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Panel Sessions

Quantitative Literacy at the Post-Secondary Level: Future Directions in Research

Thursday, August 4, 1:00 p.m. - 2:20 p.m., McKinley

Since Steen's 2001 call for action in "Mathematics and Democracy," there has been an influx of research on best practices for promoting quantitative literacy (QL) at the post-secondary level. While such efforts have aided in the development of curricula and pedagogy, there is a need for reflection on the field's progress and direction. The purpose of this discussion is to channel these efforts, ultimately culminating in a paper for the journal Numeracy. Tentatively, the panel consists of Semra Kilic-Bahi (mathematician and educator), Catherine Crockett (mathematician and educator), Gregory Foley (math educator), Victor Piercey (mathematician), and Milo Schield (physicist and statistics educator). Potential questions for this diverse group include: What practices have we yet to determine are meaningful in promoting numeracy? What is the minimum amount of change one needs within a traditional math course to effect better QL outcomes? What role will technology (and online courses) have in the QL effort? To what degree is writing needed in a course with a QL designation? Which literacy and statistics skills do students need that a mathematics course can promote?

Luke Tunstal, Michigan State University

Semra Kilic-Bahi, Colby-Sawyer College
Catherine Crockett, Point Loma Nazarene University
Gregory Foley, Ohio University
Victor Piercey, Ferrist State University
Milo Schield, Augsburg College


Active Learning Approaches in Mathematics Instruction: Practice and Assessment Symposium

Thursday, August 4, 2:35 p.m. - 3:55 p.m., Hayes

Recent studies have supported the positive impact of active learning approaches on college level mathematics. A recent study by Sandra Laursen of the University of Colorado makes the case that active learning increases the academic performance of key under represented student groups in the STEM disciplines. A meta-study by Freeman, Eddy, McDonough and their colleagues encourages moving beyond a focus on comparisons between active learning vs. lecture format and towards exploring the best methods with an active learning classroom. The group wrote that their results “raise questions about the continued use of traditional lecturing as a control in research studies, and support active learning as the preferred, empirically validated teaching practice in regular classrooms.” Thus, new research and evaluation projects are needed to establish which active learning approaches prove most effective and to broaden the study of various methods in how they impact students. The analysis of “big data” sources presents a particularly intriguing different approach to analyzing the benefits of various active learning methods. While not directly related to the issue area, Glenn Ellison and Ashley Swanson’s approach to analyzing “the gender gap in secondary school mathematics at high achievement levels” demonstrates this approach.

A symposium will be held just prior to MathFest 2016 to discuss what key research questions need to be posed and to encourage larger scale evaluation projects that work towards answering these key questions. New research can identify which active learning mathematics teaching methods work best for specific groups of students, especially underserved groups, while also extending the case that active learning methods trump traditional lecture based approaches. In the special session the panelists will discuss the findings and recommendations of this symposium. Panel discussion will be led by Ronald Douglas, David Bressoud, and Doris Zahner, along with Michael Starbird (and one more name to be determined). While the symposium is by invitation only, there may be openings still available at time of publication. If you are interested go to

Ronald Douglas, Texas A&M University
David Bressoud, Macalester College
Doris Zahner, Council for Aid to Education

Ronald Douglas, Texas A&M University
David Bressoud, Macalester College
Doris Zahner, Council for Aid to Education
Michael Starbird, University of Texas
Dennis Deturck, University of Pennsylvania

How to Apply for jobs in Academia and Industry after Your PhD

Thursday, August 4, 2:35 p.m. - 3:55 p.m., McKinley

This session is aimed at graduate students and recent PhDs. An overview of the employment process will be given with ample opportunity for participants to ask questions. Questions that will be addressed include: How do you find which jobs are available? How do you choose which jobs you want to apply for? What are academic and other employers looking for in the materials that you send? How should you tailor your application materials for the job that you are applying for? How do schools conduct interviews?

Estela Gavosto, University of Kansas
Mark Snavely, Carthage College

David C. Manderscheid, Ohio State University
Joanne Peeples, El Paso Community College
Mark Snavely, Carthage College

MAA Committee on Graduate Students

Education and Science Policy

Thursday, August 4, 4:10 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Hayes

The work of Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics (TPSE) and the MAA’s Common Vision project have raised the profile of education in the mathematical sciences, especially in the first-two years. The high‐degree of turnover in recent years among Members of Congress gives us a great opportunity to get our policymakers up to speed with education in the STEM fields, including mathematics. This panel will give ideas about how we can inform and engage policy-makers about the needs in post-secondary education in the mathematical sciences.

Karen Saxe, Macalester College
David Manderscheid, The Ohio State University

William "Brit" Kirwan, University of Maryland
Joan Leitzel, The Ohio State University, University of New Hampshire
Karen Saxe, Macalester College

Science Policy Committee

Re-Energizing Your Career at All Stages

Friday, August 5, 10:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m., McKinley

Preliminary results of a national survey of professors by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education at Harvard University indicate that in many measures associate professors have lower job satisfaction levels than both assistant and full professors. The reasons for lower job satisfaction are many, and they can affect faculty at all ranks. Since faculty are primarily responsible for the advancement of their own careers, it is important for faculty to find ways in which they can remain vital and active in teaching, scholarship, and service. In this session, colleagues who have successfully managed to achieve this sometimes difficult goal will share strategies and experiences that have helped them stay engaged throughout their careers.

Julia Barnes, Western Carolina University
Steve Schlicker, Grand Valley State University

David Austin, Grand Valley State University
Audrey Malagon, Virginia Wesleyan College
Hortensia Soto-Johnson, University of Northern Colorado
David Torain, Hampton University

MAA Committee on Professional Development

Non-Academic Mathematical Career Paths for Undergraduates

Friday, August 5, 2:35 p.m. - 3:55 p.m., McKinley

Step one: earn a degree in mathematics. Step three: have a great career! What is step two? Whether you are a mathematics student looking for a job once you graduate or an advisor looking for advice to give to future job-seeking students, this session will help you gain new perspectives on nonacademic career experiences and what employers value in their employees. Panelists will share the paths to their current positions, the ways in which they utilize their mathematical background, and offer advice to others looking for employment in similar venues.

May Mei, Dennison University
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University

Karla Dixon, Abercrombie & Fitch
Bruce Myers, National Security Agency
Derek Straiton, Gahanna Lincoln High School
Tony Hovest, Motorists Insurance Group

MAA Committee on Undergraduate Student Activities and Chapters

Prioritizing Your Career and Professional Goals

Saturday, August 6, 1:00 p.m. - 2:20 p.m., McKinley

Whether first-year faculty or senior members of the department, we often struggle with balancing the three aspects of our careers: teaching, research, and service. Successfully doing so requires identifying our goals and priorities, which then help us choose which opportunities to embrace and which are not best-suited to our interests, time frame, and talents. Panelists will discuss strategies for identifying goals and priorities and share their experiences of being confronted with such situations, including how they made their decisions and how they said “no” when appropriate. In particular, Panelists will address these questions: How does one accomplish the goals on a priority list? How does one determine what will be valued? What is the best way to say “no” when that is called for? This panel is sponsored by the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Jacqueline Jensen-Vallin, Lamar University
Alissa Crans, Loyola Marymount University
Maura Mast, Fordham University
Candice Price, University of San Diego

Jenna Carpenter, Campbell University
Annalisa Crannell, Franklin & Marshall College
Niles Johnson, The Ohio State University
Candice Price, University of San Diego

Association for Women in Mathematics