Thursday July 28/8:00

MS39/Marina 3

Panel on Mathematics for the Technical Force

Moderator: Gilbert Strang, SIAM Vice Presdident for Education, and Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Are Undergraduate Mathematics Programs Meeting Workforce Needs?

Susan L. Forman, Director of Higher Education Programs, Mathematical Sciences Education Board, National Research Council and Professor of Mathematics, Bronx Community College, City University of New York.

Colleges and universities must meet an enormous variety of mathematical needs of their students. In technical programs, particularly those at two-year and technical colleges, mathematics instruction is closely tied to workplace applications. Traditionally, the narrow focus of such courses does little to enhance students' mathematical power. How can we develop technical mathematics courses that challenge and motivate all students while simultaneously providing them with the flexibility to change from one career area to another?

"Tech Prep" and the NCTM Standards: Making Mathematics Work for All Students

Jack Price, President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Co-director, Center for Science and Mathematics Education, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

High school programs in contemporary technology are becoming more reliant on significant applications of mathematics. What mathematics is most valuable in high school programs that prepare students to enter the workforce and how will these classes reflect the NCTM Standards? Will a "different" program lead back to "tracking" and perceived inferior mathematics education for the students in tech prep?

Rules, Regulations, and Inventory as Constraints in Workplace Mathematics

Martin Nahemow, Director of School to Work Programs, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh.

Examples of mathematics found on the jobsite often require cost-effective solutions within the constraints of standard increments (e.g., pipe comes in increments such that each size fits inside the next larger size) and codes (e.g., building codes, mil-specs., FDA, FAA, EPA regulations). A builder might have to design a deck that uses just nine cubic yards of concrete with footers that meet local soil loading regulations. Examples of this class of problem in diverse technical workplaces will be examined, focusing on their implications for the design of standards-based mathematics curricula and assessment.

Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's Jobs: The Need for Authentic Applications

Lynn Arthur Steen, Executive Director, Mathematical Sciences Education Board, National Research Council and Professor of Mathematics, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN.

Who will develop the applied mathematics curriculum for the growing tech-prep movement -- technologists? educators? mathematicians? engineers? How can the mathematical community help bridge the gap between mathematics in school, which is largely devoid of real applications, and mathematics in practice, which is embedded in realistic industrial and policy problems? What role can members of SIAM play to help curriculum developers and school teachers introduce authentic context-based applications of mathematics into the new standards-based curricula?