Fall 2010

Math Ed 308


Professor:             Dr. Blake Peterson                                                          Office:                                                TMCB 193B                                                     

Office Phone: 422-7784                                                                                       email:                         peterson@mathed.byu.edu

Office Hours: MWF 11:00-11:50                                                         Class Time:       MWF 12:00-12:50

                                                and by appointment


Grading:                                        Homework                                                                                    70%                                

                                                                        Project                                                                                                 25%

                                                                        Presentation of Project                                                 5%


Homework: Homework assignments will be given daily and are typically collected on Mondays of the following week (i.e. the assignments given on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of week 10 will be collected on Monday of week 11).


Class Participation: Because there is no text explaining how to do the things that we will discuss in class, attendance is critical. Class participation will be based on attendance and active participation in class discussion -- if you're there and working, you'll get the credit. If you are not there, the consequences are as follows. 1 absence = OK, 2 absences = -.5% 3 absences = -1%, 4 absences=-3%, n absences = -(2(n-2)-1)% for n>3. The only exceptions for these consequences are for prolonged illnesses.


Project: The project to be done in this course can take one of three forms: 1) an investigation of a mathematical problem that utilizes the technology 2) development of a series of activities for students to do that allows them to investigate a mathematical problem using technology or 3) the development of some instructional materials to be used in the classroom to help students better visualize a series of mathematical problems or concepts. A one-half page project proposal will be due on Monday, November 1 in class. This finished project should consist of the files created and a 2-5 page description of the project and should be of a significant length. The project will be due on the final day of presentations which will take place during the scheduled final exam slot.


Presentation: During the last week of class, each student will have 8 minutes to describe their project and how it would be used in the classroom or the mathematics that they have learned.




Technology : The overarching theme in this course is how technology  can be effectively used to teach and understand mathematics. It will be important to understand that technology is a tool which has limitations and should not drive the curriculum. In order to accomplish this, the material will be presented using a problem-solving approach. This will be done by introducing features of the technology and then assigning mathematical problems that can be investigated using the technology as a tool. The big topics of the course are:

á        Dynamic Geometry (GeometerŐs Sketchpad or Cabri Geometry)

Introduce tools such as Sketches, Transformations, Scripts, Animations.

Investigate math problems such as midpolygons, properties of the 9-pt circle etc.

Discuss how Sketchpad investigations can lead to conjecture and proof and how they can be misleading.

á        Spreadsheets (Excel)

Introduce the basic functions, macros and graphics available.

Create worksheets that simulate probabilities and encourage investigations of functions, matrices, and statistics.

Investigate math problems such as Buffon needle problem, probability simulaitons etc.

á        Symbolic Manipulator and 3-D graphics (Mathematica or Maple).

Evaluate the power and limitations of symbolic Integration and Differentiation.

Investigate the functions whose graphs are 3-D surfaces and other 3-D objects and how changing the parameters of the functions affects the shape of the figure.

á        Calculator Technology


Evaluate the capabilities of this calculator and discuss the extent to which symbol manipulating calculators and software should be used and when they should (if at all) be introduced.

Calculator Based Laboratories (CBL)

Investigate real world situations involving periodic motion, exponential decay, rate of change etc. using the CBL probes.


Schedule for Fall 2010

Week(s)                                           Topic

1                                                                     TI-89

2-5                                                      Spreadsheets

6-8                                        Geometer's Sketchpad

9-10                                           Mathematica/Maple

11                                                                   TI-89

12-13                                                            CBLŐs

14                               (12/6 and 12/8) Presentations

Final Exam Time Slot (12/14 @ 11am-2pm) Presentations