Welcome to the MAA's Professional Enhancement Program

Innovations in the Teaching and Learning of Differential Equations -
This workshop has been cancelled.

Darryl Yong and Ami Radunskaya
June 3 – 7, 2013
Claremont, California
Registration Fee: $275 per person/$450 for a team of two ($350 and $600 respectively for registrations received after April 22, 2013)

Software and modeling have changed the teaching and learning of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). How can we encourage these innovations to be deployed on a much larger scale, and what innovations are coming to the field? The morning sessions for this workshop will consist of presentations and discussions on current topics in ODEs: current software tools, best practices for incorporating modeling, latest research on teaching, and learning as it relates to ODEs. In the afternoon, participants will share with each other and work on products, such as a new modeling project involving an application of ODEs, new software tools to help students learn ODEs, a design of a new course involving ODEs, best practices on specific aspects of the teaching and learning of ODEs, or an article to be submitted to a journal for publication.

This workshop seeks to foster the growth of a network of educators who are interested in teaching and learning ODEs. Pairs of faculty, who have a history of collaborating on teaching or research, are encouraged to apply.

Primary funding is provided by NST DUE-0717490. Travel support is available.

Authoring Effective Homework Problems with WeBWorK - Registration is closed. The workshop is full.

Davide Cervone, Gavin LaRose, Paul Pearson, and John Travis
June 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2013

Registration Fee: $150 ($225 for registrations received after April 22, 2013)

WeBWorK is an open source, web-based homework delivery system designed to make homework more effective and efficient for students of mathematics and the sciences. It has been used for over 15 years by hundreds of professors and in a wide variety of instructional environments. Participants in this PREP workshop will develop the technical skills necessary to identify, edit and create high-quality WeBWorK problems. These skills will be cultivated through a series of four interactive web conferences and concurrent online group work. Participants will be challenged to formulate problems so that they not only validate skills but also foster learning. Design tips for enhancing problem presentation will be proposed. An additional preparatory web conference will be scheduled to provide an overview of the WeBWorK interface for participants with no prior experience. Participants will become active in the greater WeBWorK community and make their own contributions to the WeBWork Open Problem Library.

Partial funding is provided by NSF DUE-0920341. 

Mathematics and Law - 
This workshop has been cancelled.

Jeff Suzuki and Lauren Rose
June 9 – 14, 2013
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after April 28, 2013)

Participants will learn mathematical applications in criminal, civil, and constitutional law; develop curriculum for use in classes including liberal arts mathematics, mathematics for teachers, probability, statistics, and advanced electives for majors; and initiate research projects for faculty and undergraduates on legal applications of mathematics. Before the workshop, participants will study background material, including legal briefs and mathematical research notes; they will also be asked to identify student, faculty, and departmental interests at their home institutions. The on-site component will use a combination of lectures, discussions, and group projects to familiarize faculty with how mathematics is applied to legal situations and to prepare goals for the coming year. Participants will self-select into two strands. One strand will focus on integrating legal applications of mathematics into the curriculum, and one will focus on research. No prior knowledge of the topic is required, though participants should be familiar with mathematical probability and statistics.  

Implementing Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) Activities for Calculus I - 
Registration is closed.

Catherine Bénéteau, Zdenka Guadarrama, Jill E. Guerra, and Laurie Lenz
June 10 – 13, 2013
Arlington, Virginia
Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after April 29, 2013)

In this workshop we will introduce faculty to the POGIL instructional method, activity authoring techniques, and to the activities recently developed by the workshop leaders for Calculus I. Participants will prepare for the workshop by reading a selection of articles, choosing a topic for an activity they will draft during the workshop, and constructing learning goals for this activity. By the end of the workshop, participants will be trained in both POGIL facilitation and activity writing strategies. They will be able to run a POGIL Calculus I class using the newly developed materials (which they will receive during the workshop), and to begin writing their own POGIL materials for other courses. Participants will discuss their experiences via an online discussion board during fall 2013, and will have the opportunity to share their results at the 2014 Joint Meetings. They will also become members of the extensive interdisciplinary network of POGIL practitioners.

"Big Data" and Data Mining for Mathematicians - Registration is closed. The workshop is full.

Dick De Veaux and Bernhard Klingenberg
June 17-19, 2013
Williamstown, Massachusetts

Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after May 6, 2013)

This workshop will give mathematics educators experience solving real "big data" problems in science, industry and government. Participants will learn the methodology and algorithms used by statisticians to analyze large data sets. They will learn the models most commonly used, how to implement them and how to deal with the practical data issues such as data typing, missing data and data quality. Most of the techniques, which are often grouped under the rubric of "data mining," are based on methods (e.g., regression) introduced in elementary statistics courses and will seem familiar and intuitive, even to those with limited statistics experience other than teaching the first course. Participants will learn the techniques interactively, performing and discussing the analysis with each other after learning each method. For the final component, they will work in groups on projects and report on their findings.

Inquiry-Based Learning 
Registration is closed. The workshop is full.

Stan Yoshinobu, Matthew Jones, and Carol Schumacher
June 24 – 27, 2013
San Luis Obispo, California
Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after May 13, 2013)

Mathematics departments across the country face the challenge of incorporating student-centered, inquiry-based teaching methods in college classrooms. This workshop focuses on the skills and practices necessary to implement IBL methods in college-level mathematics courses, and is designed for participants who may or may not have had previous experiences with IBL techniques. The workshop will introduce participants to IBL methods of instruction, and will include participatory discussions of videos of actual IBL classes, discussions of teaching and learning issues in collegiate mathematics, the nuts and bolts of implementing IBL, and in-depth sessions with experienced IBL instructors examining the design of course materials. Participants will receive sample syllabi, IBL course materials, and other supporting materials. A follow-up mentoring program will be provided to support instructors through the initial year of IBL implementation. Participants will be strongly encouraged to select a target course as a focus for the course development sessions.

Primary funding is provided by NSF DUE-1225833. A limited number of travel stipends are available for assistant professors, postdocs, and graduate students.


Teaching the Process of Statistical Investigations with a Randomization-Based Curriculum - 
Registration is closed.

Allan Rossman, Beth Chance, and Nathan Tintle
June 24 – 28, 2013
Sioux Center, Iowa
Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after May 13, 2013)

This workshop is intended for faculty members who have experience with teaching introductory statistics. The goal of this workshop is to help participants to revise their introductory statistics course in two ways:

  • Using randomization-based methods, as opposed to methods based on the normal distribution, to introduce concepts of statistical inference, and
  • Emphasizing the overarching process of conducting statistical investigations, from formulating a question and collecting data through exploring data and drawing inferences to communicating results, throughout the course.
The workshop will provide direct experience with hands-on activities designed to introduce students to fundamental concepts of inference using randomization-based methods. Workshop participants will receive a preliminary edition of a textbook titled Introduction to Statistical Investigations. The learning activities involve using freely available applets to explore concepts and analyze real data from genuine research studies. Presenters will also offer implementation and assessment suggestions during these activity-based sessions and discussion sessions.

Building Model Courses for Online Homework with WeBWorK

Jason Aubrey, Anneke Bart, Djun Kim, and John Travis
July 1, 8, and 10 – 13, 2013
Online and Washington, District of Columbia
Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after May 20, 2013)

WeBWorK is a web application that makes homework more effective and efficient for students of mathematics and the sciences. Instructors new to WeBWorK often ask for a ready-to-go collection of assignments to help them quickly implement online homework in their courses. Based on the skills and interests of the participants, this workshop will focus on developing assignments for two or three model courses. During two preparatory web-conferences, participants will analyze existing models, identify learning objectives, and develop a problem syllabus for each new model. During the intensive component, participants will work collaboratively on problem sets for these courses and develop skills for selecting, editing and authoring better problems so that these models can be tested by participants and others. To participate, colleagues must have sufficient programming/online homework background--for instance, by successfully completing the PREP 2013 online workshop "Authoring Effective Homework Problem WithWeBWorK"-- or have significant pedagogical skills.

Partial funding is provided by NSF DUE-0920341.

Modeling: Early and Often in Undergraduate Calculus

Daniel Kaplan, Randall Pruim, Eric Marland, Nicholas Horton, and Karl-Dieter Crisman
July 8 – 12, 2013
Caldwell, Idaho
Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after May 27, 2013)

Modeling is an important mathematical skill, yet instructors are often at a loss about how to teach it. This workshop will help you teach introductory calculus in a way that engages modeling skills. Based on ideas and materials developed as part of the NSF-supported Project MOSAIC, the workshop will examine introductory calculus from two perspectives: motivating calculus topics through authentic modeling settings, and using models to reinforce learning about calculus topics. You will see traditional calculus topics (e.g., optimization, related rates) in a new light, as well as non-traditional topics (e.g., least squares, modeling-building heuristics) that use calculus to enhance modeling skills. We will explore existing modeling case studies, and participants will be guided in developing a modeling case study of their own.

Primary funding is provided by NSF DUE- 0920350.

Supporting Research in Mathematics for Teachers of post-Calculus Students

Caren Diefenderfer and Dan Teague
July 8 – 12, 2013
Lincoln, Nebraska
Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after May 27, 2013)
This workshop, sponsored by MAA Special Interest Group on Teaching Advanced High School Mathematics (SIGMAA TAHSM), will prepare faculty at high schools and colleges (2-year and 4-year) in developing research experiences for post-calculus students. To prepare for the workshop, participants will complete an online short course. At the workshop, we will work together on carefully selected REU-type problems that we will pose to our students in the fall. Teams formed in the summer will continue to work together during the school year, which will create a participant network of fellow teachers to answer questions and offer suggestions on "where to go next" as we engage students in research projects.

Mathematical Biology: Beyond Calculus -
This workshop has been cancelled.

Raina Robeva, Robin Davies, and Terrell Hodge
July 14 – 19, 2013
Sweet Briar, Virginia
Registration Fee: $275 per person/$450 per team of two ($350 and $600 respectively for registrations received after June 2, 2013)

Problems from gene regulation, biochemical reaction networks, DNA sequencing, and phylogenetics constitute a cross-section of challenges in modern molecular and systems biology. This workshop will focus on such problems at levels appropriate for classroom projects and student research. Along with the underlying biology, participants will learn to build models using finite dynamical systems, Boolean networks, linear, polynomial, and abstract algebra, and probabilistic methods. We encourage attendance by mathematics-biology faculty teams from the same institution. No specific background in biology, mathematical biology, or computational algebra systems will be required. Biology faculty are not expected to have a specialized mathematical background beyond precalculus.

Online 3-D Graphics: Linear Algebra and Google Web Toolkit -
This workshop has been cancelled.

Thomas E. Leathrum
July 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, and 25, 2013
Registration Fee: $150 ($225 for registrations received after June 4, 2013)

This workshop is designed for faculty in mathematics and computer science who are interested in developing high-quality, mathematically meaningful, online demonstrations using three-dimensional graphics. Participants will learn to use the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) development platform and the Eclipse software environment, along with libraries to be distributed to the participants. With these tools, participants will apply basic linear algebra concepts to build visualizations easily in Java and compile them to advanced cross-platform applets embedded in web pages. As a prerequisite, participants only need enough knowledge of programming and web development to be able to complete, during the preparatory component of the workshop, self-guided tutorials in the basic usage of the development software (see for example, During the intensive component, each participant will complete at least one classroom-ready online applet. The development methods will extend easily to developing more applets for other topics after completing the workshop.

Undergraduate Sustainability Experiences in Mathematics (USE Math) on Campus

Ben Galluzzo, Corrine Taylor, and James Hamblin
July 22 – 26, 2013
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
Registration Fee: $275 per person ($350 for registrations received after June 10, 2013)

Undergraduate Sustainability Experiences in Mathematics (USE Math) projects are sustainability-focused, technology-enabled, single class-period projects, offering students authentic quantitative experiences within the context of sustainability The USE Math on Campus workshop will explore the relationship between sustainability and introductory-level mathematics on college campuses through active use of existing projects, sharing of ideas, and development of new USE Math projects. Prior to the workshop, participants will be introduced to a collection of sustainability-motivated mathematics materials and will be encouraged to identify the role (and meaning) of sustainability on their campus. At the workshop we will initially focus on incorporating existing modules to fit specific campus needs. Working groups, based on sustainability and course interests, will develop new modules to incorporate into their classrooms. Following classroom implementation, participants will share in-class USE Math experiences with the group to develop engaging modules to share broadly on a public website.

Copyright © 2013 The Mathematical Association of America