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CoMInDS Summer Workshop 2020

Improving the Preparation of Graduate Students to Teach Undergraduate Mathematics

Location: The University of Maine, Orono, Maine OR Virtually via video conferencing

Dates: July 13-15, 2020

Is your department interested in helping graduate students learn to teach? Perhaps your department is considering starting a teaching-focused professional development program. Or maybe your department has a program but is interested in updating and enhancing it. Many departments now offer pre-semester orientations, semester-long seminars, and other opportunities for graduate students who are new to teaching so they will be well-equipped to provide high-quality instruction to undergraduates.

With funding from NSF (grant DUE-1432381), CoMInDS (College Mathematics Instructor Development Source) is an MAA-based project that provides instructional materials and guidance to departments as they establish or revise their graduate student professional development programs.

This summer, pending funding, we will be offering a workshop for faculty involved in these efforts. Over the course of three days, the morning of Monday, July 13 through early afternoon of Wednesday, July 15, participants will:

  • learn how to design a successful graduate student professional development program
  • gain familiarity with research and evaluation related to teaching and instructor preparation
  • gain access to a large collection of lessons, activities, and assignments to use in your program

Built into the schedule for the workshop will be time for participants to:

  • plan or revamp their professional development program
  • network with others from around the country who run graduate student professional development programs

Because we know some of us may need to prepare to teach graduate students to teach online, we will also focus on offering such programs with some components online and with the goal of preparing graduate students to teach with at least some undergraduate students at a distance.

Departments are encouraged to send two-person teams to the workshop. We have funding to support the costs of registration, lodging (in individual rooms on campus) and food for all participants. We have a limited amount of funding available to subsidize participant travel to the workshop. We ask that you make use of at least partial travel support from your home institution if feasible in order to maximize the number of people who can participate.

The University of Maine is located 13 miles from the Bangor International Airport. There are direct flights to Bangor from Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Newark, New York (LaGuardia), Detroit, and Chicago. Direct bus service is available from Boston.

Apply for the Workshop

For more information and to apply, click here.

Applications are due May 15th (extended!). Decisions will be announced by mid-June.

We will also decide by mid-June whether to hold the workshop in-person or virtually.

If you have questions, please contact us at

Note about implications of COVID-19

We realize that with the current national emergency, it is difficult to know whether an in-person conference will be possible in July. We are hoping that the situation improves sufficiently that traveling to and holding the workshop will be safe. We realize that may not be the case but we are proceeding with the planning process now to maintain the possibility of holding the conference.

We are also considering holding the workshop online. In the application, there is a question that asks if you would be willing to attend the workshop if it needed to be held virtually.

Bios of Leaders

Natasha Speer
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Maine Center for Research in STEM Education
The University of Maine

Dave Kung
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
St. Mary's College of Maryland
Director, MAA's Project NExT

The workshop leaders are both faculty in departments of mathematics with a variety of experiences related to graduate student professional development. Both do scholarly work on graduate student teaching and learning, including research on knowledge of student thinking and its development. They are contributing authors of the Video Cases for College Mathematics Instructor project, co-leaders of MAA PREP workshops on college mathematics teaching, and are co-authoring a book on student thinking about mathematics for use by novice college mathematics instructors. Dave is director of the Mathematical Association of America’s professional development program for new faculty, MAA Project NExT and Natasha is co-PI on the CoMInDS project.