Event Type:

Department Colloquium

Date/Time:

Monday, January 26, 2009 - 08:00

Location:

Kidd 364 (Joint with IGERT)

Guest Speaker:

Institution:

University of Arizona

Abstract:

In the late 1980’s I began my efforts to increase the success rate of minorities in first semester calculus. The interventions that I devised were very time consuming and as the number of minority students increased, I could not manage that kind of effort. I developed my Calculus Minority Advising Program in an effort to meet with scores of minority students each semester. This program consists of a twenty-minute meeting with each student at the beginning of each semester. These meetings with students eventually transformed my own attitude about the importance of mathematics in their undergraduate curriculum. I took over the position of Associate Head for Undergraduate Affairs in the department five years ago. I set a very modest goal for myself: to double the number of mathematics majors. With more than 500 mathematics majors I have reached that goal. I think the next doubling is going to be much harder to achieve. My work with minority students provided me with the tools to accept this new challenge of working with all students. This talk will describe my own efforts to encourage ALL of our students that a mathematics major, or adding mathematics as a second major, is a great career choice.