its charter defines as “the ability to adequately use elementary mathematical tools to interpret and manipulate quantitative ideas that arise in individuals’ private, civic, and work lives.” Much has changed since 2004 in the QL community, in the universities in which we teach, in K12 mathematics, and in society at large. Our panelists will reflect on the past and future of quantitative literacy and foster a discussion on how we can continue to advance our common goals.

**Moderator**:

**Andrew J Miller**, *Belmont University, Past Chair of SIGMAA QL*

**Panelists**:

**Caren Diefenderfer**, *Hollins University, Founding Chair Elect of SIGMAA QL*

**Rick Gillman**, *Valparaiso University, Founding Past Chair of SIGMAA QL*

**Dorothy Wallace**, *Dartmouth University, Founding Editor, Numeracy*

**Bernie Madison**, *University of Arkansas, QL Author and Assessment Developer*

**Wm. David Burns**, *Executive Director, National Center for Science and Civic Engagement*

## POM SIGMAA: SIGMAA on the Philosophy of Mathematics

### Reception

*Thursday, August 7, 5:30 – 6:00 p.m., Hilton Portland, Ballroom Level, Galleria I*

### Guest Lecture: Math-Speak: Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics

*Thursday, August 7, 6:00 p.m. – 6:50 p.m., **Hilton Portland, Ballroom Level, Galleria I*

Mathematics is famously difficult, especially for students first seriously encountering theory and proofs. The problem is not just that "math is hard," but that the special language of mathematics is especially hard.

This is not surprising: communicating technical ideas and fine distinctions naturally requires extra linguistic effort. This difficulty stems, I'll argue, only partly from the genuinely complicated syntax and semantics of mathematical language. It arises also from linguistic "pragmatics": what's "heard" depends not only on what's said but also, crucially, on what "hearers" bring to the "conversation". I'll illustrate with examples connecting the pragmatics and the syntactical and semantic issues, and, perhaps, suggest some possible strategies.

**Paul Zorn**, *St. Olaf College*

## SIGMAA MCST: SIGMAA on Math Circles for Students and Teachers

### Math Circle Demonstration

*Saturday, August 9, 9:00 a.m. – 9:55 a.m., Hilton Portland, Plaza Level, Pavilion East*

A math circle is an enrichment experience that brings mathematics professionals in direct contact with pre-college students and/or their teachers. Circles foster passion and excitement for deep mathematics. This demonstration session offers the opportunity for conference attendees to observe and then discuss a math circle experience designed for local students. While students are engaged in a mathematical investigation, mathematicians will have a discussion focused on appreciating and better understanding the organic and creative process of learning that circles offer, and on the logistics and dynamics of running an effective circle.

**Organizers**:

**Philip Yasskin**, *Texas A&M University*

**Paul Zeitz**, *University of San Francisco*

**Japheth Wood**, *New York Math Circle*

**Craig Daniels**, *PDX (Portland) Math Circle*

**Sponsor**:

SIGMAA MCST

### Math Wrangle

*Saturday, August 9, 10:30 a.m. – 11:25 a.m., Hilton Portland, Plaza Level, Pavilion East*

Math Wrangle will pit teams of students against each other, the clock, and a slate of great math problems. The format of a Math Wrangle is designed to engage students in mathematical problem solving, promote effective teamwork, provide a venue for oral presentations, and develop critical listening skills. A Math Wrangle incorporates elements of team sports and debate, with a dose of strategy tossed in for good measure. The intention of the Math Wrangle demonstration at MathFest is to show how teachers, schools, circles, and clubs can get students started in this exciting combination of mathematical problem solving with careful argumentation via public speaking, strategy and rebuttal.

**Organizers**:

**Steve Dunbar**,* American Math Competitions*

**Tatiana Shubin**, *San Jose State University*

**Ed Keppelmann**, *University of Nevada, Reno*

**Craig Daniels**, *PDX (Portland) Math Circle*

**Sponsors**:

American Mathematics Competitions

SIGMAA MCST

### Problems Well-Suited for Math Circles

*Friday, August 8, 2:35 p.m. – 3:55 p.m., Hilton Portland, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom II*

Choosing a problem which is suitable for a math circle session is arguably the most important task for a circle leader. Good problems are crucial not only for a single session – the success or a failure of a math circle depends on problems presented to participants. But what makes a problem good? Which problems and topics are suitable and why? At the session, a sequence of experienced math circle leaders will present their ideas and share handouts that describe how to run a math circle on a particular topic. A general discussion will follow these presentations.

**Organizers**:

**Tatiana Shubin**, *San Jose State University*

**Phil Yasskin**, *Texas A&M University*

**Panelists**:

**Gene Abrams**, *University of Colorado at Colorado Springs*

**Brian Conrey**, *American Institute of Mathematics*

**Amanda Serenevy**, *Riverbend Community Math Center*

**James Tanton**, *Mathematical Association of America*

**Sam Vandervelde**, *St Lawrence University*

**Paul Zeitz**, *University of San Francisco*

**Joshua Zucker**, *Julia Robinson Math Festival*

**Sponsor**:

SIGMAA on Math Circles for Students and Teachers (SIGMAA MCST)

## BIO SIGMAA: SIGMAA on Mathematical and Computational Biology

### Contributed Paper Session

#### Undergraduate Research Activities in Mathematical and Computational Biology

*Friday, August 8, morning*

This session is dedicated to aspects of undergraduate research in mathematical and computational biology. First and foremost, this session would like to highlight research results of projects that either were conducted by undergraduates or were collaborations between undergraduates and their faculty mentors. Of particular interest are those collaborations that involve students and faculty from both mathematics and biology. Secondly, as many institutions have started undergraduate research programs in this area, frequently with the help of initial external funding, the session is interested in the process and logistics of starting a program and maintaining a program even after the initial funding expires. Important issues include faculty development and interdisciplinary collaboration, student preparation and selection, the structure of research programs, the acquisition of resources to support the program, and the subsequent achievements of students who participate in undergraduate research in mathematical and computational biology.

**Organizer**:

**Timothy Comar**, *Benedictine University*

**Sponsor**:

SIGMAA on Mathematical and Computational Biology (BIO SIGMAA)

## WEB SIGMAA: SIGMAA on Mathematics Instruction using the Web

### Panel Discussion

#### Open Source Resources for Mathematics: Benefits and Costs

*Friday August 8, 1:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m., Hilton Portland, 23rd Floor, Skyline 2*

This panel will include innovators in the development and use of open source resources for mathematics. A variety of options will be represented ranging from computer software to online homework and Open Textbooks. Significant time will be reserved for questions from the audience and between the panelists.

Each of the panelists will focus on the use of open source systems and how each can successfully enable end users to do and teach mathematics. Costs--both tangible and intangible--will be considered and compared to those normally associated with commercial products. Each panelist will address the advantages and disadvantages of these systems when compared to commercial products--and include any research on the efficacy of using their system for teaching purposes. Philosophical reasons for supporting open source products will be addressed. Additionally, avenues regarding how the audience can get involved in contributing to product development will be provided.

**Organizers**:

**John Travis**, *Mississippi College*

**Karl-Dieter Crisman**, *Gordon College*

**Panelists**:

**Davide Cervone**, *Union University (MathJax)*

**Jane Long**, *Stephen F. Austin State University (Sage)*

**Albert Kim**, *Reed College (R)*

**Rob Beezer**, *University of Puget Sound (Open Textbooks)*

**Robin Cruz**, *College of Idaho (WeBWorK)*

**Sponsors**:

Committee on Technologies in Mathematics Education

Professional Development Committee

WEB SIGMAA

### Business Meeting

*Friday, August 8, 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m., Hilton Portland, Ballroom Level, Parlor AB*

### Discussion

#### What Are Effective Online Homework Problems in Mathematics?

*Friday, August 8, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Hilton Portland, Ballroom Level, Parlor AB*

Online delivery of homework and other assessments in mathematics courses has become standard. This discussion will focus on best practices in developing online questions for mathematics, with the goal of creating problems that are pedagogically well-formed and which take full advantage of the online environment. Assessing the effectiveness of online problems will also be considered. In particular, what factors or metrics might be used to determine the efficacy of an online mathematics problem? Following the presentation, time will be allowed for the audience to participate in this discussion. There will be a follow-up contributed paper session titled, “Well-Designed Online Assessment: Well-formed Questions, Discovery-based Explorations, and their Success in Improving Student Learning” at JMM 2015.

**Organizer**:

**Paul Seeburger**, *Monroe Community College*