Questions tagged [undergraduate-education]

For questions about teaching students at the undergraduate (university) level.

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102 views

Undergraduate Interview Maths Questions [closed]

I am trying to compile a document of preparation questions to use in mock interviews with students applying to study Maths at top UK Universities. I have many questions already, but it is always ...
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1answer
96 views

Teaching Approach at primary, middle and higher level

I would like to have a comparison or a big picture of how and why the approach for teaching math varies from primary (or pre primary) to middle to higher classes. I understand at every level one ...
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4answers
2k views

What will my academic path look like after testing out of high school math classes?

I am currently a 15-year-old in the 9th grade, and I am studying to test out all of my high school math classes, which is something I didn't realize I could do in the 8th grade and would have if I had....
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4answers
4k views

(How) Do American undergraduate math programs teach complex numbers?

What kind of exposure to complex numbers can you expect in mathematics majors at American colleges? I teach at a very large public university. It occurred to me that it is possible to graduate in ...
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1answer
69 views

Ideas and/or references for Projects for a Business Calculus course

I have undertaken the teaching a Business Calculus course for this semester (spring II). The various assesments for the students, include quizzes/hw/midterms/final exams, adjusted with suitable ...
6
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4answers
195 views

Courses equivalent to College Algebra in other countries?

In USA, there is a course called College Algebra and a course description may look like the following: This course provides students an opportunity to gain algebraic knowledge needed in ...
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2answers
159 views

Has a List of Fundamental Mathematical Skills been compiled?

... in the literature. I an wondering is there a (considered) list of "fundamental mathematical skills". I am not sure can I give a solid definition of "fundamental mathematical skill". What I mean ...
5
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2answers
556 views

Textbooks for an independent study in point-set topology

I am planning to sign up for an undergraduate "course" in point-set topology next semester. It is really an "independent study" in that this course will not have any lectures. It will just have two ...
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2answers
103 views

Multiple extra credit questions in a homework set

Extra credit questions sometimes motivate students to study more. Occasionally I find several valuable questions which are all good as extra credit question choices but I have to limit the number of ...
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0answers
75 views

Ressources for improving computational skills at the high school/university transition

Teaching first year undergraduates, I've noticed that what gives them the most trouble is simple computations like factoring, expanding, handling fractions, powers, especially when variables and other ...
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2answers
391 views

Mathematics minor requirements

My institution (in USA) is planning to introduce a minor in mathematics and here are the proposed course requirements: Calculus I Calculus II Calculus III or Differential Equations Any two of the ...
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11answers
4k views

Ideas for explaining 4D and higher dimensions

I introduced the hypercube (to undergraduate students in the U.S.) in the context of generalizations of the Platonic solids, explained its structure, showed it rotating. I mentioned Alicia Stott, who ...
24
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9answers
3k views

What is the best way to intuitively explain the relationship between the derivative and the integral?

This is my first post so bear with me, but something I've been thinking about lately is: Why didn't I ever question the relationship between the derivative and the integral when I was taking calculus? ...
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3answers
869 views

How much does it cost to develop an online course?

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, and other local problems, we are seeing the need of developing most of our teaching online. Just "do a class like always" (but with no blackboard) via some network ...
7
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1answer
176 views

How to conduct online testing for Calculus?

Due to COVID-19, I have been planning to transition to online teaching (which, of course, includes online testing as well). The LMS that we use is Blackboard which is integrated with Proctorio. ...
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2answers
105 views

Topics for undergraduate seminar for mathematics educators

There are some general questions about potential topics for undergraduate seminars: topics for an undergraduate Math seminar Undergraduate Math Seminar topic I am looking for topics for a 15-hour ...
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0answers
142 views

Tablet whiteboard app w e-pencil

(I've generalized the original question as @BrendanW.Sullivan suggests.) I would appreciate recommendations for a whiteboard app for a tablet using an e-pencil. For me: an iPad, using an Apple pencil....
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17answers
8k views

How shall we teach math online?

Many universities, including mine, are now requiring we teach our courses online because corona. How shall we do this? Let’s brainstorm here. Some challenges: My school provides limited online ...
6
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4answers
196 views

About the effectiveness of self-studying maths (compared with other subjects)

An important feature of mathematics is that it is relatively easy (compare to many other subjects) to know whether or not one's understanding is correct. There are plenty of ways to check: one can ...
16
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4answers
293 views

Should we stop teaching “interchange $x$ and $y$” when finding the inverse function?

In one textbook I use for College Algebra, the author teaches that one should interchange $x$ and $y$ when looking for inverse functions. For example, the inverse function of $$y=2x+2$$ is $$y=0.5x-1.$...
6
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1answer
92 views

Data on textbook adoptions in universities (math/science)

Does anybody know if there is a website/database/... on textbooks adoption in the US or some other country? (math/science textbooks) It would be interesting to see which textbooks are (and have been) ...
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3answers
182 views

Evaluating textbooks in math and physics

I’m currently interested in textbooks, especially the ones in math and physics that are used at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels and, given the experience of the people on this ...
7
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1answer
179 views

Let P be a polygon

I've encountered the following misunderstanding. I pose a question (to undergraduates in the U.S.), for example: Let $P$ be a polygon of $n$ vertices. Is it true that every triangulation of $P$ ...
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1answer
111 views

Teaching Quantifiers Before Logical Connectives

In this short question, I would like to ask whether it is possibly good to teach quantifier before logical connectives in a logic introduction lecture? I know there is a relationship between them but ...
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1answer
110 views

Making epsilon-delta proofs not just precalculus

In trying to find lecture-length videos of epsilon-delta proofs, I've found that almost all of them just start with the definition and then work through the algebra to get the answer. In effect, it ...
19
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1answer
257 views

Taxonomy of bad proofs

I am interested in finding examples of poorly written proofs that exemplify the types of mistakes made by undergraduate students in their first year or two of writing proofs. I am interested both in ...
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2answers
335 views

Fear of 3-dimensions

Contrasting 2D and 3D in my field (Discrete & Computational Geometry1) is essential. For example, every 2D polygon can be triangulated (with vertex-to-vertex diagonals), but not every 3D ...
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6answers
2k views

Allowing nonstandard mathematical language and/or notation

How important is enforcing standard mathematical language and/or notation? Today, I was questioned by a writing instructor as to how vital it is to correct students when they explain something using ...
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4answers
233 views

What math courses should I take in order to become a secondary math educator?

Seeing as this is the math educator site, perhaps someone can help me out: I am looking to become a math teacher, but I am having a hard time figuring out which math courses I need to be taking. ...
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7answers
2k views

Teaching Calculus I to engineers

I am in a research project where one of our jobs is improving the first year university experience for our students. One of the topics we are looking into is changing the way we teach our introductory ...
1
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1answer
144 views

Math undergrad courses [closed]

Awhile back I was very weak with my trigonometry so I came to this site asking for help, and it turned out the few answers I got made a huge difference. I excelled at the trigonometry section in my ...
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4answers
203 views

How to read chained equalities out loud?

I find that my community-college students are usually very hazy on the status and meaning of chained equality statements (or other relational statements). This seems like a really critical element of ...
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0answers
93 views

How to teach year 3 undergraduate courses to high school students?

I see on the webpage of a high school math summer program, SuMac, that they will cover some algebraic topology in a period of several weeks. And they covered every aspect of this subject, including ...
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3answers
458 views

Doing research projects when one's knowledge is limited: is it preferable?

In some universities, high schools, and summer programs, students are required to do their own research project in maths and write their own essays/research papers. At the same time, however, many ...
5
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2answers
256 views

Redesigning college math courses and curriculum to be self-paced

I imagine there must exist a fair amount of literature and discussion about the idea of somehow redesigning college math courses, and the entire college math curriculum, to be self-paced. Question: ...
3
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1answer
149 views

Why teaching undergraduate-level mathematics is so complicated? [closed]

Many of my professors are experts in their field, but they are just not able to teach. I mean: most of the times they are confusing, don't follow a logic sequence in their speech or keep a superior ...
3
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2answers
313 views

How to teach linear programming and reductions?

Do you know any textbook with problems+solutions to support teaching of linear programming and reductions, and in particular, cover standard and slack forms, formulation of problems as linear programs,...
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7answers
5k views

Learn university maths or train for high school competitions: which is better?

I sometimes see people arguing against concentrating too many resources in high school maths competition (such as IMO) training. Their reasons they give are usually the following: Competitions are a ...
5
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1answer
129 views

Developing abductive (problem-solving) skills

I am looking for long-term (over the course of many semesters) strategies, including specific types of in-class activities, for developing the abilities of students to come up with intermediate steps ...
4
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2answers
223 views

How much math would a non-STEM major have studied in 1950?

I've spoken to several people who attended US universities in the decades before I was born, and I was somewhat surprised to find that it seemed to be common (based on the anecdotes I received) for ...
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11answers
4k views

Beautiful planar geometry theorems not encountered in high school

I would like to impress college students (undergraduates in the U.S.) that there is more to planar geometry beyond what they learned in high school. I would like to show them beautiful theorems they ...
3
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5answers
341 views

Are degrees of polynomials illogically defined in elementary algebra, intermediate algebra and college algebra courses?

In most of books on elementary algebra, intermediate algebra and college algebra, the degree of the non-zero polynomial $$f(x)=a_nx^n+\cdots a_1x+a_0$$ with $a_n\neq 0$ is defined to be $n$. But I ...
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1answer
60 views

Where can I find the partial order relation of prerequisites of undergraduate courses in the United States?

Let $A$ be the set of all undergraduate mathematical courses in the US and define a binary relation $\leq$ on $A$ such that for elements $a,b\in A$ (that is, $a$, $b$ are undergraduate mathematical ...
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2answers
157 views

Which textbooks on College Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-calculus, Calculus, Linear Algebra, ODE are written by world-class mathematicians?

For example, Trigonometry was written by Wolf-Prize winner Israel Gelfand, one of the top mathematicians in the 20th century. I am wondering if other world-class mathematicians have written textbooks ...
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8answers
1k views

How do you attract more math majors at a liberal arts college math department?

It seems to me that we all might benefit from an answer to this question, since math departments must defend their performance within their institutions. I imagine there will be standard answers like:...
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3answers
2k views

Take-Home Examination on Ordinary Differential Equations?

I am planning to give my students a take-home examination on ODE. The main topic that I would like to cover is Linear Differential Equations of Order Greater than One. For example, I will give my ...
3
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0answers
86 views

The propagation of the wave equation in even versus odd dimension

I am about to teach a second year undergraduate class on applied differential equation (first time) and, while I won't have time to go into the details, I wanted to show my students the difference ...
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8answers
2k views

How can I learn to write better questions to test for conceptual understanding?

I'm worried that I'm bad at realizing when a question I've written requires little or no conceptual understanding to answer. Like, when I'm writing a question for a homework assignment or exam, I'll ...
6
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2answers
151 views

Why is there an emphasis on analysis courses in undergrad progams?

In undergraduate maths study, there are three main areas: analysis, algebra, and geometry. (There are of course other small topics as well, but they don't have to be learnt by every student.) I have ...
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1answer
136 views

How helpful are university subject rankings when choosing a place to study math?

There are many university ranking consultancies trying to compare one leading maths department with another and to conclude which one is better. Although this doesn't seem to be a very reasonable ...

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