First-Year Math & Stats in Canada

 

FYMSiC News

Announcements

Ciao FYMSiC!
 
Thanks to Brian Forrest (Waterloo & CMS Education Committee Chair) for passing along this information . . .
 
The CMS is sponsoring an online free session for the NSERC Science Literacy Week.
 
Title: Careers in Mathematics: They’re Everywhere and for Everyone!
Date & Time: Thursday, September 22nd, 2022, from 6:30 p.m. (EDT) to 8:30 p.m. (EDT).
For more information and to register: English (google.com)
 
Share this event with your students, TAs, anyone interested!
Math is everywhere, and there are fruitful and cool career opportunities in mathematics.
GO MATH!
 
 
Namaste FYMSiC!
 
Thoughts and experiences of hybrid courses by Matthias M. Kniebusch (University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven) …  
 
Greetings from Sweden
 
Greetings from Sweden!
 
Recent news from Canadian and German universities indicate that all courses have to be on campus in the upcoming term. Some colleagues are concerned about increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections in their regions. I would like to share some thoughts and experience on hybrid courses I developed at my University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven:
 
During the 2022 winter term until February, all lectures, tutorials, etc. at Bremerhaven could be in person. Due to the governmental regulations, nearly all colleagues decided to choose online lectures like before. Even the exams had been mainly online exams with minor problems on behalf of cheating. Only labs had been in person (if possible – depending on the space).
 
During the summer term, we were to be in person on campus with the recommendation to wear masks. Due to the evolving numbers of infected individuals (Covid-19) recommendations had not been a good idea, but we where free to offer lectures, tutorials, etc. online in parallel. This is what I call “hybrid”.
 
My lectures in Linear Algebra and in Calculus II had been a real success, because every student could participate in the course. An increasing number of infected students had been grateful to join, discuss, and attend (including the the Q&A-sections). The courses had been facilitated by Mobius-based exercises and graded homework. About 30-50 % of registered students had chosen the online lectures.
 
I used an iPad-Pro linked to a MacBook (connected to a beamer for students in person). I used BigBlueButton on the MacBook to share audio and video with students off-campus. The Mac hardware (audio) allowed to have a real discussion between the “online-students”, and the students participating in person (a lecture hall for 200 students – but with a maximum of 100 attending). 
 
I realized this concept was possible only because the university still offers access to the complete logistics developed during the pandemic (Jitsi-servers, BBB-servers, streaming server, due to the privacy regulations all run by the university).
 
Since the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven still offers the logistics as described above, I will continue to offer hybrid courses. Especially for the first-year students, I will offer an introduction to our digital environment so that every student can participate independently from the development of the pandemic.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this inspires you to try hybrid delivery!
 
 
Hello FYMSiC!

A message from two of our awesome FYMSiC friends, Andrew Skelton (York) and Tyler Pattenden (UWO):
 
Hello all! 
 
We are looking at this wonderful community to gauge interest in a potential education session on Skills Coaching in the Mathematics Classroom at the CMS Winter 2022 Meeting in Toronto in December. The full description that we are going to submit to the organizers is below, but if you are even a little bit interested in speaking in this session, please e-mail us! You don’t need a full description – just an expression of interest and 1-2 sentences would be sufficient at this point!
 
Andrew Skelton – askelton@yorku.ca
Tyler Pattenden – tpattend@uwo.ca
 
Skills Coaching in the Mathematics Classroom
In many post-secondary mathematics courses, the focus is squarely on mathematical content, but we know there are far more intangible skills a student develops in the mathematics classroom – the aim of this session is to make those intangible skills more tangible.
 
The Conference Board of Canada’s Employability Skills brochure lists 16 skills that are needed to improve ability and thrive in the workplace and beyond. Problem-solving and numeracy, typically the highest priorities in most post-secondary mathematical classrooms, are just two of these 16 skills, so how do we explicitly teach and evaluate progress in other skills? Studies have shown that focusing simultaneously on mathematical and other academic skills is invaluable in helping students with the high school to university mathematics transition (Lake et al 2017) .
 
In this session, we want to learn from instructors who have developed tools that help with the explicit, intentional, and targeted teaching and learning of a skill, rather than a mathematical concept. This skill could be, but is certainly not limited to, communication, group work, learning skills, peer evaluation, reflection, goal setting, using multiple representations, or research skills. We are interested in hearing about the development of your tool, any obstacles you faced and how you have or might evaluate the success of your intervention.
 
Ni Hao FYMSiC!
 
A message about the upcoming Symposium on Coding, Computational Modeling, and Equity in Mathematics Education, April 2023:
 
We are excited to announce an upcoming face-to-face Symposium on Coding, Computational Modeling, and Equity in Mathematics Education, as advertised in the attached flyer. Using a working group format, participants will be invited to work together to explore emerging issues and share experiences and perspectives on different timely topics. The scientific program also features two keynotes, two discussion panels, a poster or project display session, where participants can share their own work (a call for proposals will be announced in December 2022), and a pre-symposium PD day with hands-on workshops for teachers.
 
See the event website for more details, including our invited contributors to the scientific program: https://cpmath.ca/ccmeme2023/
 
Please help us spread the word if you are aware of others who may be interested in the event. For any question, email: skhan6@brocku.ca, cbuteau@brocku.ca, inamukas@uwo.ca, or dlevay@brocku.ca
 
Looking forward to welcoming you at Brock in April 2023!
 
Steven Khan (Brock U),  Laura Broley (Brock U), Chantal Buteau (Brock U), Immaculate Namukasa (Western U), Marja Bertrand (Western U), and Dorothy Levay (Brock U), on behalf of the organizing committee

 

Congratulations

Wes Maciejewski secured an Instructor position in the Donald School of Business, Science, and Technology at Red Deer Polytechnic.

Congrats to Anton Musonov (Lecturer, University of Waterloo) for receiving the WUSA Excellence In Undergraduate Teaching Award (2021). Press release: https://wusa.ca/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-wusa-excellence-in-undergraduate-teaching-award-2021/

Asmita Sodhi secured a Assistant Teaching Professor position in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria.

 

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication
to mathematics and statistics education!

 

For past FYMSiC News, please visit the Past News.

 


FYMSiC Online Teaching Meet Ups

Online Teaching Meet Ups are a great virtual space to have a conversation about math and stats teaching and learning with students and educators. Each meet up has a specific theme such as ‘How to teach ‘em math proofs in first-year and beyond?’ or ‘What is CEGEP?’ or ‘Transitioning to university: high school teachers’ experiences and views’, which may be accompanied by a couple of presentations – but for sure, a healthy, therapeutic and cathartic dialogue is always there about teaching and learning!

 

Upcoming meet up …

♦ Thursday, September 29th, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. (EDT)

Zoom link: https://utoronto.zoom.us/j/85156979041

Passcode: fymsic

Title: How do we, math and stats practitioners, keep ourselves relevant so that we do not become self-check outs?

Presenter: Vincent Bouchard (Alberta)

A short presentation about a frightening situation to generate conversation.

Pre-reading:

Crowdmark Team, (2014). Is the Instructor an Endangered Species? Retrieved from: https://crowdmark.com/blog/is-the-teacher-an-endangered-species/?utm_source=journal&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2022-04_Journal_Issue44&utm_content=read-more

Abstract: Does the model recorded lectures + TAs teaching work, or any other model where the instructor is passive or non-existent? Will instructors become hostages of university administration and political correctness – what do we do about it? Why instructors will always be relevant? We will have a discussion surrounding this with a math and stats focus.

 

Most recent meet up …

♦ Wednesday, August 24th

PART 1

Title: e-Resources for TA Training

Presenter: Ami Mamolo (Ontario Tech University)
 
Abstract: Resources for self-directed e-learning are changing how we can approach training and professional development of TAs. In this session, I will share some of the innovative and interactive online resources for supporting math TAs that were developed by a team of educators from Ontario Tech, McMaster, and UTM, and funded by eCampusOntario. The resources are part of a free self-directed e-course on teaching undergraduate mathematics with technology. Check out our trailer: https://youtu.be/2H5Pa0w_YzM

Instructor/TA online training: www.thinkmath.ca 

 

PART 2

Title: Reflection & Check-in: Are we ready for 2022-2023?

Abstract: A general discussion about the upcoming academic year.

Cool teaching & learning resources: 😎

https://www.wipebook.ca/products/flipchart [chart paper, but it is like a whiteboard! :)]

https://checkit.clontz.org/ [team-based inquiry learning for calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations]

 

Save the date …

♦ Thursday, October 20th, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. (EDT)

♦ Thursday, November 3rd, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. (EDT)

♦ Thursday, November 24th, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. (EST)

 

For past FYMSiC Online Teaching Meet Ups & Events and Resources mentioned and discussed, please visit the Meet Ups page.

 

To join our emailing list for FYMSiC Meet Up Information and other FYMSiC Updates, please email a.burazin@utoronto.ca.

 


Other Math & Stats Education Events

October 21-23, 2022: National Numeracy Network Annual Meeting, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico [In Person]: http://www.nnn-us.org/ 

December 2-5, 2022: Canadian Mathematical Society Winter Meeting, Toronto, Ontario [In Person]: [information to come]

July 27-31, 2023: Bridges Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia [In Person]: https://www.bridgesmathart.org/b2023/ [submissions dates start as early as February 2023]

 

Fields Institute Mathematics Education Forum

Meeting Information: http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/centres/centre-mathematics-education

The Fields Institute Mathematics Education Forum promotes discussion of issues in mathematics education at all levels, with special emphasis on education in the Province of Ontario. The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences serves as the host of the Forum, but does not determine the agenda or the conclusions of the Forum. It is the goal of the Forum to consider objectively new ideas and diverse views in mathematics education, to facilitate consensus and to promote the enhancement of mathematics education in Ontario and Canada.

The Forum’s mandate is to foster the development of new ideas, methodologies and materials with respect to possible changes that could improve education in mathematics, and to work for the implementation of such changes.

 

University of Waterloo Mathematics Teaching Seminar

The Mathematics Teaching Seminar at the University of Waterloo is a biweekly meeting featuring discussions on undergraduate mathematics teaching. Participants in the seminar include lecturers, research faculty, and graduate students from all four of Waterloo’s mathematics departments and the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, as well as faculty members and teaching enthusiasts from around the world. Those who would like to attend are encouraged to reach out to the organizers, Blake Madill (bmadill@uwaterloo.ca) and Zack Cramer (zcramer@uwaterloo.ca). 

 


FYMSiC Newsletter

Latest issue …

Issue 10 – July 1st, 2022

Our eleventh issue is coming out in October 2022. If you wish to contribute to our Newsletter, please visit the Newsletter page.

Please send your contributions in Microsoft Word or LaTex (source) formats to: newsletter@firstyearmath.ca 

For the eleventh newsletter issue, the contribution deadline is on Friday, September 30th, 2022 by 11:59 p.m. (PDT). 

 


FYMSiC Repository

The First-Year Mathematics and Statistics Courses Repository is a resource supporting an ongoing national dialogue about teaching first year mathematics and statistics at Canadian universities. This shareable dynamic online database contains extensive data collected from mathematics and statistics instructors across the country. Data includes course content, resource and technology used, learning outcomes, modes of delivery, connections with other courses, as well as informal descriptions of various practices in teaching these courses.

It is our hope that instructors (i.e., our contacts at all participating universities, or their colleagues) will keep the database up to date, as well as provide missing, and additional information.

The main purpose of the First-Year Mathematics and Statistics Courses Repository is to provide an open, organized and comprehensive resource of information about first-year mathematics and statistics courses at Canadian Universities. We hope to enrich the content as we move along. 

Slides of the presentation (containing a broader context of our First-Year Math project and information about the Repository) that Veselin Jungic gave at the meeting of Canadian Mathematics and Statistics Department chairs in Ottawa, March 2019.

 

To access the FYMSiC Repository, please Register (if you have not already) and Log In.

 


FYMSiC Teaching & Learning Resources

Latest share …

www.thinkmath.ca ? Why not! 🙂 It is a great, free, self-directed online teaching training app for new instructors and TAs, and even a refresher for some of us more seasoned math and stats practitioners! 

You work at your own pace through the modules, and you get a fancy certificate of completion at the end too. This is something great to add to your professional development record! Also, to add to the experience, you might see some familiar faces guiding you towards your best teaching potential. 🙂

 

Cool teaching & learning resources: 😎

https://www.wipebook.ca/products/flipchart [chart paper, but it is like a whiteboard! :)]

https://checkit.clontz.org/ [team-based inquiry learning for calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations]

 
 
If you wish to add a Teaching & Learning Resource to the FYMSiC Website, please email a.burazin@utoronto.ca.
 
For previous Latest Shares, please visit the T&L Resources page.

 


FYMSiC Recent Publications

 
For previously announced Publications, please visit the T&L Resources page.

 


FYMSiC Related Communities

First Year in Maths is a network of over 200 mathematicians, statisticians and educators teaching in universities, colleges and schools in Australia and New Zealand.

 


FYMSiC Vision

We believe that only by sharing experiences, gathering data, and looking at research-based decisions and strategies, our mathematical teaching community can come up with ideas and initiatives for university faculty and instructors to restructure their programs and to respond to the demands that the realities of today’s living place on us and our students.

It is our belief that the contacts at a national level (such as the Mathematics Education Session at the CMS conference in Waterloo in December 2017, the First Year Conference in April 2018 at the Fields Institute, and the Winter CMS Session in Vancouver in December 2018) will connect, and unite Canadian teaching and research faculty in their efforts to provide the best, and most adequate, post-secondary math education possible, and will provide a forum for all involved to learn about the complexity of issues related to teaching mathematics. We see the national dialogue as an ongoing process that will keep us all connected and strengthen our community.

 


FYMSiC FAQ

1. Who is the intended audience?
All interested faculty in mathematics and statistics departments in Canada, mathematics and statistics department chairs, college instructors, high school teachers (grade 12 mostly) interested in knowing what’s going on in level 1 mathematics and statistics, as well as education developers and publishers.
 
2. How will this information be shared?
The information is shared with approved members of the repository. Those who are interested will fill out a questionnaire. After the application information has been verified by the page administrators, and it has been determined it fits with the purpose of the repository, access (login and password) will be granted.
 
3. How frequently is the data updated?
This would depend on the curators at each institution. As the main purpose of the database is to provide a snapshot of teaching level 1 mathematics and statistics, it would be ideal if the curators visit their part of the database as often as possible, to correct existing data and enter missing data.
 
4. How do I sign up to access the Repository?
Send an email to Veselin Jungic (SFU) [vjungic@sfu.ca] or Miroslav Lovric (McMaster) [lovric@mcmaster.ca].
 
5. Is this done under CMS (Canadian Mathematics Society)?
No. This is a grass roots initiative led by Miroslav Lovric and Veselin Jungic, in part supported by the Fields Institute, Simon Fraser University, McMaster University and the EDC Grants for Exchange.