Questions tagged [reference-request]

A reference request is a request to be provided with (links to) documentation, official papers, and specs related to one or more specific algorithms or mathematical procedures, to provide a trusted base for what's being said or written.

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35
votes
5answers
2k views

Effects of early study of advanced books

Context: There was recently a question on Math.SE: Inferior to Other Younger and Brighter Kids which starts as follows: I'm a high school student (Junior/Grade 11) and I'm currently studying ...
31
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26answers
2k views

What are some great books for exploring mathematics? (not kids' books and not textbooks)

People often think of math as facts and procedure - dry stuff. But it is so much more, even at basic levels. What books about mathematics have you been inspired by? There are some real treasures out ...
27
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7answers
12k views

What are the comparative advantages of open-book versus closed-book exams?

I would like to know the advantages and disadvantages of open-book exams as compared to closed-book exams, particularly in standard undergraduate courses like calculus or linear algebra. My practice ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Students who know high-level math before going to college

There is a high school in the city I live in which has some high-level math courses in their curriculum. It's a special math class mentored by some university lecturers, and the children basically do ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

The impact of dyslexia on learning mathematics, and available resources

I have always loved the beauty of mathematics and physics. However I'm severely dyslexic and find it hard to keep numbers in my head, any more than 4 numbers at a time and they melt together and lose ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Books about elementary mathematics written like a good undergraduate textbook

I've never seen any really good expositions of elementary mathematics (middle school or earlier). A good college-level textbook, written for people with an interest in mathematics, reads like a novel ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

When should we first teach variables in school math? And how?

From a pedagogical point of view, when is the "right" moment to introduce letters and variables to school children? Let's say we taught arithmetic, the four operations, did computation exercises, or ...
22
votes
3answers
371 views

Mathematic reasoning in nonEnglish/non Western languages

I am teaching in an Eastern Asian environment (precisely, teaching Mathematics using English in Korea, with Asian students) and I figured out that my reasoning is a lot based on my language ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Should we “program” calculus students, like the physicists seem to want us to?

If it is true that we first learn formalism...how to do things that we don't understand, should we regard teaching students mathematics as programming dumb machines with formal rules (to the greatest ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Gender and groupwork

What does current evidence suggest: doing group work in mixed/balanced gender groups or doing group work in single gender groups? Setting College level mathematics/science course Group size ...
21
votes
3answers
954 views

Which universities teach true infinitesimal calculus?

My colleague and I are currently teaching "true infinitesimal calculus" (TIC), in the sense of calculus with infinitesimals, to a class of about 120 freshmen at our university, based on the book by ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

Good examples of functions defined as definite integrals of elementary functions?

I am writing some Calculus content, and I would like a "big list" of useful functions which are defined by definite integrals, but are not elementary functions. Two examples of such functions are $$ ...
19
votes
6answers
579 views

Becoming a better instructor: where to start?

I just finished a PhD in math at a top department, but not one that placed much emphasis on graduate student teaching. Grad students here teach only as TAs, and the training is minimal. I got great ...
19
votes
2answers
757 views

Can students tell the difference between the “definition if” and the “theorem if”?

The word "if" is used in two meanings in mathematics: Definition. A topological space is compact if every open cover has a finite subcover. Theorem. A topological space is compact if it is ...
19
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5answers
433 views

Any support for mathematical “learning types?”

Back when I was an undergrad calculus TA, I participated in a general TA training class. We were taught to be mindful of different "learning types," such as visual learners, audio learners, and ...
19
votes
2answers
420 views

Separating the roles of “teacher” and “assessor”

Teachers at the university level (at least what I've seen in the US) are responsible for both teaching students the material for a course, and assessing the students' understanding of the course ...
18
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1answer
396 views

The “water triangle” proportional reasoning task

(I previously asked this at The Mathematics Teaching Community, but I'm hoping it would attract further answers here.) The Wikipedia page on proportional reasoning mentions a "water triangle" task. ...
18
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3answers
330 views

Critiquing Proof Style During Class

I would like to spend a day with my students analyzing mathematical writing. One way I might accomplish this is to offer multiple proofs (some good, some poor) of the same simple statement and ask ...
16
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5answers
722 views

Discovery-based and inquiry-based learning

In general, I think (and I am told by students) that I am good as a tutor. However, I would like to become more rigorously familiar with the discovery-based and inquiry-based learning applied to ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

A study comparing effects of calculator usage on later math skills?

Each year my university tries to decide whether or not it will have calculator and CAS based introductory math courses (the calculus sequence, linear algebra, and ODE) or not. Other than some hearsay ...
16
votes
2answers
271 views

Literature on learning from errors in mathematics

In teaching undergraduate mathematics, I implemented some strategies to encourage the students to look at errors they made or at "typical errors" in the current topic. One attempt was to compile a ...
16
votes
1answer
398 views

Research supporting “recipe-style” calculus in senior high school?

Anecdotally, I've heard it said that in (Australian) grades 11 and 12 calculus needs to be taught in a procedural way involving merely recipes for doing calculus, rather than teaching for ...
16
votes
3answers
394 views

Evidence for or against the claim that some students are “algebra people” and others are “geometry people”

Where I live and work, there is a widely-accepted and often-repeated claim that there are two kinds of students: "algebra people" and "geometry people". This claim sometimes gets expressed in ...
16
votes
1answer
290 views

How to assign grades to proofs: what do(es) the literature/experts suggest?

I am teaching an introductory course on proofs in mathematics in a mid-size American public university, and trying to develop some kind of consistent grading meta-scheme for grading proofs. I am ...
15
votes
4answers
492 views

Thought experiment: Utopian college-level math curriculum without external constraints

An old favourite topic of mine to daydream about on pleasant afternoons is this: If you could completely redesign the university-level mathematics curriculum from the ground up to be as good as it ...
15
votes
2answers
365 views

Comparison of different concepts of integral

As the following math stack exchange question (and answers) show: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/703212/is-dxdy-really-a-multiplication-of-dx-and-dy There are a lot of different ways to ...
15
votes
1answer
183 views

Reference request for studies on gender in math examples, homework problems, or math exams

I am looking for a study or reference on gender in math problems given in mathematics. In math texts or even on math exams, if there is a word problem involving people, these people or "characters" ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

The general and particular in the psychology of mathematics education

Many students I have spoken with who are drawn to becoming mathematics teachers chose their mathematics major because they enjoyed doing routine exercises in high school. The comfort of a definite and ...
15
votes
2answers
397 views

Logic in symbols or words

Making precise logical statements is an important part of teaching and learning mathematics. There are many ways to write such statements, and let me divide them into two main types1: writing in ...
15
votes
1answer
634 views

The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and Vegetables

When I was an undergraduate, someone presented to me a proof of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus using entirely vegetables. I found this incredibly fun at the time, but I can't remember who ...
14
votes
3answers
395 views

Calculation versus writing in mathematics

Writing mathematics is an important activity of the mathematician. In trying to write one's mathematics, one finds ways to balance intuition and rigor and to efficiently communicate concepts and ideas ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Soft questions for 8 - 12 year olds

I am concluding my second year in mathematics at the university of Milan. I also happen to be an educator for 8 - 12 year old children (as a Scout). Recently I have tried to fill some dead time by ...
14
votes
4answers
306 views

Why is polynomial factorization over the integers part of secondary school curricula?

By "polynomial factorization over the integers", I mean problems and solutions like the following: Problem: Find a factorization into irreducible polynomials for $24x^2 +x - 10$ and ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Teaching a very enthusiastic and bright 5 year old

I was asked to give extra lessons to a 5 year old boy who loves math (he says he likes 3 sports: football, swimming and math). However, I have never tought at this age and I am unfamiliar with the ...
14
votes
1answer
603 views

Is there any evidence about the effectiveness of “table proofs” in pre-college mathematics education?

I remember when I took geometry in high school, like most students it's where I was formally introduced to proofs. However, the way we went about them was strange, it really felt like symbol ...
14
votes
3answers
219 views

Resources for teaching Riemann integration in higher dimensions and on submanifolds, with view toward Stokes' theorem?

Question I am looking for suggestions of good resources (textbooks or lecture notes preferably) for teaching Riemann integration in $\mathbb{R}^d$ with $d\geq 2$ and also for Riemann integration ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

What experimental studies have been done on the Kumon method of teaching and learning mathematics?

My dissertation involved, among other things, the East Asian way of teaching and learning mathematics. (See, for example, Leung (2001).) I was particularly interested in the Kumon method. Although I ...
14
votes
3answers
249 views

How to measure the understandability of a proof?

Is there a way to measure the understandability of a proof? From a search in the internet I have only found methods for measuring the understandability of software or tests for measuring the ...
14
votes
1answer
266 views

Spiral learning in real analysis

Has there been any attempts at developing a curriculum for teaching analysis (here let us be narrow and say real analysis in the sense of rigorous integral and differential calculus) in a multipass, ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

What are some fun/nonstandard examples of arithmetic/geometric series?

I am teaching those topics (arithmetic/geometric series) just now, and want some not so standard (fun) examples, which can be used essentially at high school/beginning calculus level. I'm ...
13
votes
7answers
698 views

Non-Mathematical Examples of Orders

Different properties of different types of orders including partial, total, scattered and well-orders are a part of any graduate/undergraduate set theory course. I am looking for interesting "non-...
13
votes
3answers
761 views

Does the “how old is the shepherd” phenomenon occur for more relatable word problems?

A friend of mine just showed me this article about the "how old is the shepherd" problem: Link Of course, I'm shocked by the finding that 75 percent of kids give an answer other than "there isn't ...
13
votes
5answers
394 views

Hands on activities for a college history of mathematics course

I will be teaching a course in history of mathematics to juniors/seniors who are math and math education majors, many future school teachers. It should include highlights from antiquity to early 19-th ...
13
votes
3answers
621 views

Recommendations for inquiry based/aided discovery textbooks

I've recently dipped my toes into the world of number theory; and I've bought a book that to me is quite unconventional: R. P. Burn, A Pathway into Number Theory. I've yet to put the book through its ...
13
votes
4answers
280 views

Pedagogical advice/articles for graduate student teaching assistants

Are there any good pedagogical resources or articles that you would recommend to math graduate student teaching assistants (TAs)? Is there any sweeping advice that you would give a TA to improve their ...
13
votes
3answers
217 views

Resource request: incorrect “proofs” for undergrads to correct/critique

I am teaching an intro to proof course for undergraduate math majors at a medium-sized american research university. I would like to provide my students with some incorrect proofs for the purpose of ...
13
votes
2answers
630 views

How does a reliance on calculators affect student performance?

Overheard in the Math Office while another Professor was helping a student with Statistics: Always use a calculator when doing decimal arithmetic because you'll eventually make a mistake if you do ...
13
votes
2answers
250 views

“Always/Sometimes/Never” vs. “True/False” questions for mathematical reasoning

Has anyone performed a study on the differences between student interpretations of these words? Background: When I taught high school geometry and later undergraduate precalculus, I noticed that ...
13
votes
3answers
462 views

Immersive attention when learning mathematics

In Jennifer Roberts' article The Power of Patience: Teaching students the value of deceleration and immersive attention she talks about intentionally slowing down to contemplate deeply a work of art. ...
13
votes
0answers
129 views

Research on the use of outlined / structured proofs in instruction

Has there been any research into comparing the effectiveness of using "structured proofs" or "outlined proofs" in higher level mathematics education, compared to traditional "prose" proofs? For the ...