Events: Details

Starter Kit for Teaching Modeling-First Differential Equations Course

Category: Workshop

SIMIODE is offering a Minicourse at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Diego CA, 10 – 13 January 2018

Here are the details and you can sign up when the registration for the JMM 2018 opens up in Fall 2017. Check out your copy of MAA FOCUS and the Notices of the AMS for details then.

The team leading the minicourse consists of Rosemary Farley, Manhattan College, Riverdale NY; Therese Shelton, Southwestern university, Georgetown TX; Patrice Tiffany, Riverdale NY; Brian Winkel, SIMIODE, Cornwall NY; and   Holly Zullo, Westminster College, Salt Lake City UT. 

We offer this minicourse in support of colleagues who wish to start using rich modeling resources to teach differential equations. Our method uses actual experience with classroom materials and discussions on how to initiate such practices in participants’ courses. We put participants in the role of students early in a differential equations course in which modeling is the driving force. We offer tested and successful modeling scenarios which engage students and bring forth differential equation notions and concepts through modeling.

Complete Description:
We offer experiences for building and teaching mathematical models with differential equations from a wide variety of cognate disciplines: first day of class use of m&m’s for simulating death and immigration modeling and introducing major themes for the course, Torricelli’s Law for a falling column of water, post-operative retinal fluid dissipation, ant tunnel building, sublimation of carbon dioxide,  chemical kinetics, spread of oil slick, fair stadium design, pursuit efforts, pharmacokinetics of LSD and paracetamol, spread of use of word JUMBO in literature, and shuttlecock fall. Through active hands-on small group work faculty experience using modeling to teach differential equations from day one.  We do this in the context of SIMIODE - Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations, an online ( community of differential equations teachers who use modeling and technology.

In attempting to understand the world around them, historically, mathematicians and scientists built models of change resulting in rate or differential equations. A modeling-first approach to teaching differential equations is in this spirit of this original development of the field and is supported in SIMIODE. Minicourse participants will experiences a teaching approach for differential equations motivated throughout by modeling.  Minicourse activities will engage (by example,  experience, and discussion) faculty in how to start using modeling scenarios for teaching; how to contribute their own modeling projects for peer-reviewed, double-blind publication in the SIMIODE community; and build on modeling success with their students to encourage learning the mathematics of differential equations. Take-aways include experiences in learning differential equations through modeling scenarios, work with examples of modeling activities which succeed in the classroom, and access to a great many other activities to help faculty start their transition to using modeling and technology to motivate their students to learn differential equations.  

Here is the intended set of activities - and this is an ACTIVE minicourse with participant PARTICIPATION!

Session 1:
(20 minutes) Participants, in the role of students, jump right into a modeling scenario appropriate for the first day of class in which real data is collected on death and immigration.
(10 minutes) Overview of SIMIODE – goals, approach, tools, opportunities, community.
(10 minutes) Self introduction of participants.
(50 minutes) Participants engage in two modeling scenarios as students in order to understand the modeling-first approach to learning differential equations and experience the full potential for such an approach.
(30 minutes) Participants work in small groups to discuss how they can prepare to use modeling in their own efforts to teach differential equations using  modeling while sharing insights about pedagogy, including how to foster student inquiry and encourage technology uses.

Session 2:
(20 minutes) General discussion of modeling scenario goals and requirements and how participants can get started using this approach in their teaching.
(40 minutes) Participants engage in two modeling scenarios as students in order to understand the modeling-first approach to learning differential equations and experience the full potential for such an approach.
(30 minutes) Participants engage in model of their choice from selected menu, examining how they would use the material in their teaching.
(30 minutes) Wrap-up with plan and commitment to embrace and implement at some level a modeling-first approach to teaching differential equations.


When: Thursday 11 January, 2018 8:00 am EST - Saturday 13 January, 2018 5:00 pm EST
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