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All Day Mathematics Workshops

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.148.1 - 6.148.10

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Paper Authors

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Lindsey Van Wagenen

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Chandni Shah

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1665

All Day Mathematics Workshops

Chandni Shah, Lindsey Van Wagenen Department of Mathematics Polytechnic University

Introduction One of the challenges that many students face when making the transition from mathematics courses in high school to ones in college is learning to read and dissect a complex problem. Most students achieve success in high school by learning and applying standard methods to solving prob- lems. When in college, the hardest thing for students to learn is the process of struggling with a problem over an extended period of time. Too many teachers, in a misguided effort to boost the students’ confidence, avoid as- signing problems that have no clear path to the solution. Worse, they only assign problems that are closely modeled on examples, for which step-by- step solutions have been provided. As a result, students learn that it is ac- ceptable not to read a problem carefully, and to follow a previously learned procedure. Students develop the view that understanding what a problem is asking and why the procedure for obtaining the answer works is unnec- essary and even a distraction. Most students trained in this way are prone to making mistakes due to memory lapses and often misapply formulas or procedures when faced with novel problems. The Department of Freshman Mathematics (DFM) at Polytechnic Univer- sity introduced all day workshops to address these issues. The goal of ­ “Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright c 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Van Wagenen, L., & Shah, C. (2001, June), All Day Mathematics Workshops Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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