Mathematics

courses we are working on

Status as of May 2016:
Course Learning goals New Assessments Improved Methods
MATH 101: Integral Calculus with Applications to Physical Science and Engineering
(Jan ’12 - Apr ’12)

Faculty: Rajiv Gupta
STLF: Costanza Piccolo, Alain Prat

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2013): WeBWorK: An effective online tool for assessment in mathematics
No revision
In-class short diagnostic Test on basic differential calculus skills

Weekly common homework assignments

Study skills survey
Online homework using WeBWorK
MATH 102: Differential Calculus with applications to Life Sciences
(2012-2015)

Faculty: Eric Cytrynbaum, Leah Keshet
STLF: Kseniya Garaschuk, Wes Maciejewski, Sandra Merchant, Costanza Piccolo

PDF Poster (UBC Science Ed Open House 2016): Feasibility and effectiveness of group exams in mathematics courses
Course-level and topic-level goals are complete
Online basics math skills diagnostic

Pre-lecture assignments

Weekly common homework assignments

Midterm & End-of-term survey

Classroom observations

Survey on spreadsheet labs and associated WeBWorK problems
Online homework using WeBWorK

Spreadsheet labs converted to Excel and WeBWorK

Pre-lecture videos, pencasts and assignments, and interactive teaching methods in class using clickers
MATH 104/184: Differential Calculus with applications to Social Sciences and Commerce
(Jan ’10 - Dec ’14

Faculty: Mark MacLean (’10-’11), Sujatha Ramdorai (’12), C. Lee (postdoc)
STLF: Warren Code (’10-’12), Wes Maciejewski (’14)
TAs: M. Raggi (’10), L. Robson (’11)

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2013): MAPS: Math Attitude and Perceptions Survey (developed by STLFS Warren Code, Joseph Lo, & Sandra Merchant)

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2013): Teaching Methods Comparison in a Large Introductory Calculus Class

PDF Paper: Teaching Methods Comparison in a Large Introductory Calculus Class, Warren Code, Costanza Piccolo, David Kohler, & Mark MacLean, ZDM, Vol. 46(4), pp. 589–601 (2014)
Course-level goals: second draft complete

Topic-level goals: second draft complete and incorporated into weekly “learning guides” for instructors with specific textbook examples for each goal.
All sections:
  • Attitude survey with short diagnostic test.
  • Instructor interviews.
MacLean’s sections:
  • Midterm and end-of-term surveys
  • Clicker session data
  • In-class activity audio + written
Methods Comparison ('11):
  • Math 104 Calculus Diagnostic to measure student calculus background from high school.
  • Topic quizzes for Related Rates and Linear Approximation.
Ramdorai’s section (’12):
  • Student work from in-class worksheets
  • Clicker and diagnostic data (as previous years)
All sections:
  • Developed weekly “learning guides” for instructors to enhance coordination; guides incorporate learning goals, practice problems and pedagogical approaches and issues.
  • Developed common online and paper homework assignments.
  • Facilitated weekly instructor meetings
MacLean’s sections:
Developed in-class activities and clicker questions.

Methods Comparison (’11):
Structured class notes, lesson plans, clicker questions and pre-reading assignments for the Related Rates and Linear Approximation weeks, with evidence of better conceptual learning over more traditional instruction.

Ramdorai’s section (’12):
Worksheets for almost all current course topics, some clicker questions to support, used in final 20 minutes of each 80-minute class period.

Lee’s sections (’14):
Assignments and quizzes to promote learning multiple differentiation approaches and flexibility in applying them
MATH 180/184: Differential Calculus (Workshop component)
(Sept ’08 - Fall ’11)

Faculty: Rajiv Gupta, Albert Chau, Richard Anstee
STLF: Costanza Piccolo (’08-’10), Warren Code (’11)
TA: V. Kapoor, R. Schwarz, A. Zaman

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2009): The Basic Skills Test in Mathematics

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2010): First Year Calculus Workshops

click here to view Math 180 course materials

click here to view Math 184 course materials
Course-level goals: complete

Workshop goals: complete
Midterm and end-of-term surveys on workshop activities and student attitudes.

Weekly quizzes

Class observations
Workshops 1-12 complete: added workshop-level learning goals and list of required basic skills; created new problems with course-specific applications; created activities to promote metacognition, developed problem solving strategies.

Program Structure and Management:  Expanded the administrative structure and TA training; developed problem database (with Skylight support) to ease weekly production of workshop material.
MATH 110:  Differential Calculus (2010-2015)

Faculty:
Fok-Shuen Leung, Costanza Piccolo
STLF: Joseph Lo (’10-’12), Warren Code (’12 - ’13), K. Garaschuk (’14)

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2012): Precalculus Skills

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2012): What Might Affect Student Performance in a Math Course?

PDF Poster (UBC Science Ed Open House 2015): Using prompted self-explanations in first-year calculus
Course-level goals: complete

Workshop goals: complete
Diagnostic Test on Basic Skills

Attitude and study habit survey

Midterm class and workshop surveys

Class observations of workshops and lectures

Focus groups and surveys on use of textbooks (’12 and ’13)

Survey of student perceptions of learning gains (’14)

Student interviews after lectures to monitor difficulties and effectiveness of class activities (’14)
New workshop format developed to address low student engagement in workshop activities.

Online homework assignments used in all sections.

Archiving of course material for future use.

Weekly remedial work on basic skills.

Use of existing free online text, with collection of supporting web materials (’12-’13)

Clicker questions and self-explanation group worksheets (’14)
MATH 121: Honours Integral Calculus
(Jan ’15 start)

Faculty: Young-Heon Kim
STLF: Kseniya Garaschuk
No revision Expanded and improved weekly homework on WeBWorK
MATH 152: Linear Systems (Computer Labs component)
(Sept ’08 – 2010)

Faculty:
Brian Wetton
STLF: Warren Code (’09-’10), Costanza Piccolo (’08-’09)
TA:  A. Lindsay

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2011): Redesign of Computer Labs for Engineering Students in a Linear Algebra Course

click here to view course materials
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
End-of-term lab surveys

Pre/post-tests on Matlab syntax and basic programming structures.

Pre/post-tests on translation of word problems into linear systems.

Lab observations and TA interviews to determine student difficulties and completion rates.
Labs rewritten to tie in more closely with the course material, and revised after a full term of use.

Paper-based homework, midterm exam and final exam questions developed to test/practice Matlab syntax and basic programming structures.

Lecture notes revised to include Matlab material.
MATH 200: Calculus III (Sept ’12 - Dec ’13)

Faculty: Julia Gordon
STLF: Joseph Lo
No revision Diagnostic test on first-year calculus materials

Midterm and end-of-term surveys on online homework, in-class activities and supplementary materials
In-class activities were developed

3D graphics were produced for use in class and interactive supplementary materials on UBC Blog
MATH 210: Introduction to Mathematical Computing
(Sept ’11 – Dec ’13)

Faculty: Dominik Schoetzau
STLF: Joseph Lo
Topic-level goals: complete and revised Diagnostic test on series and first year calculus

Computer-based exams

Student survey

Class and lab observations
Course curriculum has been substantially changed. All standard course materials (course outline, lecture notes, assignments and exams) have been redeveloped.

In-class computer-based activities developed.
MATH 215/255: Elementary Differential Equations I
(Sept - Dec ’13)

Faculty: Faculty: Stephen Gustafson
STLF: Joseph Lo
No revision Weekly common online homework assignments Online homework using WeBWorK
MATH 220: Mathematical Proof
(March ’10 - Aug ’14)

Faculty: Andrew Rechnitzer
STLF: Katya Yurasovskaya (July ’11- Aug ’12), Sandra Merchant (’10-’14)

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2011): Assessing Basic Skills for Mathematical Proof

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2012): Workshops and the First Course in Mathematical Proof

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2013): Development and Analysis of a Basic Proof Skills Test

click here to view course materials
Course level and topic level goals are complete Basic proof skills diagnostic pre/post test

Midterm and end-of-term surveys

Student interviews after lectures to monitor difficulties and effectiveness of class activities.

Student problem-solving interviews to assess learning and retention of proof skills

Short in-class individual and group quizzes
Small group problem-solving sessions (“workshops”) were created and comprise approximately 25% of lecture time.

Course syllabus and textbook have been standardized from term-to-term.

Pre-lecture quizzes, daily group worksheets, and clicker questions
MATH 221: Matrix Algebra
(Sept ’12 – Dec ’13, Sep – Dec ’15)

Faculty: Zinovy Reichstein, Daniel Coombs
STLF: Joseph Lo, Kseniya Garaschuk

PDF Poster (UBC Science Ed Open House 2016): Feasibility and effectiveness of group exams in mathematics courses
No revision Weekly common online homework assignments and practice tests

Midterm and end-of-term surveys on online homework

Surveys on group exams
Online homework using WeBWorK

Group exams
MATH 230/335: Mathematics for Elementary Teachers
(June ’11 – April ’12)

Faculty: Stephanie van Willigenburg, John MacDonald
STLF: Katya Yurasovskaya

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2012): Math Course for Future Elementary Teachers at UBC
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete

Comments by instructor added as a teaching aid for future instructors.
Diagnostic pre/post test, which also includes survey-type questions on student career plans and attitudes/beliefs regarding mathematics.  A list of study tips for students specific to the course and the audience.

A set of study skills and tips relevant to future teachers of elementary educations students.

A website with resources and useful links has been put together for future departmental use.  
Math 253 (Mech 222): Multivariable Calculus (Computer Labs component)
(Sept ’08 – April ’12)

Faculty:
Philip Loewen
STLF: Warren Code
TA: M. Willoughby, W. Thompson

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2011): How do novices spend time programming in MATLAB?

click here to view course materials
Goals incorporated into weekly learning guides and lab documents. Substantial detail added in the second year. Weekly surveys of student completion rates and attitudes.

Lab observations and TA interviews to determine most significant student difficulties.

Automated student session logging to measure time spent on various tasks and frequency of common syntax errors (improved from trial run in Math 256).

Pre-lab quiz late in the term to track basic skills and measure interpretation of MATLAB code.
Labs have been updated to tie in more closely with the course material, and have been further revised based on data from the first implementation with evidence of more collaboration, higher completion rates and more positive student attitudes due to the revisions.

MATLAB resource web page developed for student reference, especially for those with weaker backgrounds.  
Math 253: Multivariable calculus
(Fall 2012)

Faculty: Jim Bryan
STLF: Costanza Piccolo
No revision Weekly common homework assignments Online homework using WeBWorK
Math 256: Differential Equations
(Jan ’15 start)

Faculty: Eric Cytrynbaum
STLF: Sandra Merchant
No revision Pre-lecture assignments

Weekly surveys in WeBWorK for student feedback on pre-lecture resources
Pre-lecture videos, readings and associated assignments, coupled with clickers and active learning activities in lectures.
Math 256 (Mech 221): Differential Equations (Computer Labs component)
(Sept ’08 – 2010))

Faculty: Brian Wetton
STLF: Warren Code (’10-’12), Paul Ottaway (Sept-Dec ’09), Costanza Piccolo (’08-’09)
TA: W. Thompson

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2011): How do novices spend time programming in MATLAB?

click here to view course materials
Learning goals: complete Lab observations and TA interviews to determine most significant student difficulties.

End of term student attitude surveys.

Trial run of automated student session logging to measure time spent on various tasks and frequency of common syntax errors.
New labs have been developed and revised based on feedback from the first two offering.

Matlab demonstrations have been used in lectures.

Targeted questions have been designed for the final exams and used to assess learning in the lab sessions.

MATLAB resource web page developed for student reference, especially for those with weaker backgrounds.
Math 257/316: Partial Differential Equations (Computer Labs component)
(Sept ’08 – Fall ’11, Spring ’15)

Faculty:
Anthony Peirce
STLF: Costanza Piccolo, Kseniya Garaschuk
TA:  G. de Oliveira

click here to view course materials
Topic-level goals: complete Student survey about attitudes towards the use of spreadsheets and the learning of numerical methods in the course

Diagnostic test on infinite series
Course-specific, online Excel tutorials are completed; sets of homework assignments, in-class demos using spreadsheets, and a Powerpoint presentation on numerical methods have been developed.
MATH 264: Vector Calculus for Electrical Engineering
(Spring 2012)

Faculty: Ozgur Yilmaz
STLF: Costanza Piccolo
No revision Classroom observation

Midterm student survey
This is a new course, all materials were developed from scratch.
Math 305: Applied Complex Analysis
(Sept ’10 – April ’12)

Faculty:
Michael Ward
STLF: Joseph Lo
TA:  P. Bell
Topic-level goals: complete Diagnostic assignment on series

End-of-term survey

Analysis of grades and comparison between students in Math 300 and 305 based on their enrollment programs
This is a newly-developed course. All standard course material (course outline, lecture notes, assignments, and exams) has been developed from scratch.
Math 307: Applied Linear Algebra (Computer Labs component)
(Sept ’08 – Fall ’11)

Faculty:
Richard Froese
STLF: Costanza Piccolo
TA:  A. Raghoonundun

click here to view course materials
Course-level goal: revision is completed

Topic-level goals: revision is completed

Student surveys

Pre-reading/diagnostic quizzes

Special homework assignments with extensive use of Matlab
Lecture Notes have been updated extensively. 

Matlab/Octave resource page has been developed.

Basic Matlab/Octave tutorials have been developed, including a set of practice problems on basic syntax and programming.
MATH 318: Probability with Physical Applications (Computer-based component)
(Jan ’10 – Fall ’11)

Faculty: Gordon Slade
Postdoc: Richard Liang
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Tracked scores on computer-based homework exercises and exam questions.

Mid-semester and end-of-semester attitude surveys
Octave/Matlab-based questions drafted for each of the homework assignments, as well as to each of the two midterms and the final exam.

Octave resource webpage constructed (based on the Math 307 resource page) to assist the students in getting started with using Octave.
MATH 342: Algebra, Coding Theory and Cryptography
(Jan ’14 start)

Faculty: Brian Marcus
STLF: Sandra Merchant
No revision Proof concept test (second draft) on specific proof skills Proof skills review exercise (run as a 2-stage individual/group test) at start of course
MATH 358: Engineering Analysis
(Jan ’12 – Dec ’12)

Faculty: Bud Homsy
STLF: Warren Code
TA: I. Karimfazli
New course; topics only finalized during term Computer lab observations

Pair of student surveys: after second and after final computer lab
Matlab activities for biweekly labs (5 total for the term) which build on paper-based assignments, all developed for this new course. Labs revised based on student feedback.
MATH 360: Mathematical Modeling in Science
(Jan ’10 – April ’12)

Faculty: Michael Doebeli
STLF: Costanza Piccolo (’11-’12), Sandra Merchant (’10-’11)
Course-level goals: complete Computer-based exams

Midterm student survey

Class observations

Student focus group
Matlab-based in-class activities were developed for weekly labs