Questions tagged [undergraduate-education]

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

32 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
15
votes
0answers
798 views

Is metacognition ever bad?

Metacognition seems pretty universally positive. I'm wary of viewing it as such. Aside from the obvious criticisms like "you can't learn to ride a bicycle by thinking about and writing a 200 page ...
10
votes
0answers
255 views

Use of Lockhart's *Measurement* in a course?

I greatly admire Paul Lockhart's Measurement (Harvard Press). Many of you know him through A Mathematician's Lament. One review of Measurement said, “Here Lockhart offers the positive side of the ...
9
votes
0answers
101 views

Studies into the effects of having fewer classes per term

Have there been any studies done into the effect of having fewer classes per term on a student's comprehension of their mathematics course material? Also are there any examples of schools that have ...
9
votes
0answers
103 views

Literature on student understanding of assumptions

In a discussion with a physics lecturer he mentioned that one major area where students fail is understanding assumptions - for example, if we are interested in two objects hitting each other and then ...
8
votes
0answers
81 views

tutorial active learning

This is a question I asked on [Academia.se]. It did not get an answer, so I am re-posting it here. In the country where I live, university students studying mathematics usually attend lectures, ...
8
votes
0answers
274 views

The importance of note taking in mathematics

I'm asking this question right now due to the fact that a lower back problem has made it very difficult for me to do much but lie down for large sections of the day when it flares up, and the fact ...
8
votes
0answers
396 views

Can Compare and Contrast be used in Mathematics Teaching and Research?

I happen to be a fan of the "theme and variations" approach to problem solving. In certain cases, a certain question had drawn enough to attention to generate dozens of solutions. Ways to Prove the ...
8
votes
0answers
107 views

3-D printing of formulas encoded in LaTex for the visually impaired?

There is software available on the Net for 3-D printing of math expressions encoded in LaTex. What such technology is available off-the-shelf for the visually impaired to learn mathematics? And, ...
8
votes
0answers
187 views

Effective use of Maple T.A

I am considering using Maple T.A. as a tool for formative assessment (and possibly at some stage, summative assessment) for courses such as calculus and linear algebra. What are your experiences and ...
7
votes
0answers
227 views

Importance of “Calculus->Analysis Transition Books”?

E.S.E. advisers, I am a college sophomore with a major in mathematics and an aspiring mathematician in the fields of computation theory and cryptography. I am always curious about the importance of "...
6
votes
0answers
169 views

Mathematical undergraduate education in Syria

I'd like to learn some things about undergraduate mathematical education in Syria EDIT: In particular I'm interested in students 15-16 years old. What are the main differences from the European ...
6
votes
0answers
70 views

Long-form, multi-step, skills-integrating applied mathematics problems in calculus I, II, III

When recently teaching Calculus II to college students, I instructed my students to read and be ready to work through the first 8 or so questions of James Walsh's climate modeling differential ...
6
votes
0answers
144 views

Learning math historically

What is meant by learning math historically (NOT learning math history only, but learning math with a historical development perspective)? I've seen some sources that to learn a math topic X, you need ...
6
votes
0answers
233 views

Links between mathematical folklore and educational success

I would like to ask if, in the research field of mathematical education, some work has been done to investigate the relationship between 1) and 2): 1) mathematical education and student motivation ...
5
votes
0answers
164 views

Catalog of undergraduate's misconceptions / problems while proving

Selden & Selden (2011) listed 41 difficulties their students had in an experimental proving course into 9 categories. Unfortunately I haven't found similar work. Thus, my question is: Is there ...
5
votes
0answers
76 views

the role of context in mathematical discussions of units and measurement in web design

Knowing that pedagogy for each age group is different, I will say right off the bat I am talking about working adults. I am noticing more and more, that despite people's phobias about math, they are ...
5
votes
0answers
160 views

Undergraduate maths research

I am looking for: an undergraduate research program in mathematics/theoretical physics offered online (e.g. via skype or something) given by a good institution which can be followed while attending ...
4
votes
0answers
148 views

Intuition: 5 regular polyhedra, 6 regular 4-polytopes, and then 3 regular d-polytopes

I have struggled to offer an intuitive explanation (to U.S. college students) why the number of regular polytopes in dimension $d$ is: $d=2$, number: $\infty$. $d=3$, number: $5$, the five Platonic ...
4
votes
0answers
175 views

How to promote more elegant and beautiful proofs by students?

Following the premise that mathematics is an art as well as a science, I want to encourage students to produce not only correct proofs but also to try to find a particular beautiful/elegant proof. ...
4
votes
0answers
220 views

Seeking Your Recommendation on Problem-Solving Books (preparing for Putnam)

E.S.E advisers, I am a college sophomore in US with a major in mathematics and an aspiring mathematician in the computation theory and cryptography. I apologize for this sudden interruption but I ...
3
votes
0answers
81 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

Formal linear combinations: motivating examples

I want to introduce formal linear combinations in an upper-level undergraduate combinatorics class. By this I mean expressions like $7 \operatorname{cat} + 5 \operatorname{dog} - \sqrt{2} \...
3
votes
0answers
163 views

Succinct description of situations where naively obvious is correct, but for far more complicated reasons?

What is the name for a situation where the obvious thing turns out to be true, but the reasoning is more complicated? In abstract algebra we can say the rational numbers - the fractions, $\mathbb{Q}...
3
votes
0answers
97 views

How to explain concepts of limit and continuity to non-mathematical students

How to explain fundamental concepts of limits and continuity to a non-mathematical background student? I am a PhD student in Mathematics working in Differential Geometry. As a part of my teaching ...
3
votes
0answers
150 views

What is the point of using half range Fourier series for standard functions?

If we have a standard function, like $f(x) = x$ or $g(x) = x^2$, defined between $0$ and $\pi$, then why should we be interested in extending this function to give a Fourier series that resembles this ...
2
votes
0answers
102 views

Tactile Learning Activities in Mathematics

Julie Barnes, Jessica M. Libertini. Tactile Learning Activities in Mathematics: A Recipe Book for the Undergraduate Classroom. 2018. MAA Press. AMS Bookstore link. Can anyone comment / review ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Is the annual system still in vogue anywhere in Europe, North America, Australia, or East Asia? And what about the 2-year B.A. / B.Sc. degree?

In Pakistan, we have until now had 2-year B.A./B.Sc. and 2-year M.A./M.Sc. university degrees after our 12th grade F.A./F.Sc. qualifications. Thus the former was a 14-year academic qualification, ...
2
votes
0answers
195 views

Introduction of the power set as a collection of *labels* or *names* for subsets

The way that naïve set theory is usually presented in undergraduate education is via very concrete examples of sets, often involving non-mathematical elements. When power sets are treated, having a ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

Comprehensive Assessment Test for Undergraduate Math Program

My department uses the Major Field Assessment Test in Math (I think we refer to it as the "MFT") and that is great for its purpose. However, I am currently teaching a capstone course where we spend ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

Mathematics after Rube Goldberg (recommendation) - Question for orientation

There are many fields in mathematics, in which one wants to optimize a process, for example finding the shortest way in a graph etc. However I got curious and wondered, if there are also books or ...
0
votes
0answers
123 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
123 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 ...