ACMS Conference 2022 – Call for Proposals

The below information was sent to the membership of the ACMS recently. If you enjoy the content on this site, then I strongly encourage you to check out the the conference and consider attending.

It is a great privilege that my first email to you all as acting president is to officially announce the 23rd Biennial(ish) ACMS conference at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA on June 1-4, 2022. Details are now posted on the acmsonline.org website. I encourage you to visit the website for complete details as I will only address some highlights below.

Before getting to those highlights, I want to thank Dave Klanderman (president for the past two years) and Bryant Mathews (APU host) for all their work in organizing this conference during these unprecedented times. Speaking of unprecedented times, I know we all hope for “life as normal” by next June, but we can’t be certain that will be the case. ACMS plans to comply with whatever public health policies are in place in Azusa at the time of the conference and the board will keep registrants apprised of what those policies are in a timely manner.

On to the highlights:

Call for papers:

The ACMS is now accepting parallel session proposals. Please use this form to submit your proposal. Most talks will be 15 minutes, but we may be able to accommodate a limited number of 25-minute talks. If you would like to be considered for a 25-minute slot, then please indicate that on your proposal. The deadline for presentation proposals is February 1, 2022, but early submissions are encouraged. Those who present at the conference will have the option to submit a paper by August 31, 2022 for the conference proceedings, which will be peer-reviewed.

Pre-conference workshops:

Three pre-conference workshops will be held concurrently from Tuesday morning until Wednesday early afternoon. Participants may choose one of the following options:

  • Mathematics in Context: its History, Philosophy, and Connections with the Christian Faith
  • Integrating Ethics into Your Courses
  • Professional Development for graduate students and early career faculty

Costs:

A full breakdown of costs can be found on the registration form. I did want to emphasize that registration fees will be waived for all first time attendees – this is the year to invite those colleagues you always wanted to invite!

Travel and Child Care Grants:

The ACMS will provide a limited number of reimbursement grants of (up to) $250 for childcare or travel. To be eligible for these grants, you must join the ACMS or renew so that your membership is current through December 31, 2022 and register for the 2022 conference. To apply, complete this form. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2022. Final decisions on recipients will be made on or before April 1, 2022. All grant funds will be provided in the form of a check which will be issued at the ACMS conference.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Thank you. 

Josh Wilkerson

Cultivating Soulful Mathematicians

UPDATE (4/1/20): To ensure the health and safety of both attendees and speakers during the coronavirus pandemic the difficult decision has been made to cancel the Cultivating Soulful Mathematicians Conference for this summer. Be on the lookout for a rescheduled conference in the summer of 2021. 

It has been a while since I have posted here (and it seems like I start more and more posts with that caveat). In the past year I have been blessed with my dream job of overseeing the K-12 mathematics program at a Christian school. I have spent a lot of time on vertical alignment, evaluating our curriculum and proposing changes, teacher training, and running a social media public relations campaign to increase our parent community’s understanding of what we do in our math program. The work has been good and rewarding, but also time consuming.

Oh, and in my “spare time” I have been working with some amazing colleagues and brothers in Christ to launch a math conference. That is what I would like to share with you today.

The name of the conference is “Cultivating Soulful Mathematicians” and information along with registration details can be found here. Francis Su will be the keynote speaker and every conference participant will receive a copy of his forthcoming book Mathematics for Human Flourishing.

Where does the name of the conference come from?

Well, my colleagues and I had kicked around a few ideas including “math for human flourishing,” “cultivating mathematical affections” (if you’ve read anything on this site then you can guess who suggested this theme), and “math class as soul craft” (an homage to the book Shop Class as Soul Craft). These themes were close to what we were aiming for but none were perfect fits. Then I began reading the book Where Wisdom may be Found: the Eternal Purpose of Christian Higher Education. I have included this book on the “Resource” page and hope to post a review of it at some point (in my “spare time”).

I began reading this book because one chapter is entitled “The Joy of Mathematics.” While I thoroughly enjoyed that chapter it was actually another chapter that motivated this conference theme: “Becoming a Soulful Wordsmith.” Here is the apt excerpt:

Liberal arts learning has always emphasized the importance of discovering who we truly are, over and above acquiring practical skills that can be applied in a work context. Students who are dedicated to liberal arts learning, from a Christian perspective, will develop an enduring interest in their souls, especially as they are enlivened by the living Word Jesus. To be soulful, biblically speaking, is to be aware of, and participate in, the transforming work of redemption by the Lord who promises to bring life, and bring it “more abundantly” (John 10:10). This is the Christian version of seeking “the good life,” which is the prime directive of secular liberal arts.

This struck a chord with me as it seems to touch on all of the previous themes we had thrown out there but not been satisfied with.

  • “cultivating mathematical affections” – discovering who we truly are, over and above acquiring practical skills that can be applied in a work context
  • “math class as soul craft” – developing an enduring interest in their souls
  • “math for human flourishing” – the Christian version of seeking “the good life,” which is the prime directive of secular liberal arts

What do we hope to achieve at this conference?

From the conference description: Teaching and learning mathematics orients ourselves and our students in a posture of wonder and gratitude, with a desire to worship God and serve one another in community. Mathematics is the language through which we describe the natural world and give expression to our exploration of even the most abstract relationships between shapes and numbers. This is realized as teachers carefully attend to students through instructional practices and deliberate classroom liturgies that draw students into enduring understandings. In our time together, participants will assume the role of students as they exercise their mathematical imagination, experience collaborative problem solving that is both accessible and challenging, and communicate meaningful connections between multiple representations of ideas. Teachers will be led through the process of backward design, development of provocative anchor tasks, and composition of assessments that reflect the chief aim of cultivating mathematical affections.

I hope you’ll consider attending or at least spreading the word to others.

APAC 2018: Service-Learning and Statistics

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This week I am leading a workshop at the 2018 AP Annual Conference on “Statistics and Service-Learning” in Houston, TX. The talk is on integrating service-learning projects into AP Statistics curriculum, specifically with the goal of impacting students on an affective level.In addition to the resources that you will find below, feel free to check out some of the prior posts on service learning:

ABSTRACT:

This session will equip participants to design, implement, and evaluate AP Statistics service-learning projects in which students partner with nonprofit organizations in their local community. These projects synthesize the major concepts of experimental design, data analysis, and statistical inference in the real-world context of community service. Through these projects students integrate their conceptual understanding of statistics with the practical functioning of their local community, ultimately gaining a deeper appreciation for the role of statistics in the organization and evaluation of service societies.

PRESENTATION:

You can click the image below to find the PowerPoint that accompanied my presentation.

 

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For many of the service-learning projects that my students have completed I am indebted to the willing partnership of Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Here is some introductory information on this great ministry:

Community First! Village Goes Beyond Housing for Austin Homeless, from the Austinot

10 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE IMPLEMENTING A SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECT:

The following are the foundational questions that you as an instructor should consider and reflect upon prior to implementing a service-learning project. This list is not meant to be chronological though some aspects will naturally precede others. Start by considering the course learning objectives and your method of assessing those objectives and then go from there.

1.What are the major learning objectives/big ideas/enduring understandings for your course?

The purpose of the AP course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:

  • Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
  • Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
  • Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
  • Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

2. What are real-world situations where students can apply the concepts studied in your course?

  • Identifying a non-profit service agency which requires survey research (program evaluation, client needs assessment, etc.)
  • Students develop a survey instrument, conduct survey, compile and code data, analyze data, present results

3. List some potential community partners along with some basic descriptors that may impact how your students work with each partner (ex: What is the size of the organization? What issues does the organization address? Is the organization non-profit, governmental, religiously affiliated? Etc.) In lieu of a partner organization you can also consider a general community need for students to address. List some general descriptors of the project involved in addressing this community need.

4. Look for potential matches between organizations on your list from question 3 and your responses to questions 1 and 2. If there are multiple potential matches then consider the pros/cons of each and list them. Be sure to recognize how your matching affects the organization of the project (large scale as a class v. small scale as groups), which in turn may affect your response to question 5 below.

5. Once you have begun narrowing potential community partners that offer opportunities for students to interact with course content, consider how will you assess students? What will be the final product? What expectations will you have for students throughout the project and how will you communicate that to the students?

6. How will students be organized to meet the objectives that they will be assessed on? Will students work as individuals, teams, as a whole class?

7. How will students be equipped to complete the project successfully? What will they have gained from the course up to the point of assigning the project that will aid them? What additional tools/skills/knowledge will students need as the project proceeds?

8. What will be the timeframe for the project? How will students be held accountable to the timeframe? At what points will students receive feedback on their progress?

9. Why should students care about the project? What will you do as an instructor to get student buy-in on the project?

10. How will students reflect throughout the project? What opportunities will you provide for students to pause and consider the work they have done?

HANDOUTS:

From my AP Statistics Project 2018:

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(Clicking the image above will take you to the students’ final presentation)

From my AP Statistics Project 2016-17:

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From my 2015-16 AP Statistics Project (Organized as an entire class project over the full year):

From my 2014-15 AP Statistics Project (Organized as small group projects in the spring semester):

*NOTE: some documents above were also used in this project, either in the form in which they are posted above or in a slightly modified version

EXTERNAL RESOURCES: