


Mathematical Education / Education mathématique (Org: Richard Hoshino, Dalhousie University and/et John Grant McLoughlin, University of New Brunswick)
 RICHARD HOSHINO, Dalhousie University
BridgeBuilding Initiatives in Atlantic Canada

In this session, we will describe three initiatives in place in
Atlantic Canada: the High School Math League, the Math Circles
Outreach Program, and Combinatorics Institutes. The descriptions will
be extended with suggestions for starting similar initiatives in other
locations. The common thread in the these initiatives is that they
bring together university and high school teachers and/or students in
contexts that enrich the learning of mathematics and the professional
development of all present. Insight into the history and scope of
these activities will be offered.
 CAROLINE JONES, University of New Brunswick
Addressing Transitional Issues at UNB

The transition from high school to university is often a difficult
one. Calculus failure rates are higher than they should be. A large
contributing factor is that students often forget what they had
learned in secondary school math. Other factors include changes in
classroom environment, study habits and teaching methods. At the
University of New Brunswick we are trying to address these issues. We
have implemented a mathematics placement test that helps detect
students who need help prior to entering the regular calculus course.
We also offer a first year calculus course over two semesters instead
of one. The Math Help Centre offers help to students struggling with
math through its many programs. Successful Transformations is a three
day math preparation workshop offered to students who will be taking a
first year math course; we also offer numerous other workshops during
the term, and other help sessions such as dropin hours, private and
group tutoring. These and other programs offered at UNB will be
discussed along with some suggestions to what high school and
universities can do to help these students succeed.
 LEO JONKER, Queen's University
Creating Opportunities for Engagement

Graduating high school students tend to view mathematics as static and
algorithmic. The subject is viewed as received dogma concerning a
finite number of clearly defined problem types. New high school
initiatives emphasize exploration, but it is not yet clear to what
extent this will constitute conceptual exploration. A second problem
for first year mathematics courses is the wide range of abilities
lumped together by a high school evaluation system that differentiates
primarily at a lower level of achievement. I will talk about some of
the things I do to encourage students to view mathematics differently,
and to accommodate the average student as well as the one who might
feel underchallenged.
 HARLEY WESTON, University of Regina
Bridge Building and Maintenance in Regina

At the University of Regina we are addressing the transitional issue
in two different ways. The first is through support to the current
students as they arrive at the university. This includes a slower
paced calculus course that covers one semester of calculus in two
semesters, review sessions during the first two weeks of the semester,
dropin sessions for all first year courses and lab sections for the
first two semesters of calculus. The second approach involves working
with teachers, teacher educators and students and has the potential of
a much more lasting outcome. This is done primarily through our
Internet service Math Central and our Math Camp. Both of these
initiatives function through a close relationship between the
mathematicians in the Faculty of Science and the teacher educators and
perservice teachers in the Faculty of Education.

