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My Fifty Years of Calculus

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 3

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Paper Authors


Shirley B. Pomeranz The University of Tulsa

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Shirley Pomeranz
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics
The University of Tulsa

Research and Teaching Interests:
Boundary Element Method and Finite Element Method, Numerical Methods, Engineering Applications of
Mathematics, Applications of Mathematica, Women in Mathematics

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Peyton James Cook Ph.D. The University of Tulsa

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Department of Mathematics

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My Fifty Years of Calculus

At the end of the fall 2015 semester, our Department of Mathematics relocated to newly renovated offices, and I had the task of emptying my office drawers and cabinets after twenty-eight years in the same office. I found all my calculus notebooks that I had saved from the late 1960s, when I was an undergraduate and took my first calculus courses.

After more than thirty years of teaching calculus, and in observance of my fiftieth anniversary of having taken my first calculus course, I would like to share some of my experiences in learning and teaching calculus. As an undergraduate, I took a sequence of calculus courses that was intended for physics and engineering majors. I now teach in a mathematics department that is within the college of engineering and natural sciences at my university, so my observations are relevant with respect to calculus for engineering students.

Much has stayed the same, but the use of technology, student demographics, student academic/social support, the curriculum, and the way calculus is taught are some things that have changed, comparing my calculus experiences from 1967 to those of my students in 2016-2017. Not all the changes appear to be for the better, and there are trade-offs. The discussion focuses primarily on anecdotal examples.

Pomeranz, S. B., & Cook, P. J. (2017, June), My Fifty Years of Calculus Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28698

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