First-Year Math & Stats in Canada

 

FYMSiC News

Announcements

Dear FYMSiC community,

It is with our deepest sadness that we are informing you that our colleague and friend Alfonso Gracia-Saz passed from Covid-19 on Thursday, May 6th, 2021. As Veselin Jungic put it: ‘I always felt that Alfonso actually enjoyed himself at our [FYMSiC] meetings’. He regularly attended our events and always had something insightful to share. We will remember him as an active member of our community, excellent teacher and mathematician, and above all, a beautiful human being. To learn more about Alfonso, read the Canadian Mathematics Society media release and the article in the Toronto Star. He will be missed.

Nick, Alfonso’s life partner, has shared the following: University of Toronto has setup a memorial page where you can contact the family and also contribute to a scholarship in Alfonso’s honour. Details are here: http://www.math.toronto.edu/cms/alfonso-memorial

 

Dear FYMSiC community,

We are being asked to participate in a research opportunity to investigate experts’ views of mathematical proof  by Professor Chris Sangwin, School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh. This study is designed to better understand what characteristics expert mathematicians value when considering the relative merits of different mathematical proofs.

The duration to participate will take about 15-20 minutes where several short proofs of a given theorem to read and compare.

For further information, please visit: Education research study on proof.

 

Dear members of the FYMSiC community,

We would like to invite you to contribute to a new open-access (no page charges either) journal, Maple Transactions, which aims to publish on topics of interest to the Maple community.  Use of Maple is not a prerequisite for publication in Maple Transactions.  This journal is made possible through the sponsorship of Maplesoft and of Scholarship Western, and is online only, using Open Journal Systems.  The particular focus of Maple Transactions is on computer-assisted research in mathematics, applications, and education: a broad focus, to be sure, but we want to make it clear that education is very much a priority for us. 

For more information, please visit Maple Transactions: Call for Contributions.

 

Dearest FYMSiC,

Thanks Matt Coles (UBC) for passing along this great opportunity! Please share with others.

The Mathematics Department and the Science Centre for Learning and Teaching (Skylight) at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver campus) are looking to hire a Science Education Specialist (SES).

The full job posting is here:

https://ubc.wd10.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/ubcstaffjobs/job/UBC-Vancouver-Campus/Science-Education-Specialist–SES-_JR3380-1

The job description is summarized below:

The position is a Faculty of Science-funded education specialist embedded in the Mathematics Department. The person will have disciplinary expertise in Mathematics (preferably a graduate degree in Mathematics or closely related discipline), and will bring expertise in pedagogy and evidence-based practices from their own background and bolstered with Skylight-coordinated professional development workshops and ongoing mentoring from Skylight leadership and peers. They will mentor faculty instructors using the developed teaching methods and materials. From time to time, the incumbent may participate in the instruction of undergraduates to advance the pedagogy of the way a course is delivered.

The SES will be a resource, guide and support within the department. They will lead scholarship of teaching and learning projects, advise the faculty on teaching and learning practices, and work with them on course and curriculum revisions, evaluations and pedagogical improvement projects.

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Please consider attending the Indigenising University Mathematics Symposium organized by the University of Newcastle.

This national and international two-day symposium will address the pressing challenge of how to Indigenise mathematical practice at Universities, both in education and research. The methodology is of collaboration and sharing of knowledge and worldviews from within both Indigenous cultures and the cultures of mathematics and its allied disciplines. The symposium will be organised around a collection of interconnected themes, each chaired by a partnership of Indigenous and non-Indigenous practitioners. These include: Indigenous Mathematics, Re-imagining the living present, Traditional Knowledge, Country, Language and Oral Traditions, and Love and Pedagogy. The symposium will also launch a call for contributions to a book on the same topic.

The event will be held online.

Dates: Monday, 20th September 2021 – Tuesday, 21st September 2021 (Note that this is the local time in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia)

Website and registration: https://carma.newcastle.edu.au/meetings/ium/

 
Dear FYMSiC neighbourinos!
 
Our dearest member, Amenda Chow (York), has kindly asked to spread the word about a fantastic job opportunity for an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Tenure Position at York University!
 
See the job positing information in the following link: https://www.mathjobs.org/jobs/list/18049?
 

 

Salute FYMSiC friends,

Our FYMSiC colleague, Fok-Shuen Leung (UBC), has asked to pass along a great job opportunity! Please see below:

The UBC Math Department is advertising for up to two “Teaching Project Postdoctoral Fellow” positions, which are designed for people interested in teaching-faculty positions in Math. The positions are described on Mathjobs at https://www.mathjobs.org/jobs/list/18155 .

Good luck to all applying !!! ☺

 

Congratulations

Alfonso Garcia-Saz (Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, University of Toronto) won 2021 CMS Excellence in Teaching Award. Press release: https://cms.math.ca/news-item/professor-alfonso-gracia-saz-to-receive-the-2021-cms-excellence-in-teaching-award/

Kseniya Garaschuk (Assistant Professor, University of Fraser Valley) has been named the recipient of 2021 Canadian Mathematical Society Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service. Press release: https://cms.math.ca/news-item/dr-kseniya-garaschuk-to-receive-the-2021-graham-wright-award-for-distinguished-service/.

Brian Forrest (Professor, University of Waterloo), Kseniya Garaschuk (Assistant Professor, University of Fraser Valley), and Veselin Jungic (Teaching Professor, Simon Fraser University) are the newest Canadian Mathematical Society Fellows. 

Bruce Dunham (Professor of Teaching, University of British Columbia) is the recipient of the 2021 PIMS Education Prize. Press release: https://www.pims.math.ca/news/2021-pims-education-prize-awarded-bruce-dunham

Petra Menz (Senior Lecturer, Simon Fraser University) and Nicola Mulberry (PhD Candidate, Simon Fraser University) won the 2021 BCampus Award for Excellence in Open Education. Please visit: https://bccampus.ca/2021/03/24/bccampus-award-for-excellence-in-open-education-petra-menz-and-nicola-mulberry/

Zack Cramer (Lecturer, University of Waterloo) received the University of Waterloo Student Association Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. Press release: https://uwaterloo.ca/math/news/zack-cramer-receives-wusa-excellence-undergraduate-teaching

Xinli Wang (Instructor, University of Manitoba) received the University of Manitoba, Teaching and Learning Seed Project grant. Project: Mastery-based grading in a second year mathematics course, and its impact to student’s learning. 

Parker Glynn-Adey secured an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream position at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Camelia Karimian Pour and Stan Yoshinobou secured an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream position at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus.

Shannon Ezzat secured an Assistant Professor position at Cape Breton University!

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, October 7th, 2021 at 12 p.m. (EDT) – Zoom link: TBA; Passcode: TBA

Theme: Favourite Analogy to Explain Math & Stats Concepts

Host: Gary Au (Saskatchewan)

Description: Coming Soon . . . but tasteful as always. 🙂

Presentation: Möbius Demo & Chat

Description: We would like to review our platform, Möbius, which is used coast to coast in Canada from SFU to Athabasca to UW, Western to Memorial University in NL. It is a learning platform used to create and deploy lessons and assignments for STEM courses. We have ready-made (but editable) content packs allowing one to quickly utilize the full capabilities of it, including leveraging its world-class math engine (Maple), providing immediate and meaningful feedback and going beyond simple fill in the blank and multiple-choice questions with robust capabilities including algorithmic and adaptive questions with powerful multimedia images to help anchor concepts.

 

Most recent meet up …

August 25th, 2021: Reflection & Check-in …

Some great and thoughtful questions to stir up a saucy discussion and to help navigate or think about the new academic year.

Information shared in discussion:

 

Save the date …

♦ Thursday, October 21st, 2021 at 12 p.m. (EDT) – Theme: Teaching Stats & Data Science (content, syllabus, qualifications of individuals who teach data science, how it fits into math/stats curriculum; is data science a program or just courses); Zoom link: TBA; Passcode: TBA

♦ Thursday, November 4th, 2021 at 12 p.m. (EDT) – Theme: Math & Stats Department Chairs speak out about their views, problems, issues related to teaching math & stats courses; Zoom link: TBA; Passcode: TBA

♦ Thursday, November 25th, 2021 at 12 p.m. (EDT) – Theme: It is good secret, trust us 🙂 ; Zoom link: TBA; Passcode: TBA

 

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

♦ December 3-6, 2021 Canadian Mathematical Society Winter Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia [information to come]

♦ June 3-6, 2022 Canadian Mathematical Society Summer Meeting, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador [information to come]

 

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 7  [July 2021]

Our eighth issue is coming out in October 2021. 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 eighth newsletter issue, the contribution deadline is Friday, October 1st, 2021 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 …

2021 Canadian Mathematical Society Summer Meeting Education Session: Anything but Calculus! Alternatives to teaching Calculus in year 1 [June 7 & 9, 2021]

Presenters:
 
Conrad Wolfram (Wolfram Research): Will mainstream maths education survive the AI age?
 
Chris Sangwin (University of Edinburgh): Product vs Process: Problem solving as a year one activity
 
Chris Rasmussen (San Diego State University): Dynamical Systems Instead of Calculus [Presentation Slides]
 
Wes Maciejewski (San Jose State University): Life After Calculus [Presentation Slides]
 
Peter Taylor (Queen’s University): Reinventing Calculus [Presentation Slides]
 
Deborah Hughes Hallet (Harvard Kennedy School): When should students learn about data? Now! [Presentation Slides]
 
Claus Michelsen (University of South Denmark): From a discipline-oriented year 1 to an interdisciplinary mathematical modelling course [Presentation Slides]
 
Marc De Benedetti (University of Toronto Mississauga): Should First-Year Calculus be Taught by Physicists? [Presentation Slides]
 
Information shared in discussion & Manifesto:
 
 
 
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.