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I'm interested in knowing whether there are conferences that have, among other topics, the difficulty of teaching higher level mathematical concepts to folks with prior established skills in STEM, e.g., software engineers. An example paper topic might include assessing the difficulties of software engineers learning to use formal theorem and proof systems to help create better software.

I have seen in [1] that the AMS lists general math conferences, but I'm wondering if there are more focused, practical math conferences that deal with education and topics such as this, addressing education of a more technical audience (not an elementary education audience). Such conferences may not be "math" conferences per se.

Thanks!

[1] https://math.stackexchange.com/q/289410

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    $\begingroup$ I wonder if the MSRI might have any conferences like that. You might want to contact them to express your interest. msri.org/web/msri/scientific/workshops $\endgroup$
    – Sue VanHattum
    Mar 8 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ Ppl here would be by defn in the intersection set proofassistants.stackexchange.com (v new SE site!) $\endgroup$
    – Rusi
    Mar 9 at 2:48
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    $\begingroup$ It's kind of a weird example to use, because I think that's part of any undergraduate CS program, maybe a freshman or sophomore discrete math class? So, not really higher-level math. $\endgroup$ Mar 10 at 1:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @Rusi for that site - looks new and exciting! This is exactly the kind of thing that will prove useful. $\endgroup$
    – Russ
    Mar 15 at 15:54

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I followed your link in the MSE thread (and did searches on that site) and did a couple Google searches, for math ed conferences and and CS ed conferences. Didn't find a perfect specialty conference fit.

There are some mega conferences in math ed and CS ed. Think your chances are better with the CS ed ones. Look bigger and better funded. They have a broad range of topics (probably breakout sessions) and will find you a home in one of them.

You can also look at the list and pick the area nearest to you. (Your first critical thinking test.) It really doesn't matter that you are restricting the range to practicing engineers or to proof methods. If anything, having a smaller scope might enable some better work from you, and the conference won't mind either...they end up with all sorts of snips and snails.

https://www.sigcse.org/

https://waset.org/computer-science-education-conference-in-april-2023-in-paris

(there are more on the Google search for computer science education conference)

Note, that CS as a field, really emphasizes conferences as opposed to journals for papers. (Do they have more money to travel? I don't get it.) But this is not the case in hard sciences, which I know, or (I suspect) in mathematics. So if you just want to do some research and write a paper and send it to a journal (lots of them in math or CS ed), nothing stopping you. I think having done the work, you'd also be more informed in general about the field and likely to stumble onto a good conference if you like to travel and drink beer (I mean have scholarly conversations) with your peers.

Note that I don't think you have to solve all the broader issues, great that you have a restricted scope. But I think you should be somewhat sensitive and aware of some of the broader issues behind your topic. E.g. software engineers aren't as good at math, as a group, as BS math students on proofy (research) tracks. This is probably the second biggest hurdle. Also given all they need to know (in CS, letalone in math), doing proofs may have limited utility for them...I suspect this is the biggest hurdle. Of course there may be other issues (not having tailored coursework, working for a living versus being in school).

But, I advise to read this article, for some situational awareness:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42979-021-00461-7

See in particular the discussion of refs 37-39 and those papers themselves. Even if you have a strong bias that those darned CS people need to know proofs, it would be good for you to consider the counterarguments thoughtfully.

P.s. Don't take my comments on scholarly beer drinking the wrong way. Think it's great. Also, honestly, it's doubtful you find a wonderful Gordon conference style thing with focus on your topic...but then I actually think you'd benefit also from considering tangential topics. (Just my Bayesian assessment based on how you described your topic, doesn't seem like you are much advanced in researching and writing about it yet.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your suggestions. The bad news: seems like a new/undertapped research area. The good news: seems like a new/undertapped research area! (BTW, I didn't downvote you - perhaps they were reacting to some of the wording.) $\endgroup$
    – Russ
    Mar 15 at 15:56

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