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This project is an outgrowth of the Geometry Forum project in which we established an electronic community where all interested in geometry could turn to find colleagues and resources on the Internet. By necessity we found ourselves working extensively with teachers and students, from kindergarten to college, and venturing into other areas of mathematics. Expanded activities included:

- Internet workshops for teachers,
- summaries of math education research published on the newsgroups,
- school networking support,
- Ask Dr. Math,
- the Elementary Problem of the Week,
- project archives and Internet mathematics resource indexes,
- web-based lessons and classroom materials.

The result is that we can see clearly some of the obstacles facing teachers and researchers who want to use the Internet. Our response has been to create the Math Forum, a one-year, proof-of-concept project sponsored by the NSF to investigate the viability of a virtual math education and technology transfer center. We hope it supports the development of an exciting, innovating Internet community of teachers and students, creators and appliers of mathematics, the education community, and all others with an interest in mathematics.

Through the Math Forum we will:

enhance communication and collaboration among Internet mathematics providers,investigate the needs of mathematics teachers, researchers, and students on the Internet,

work on Web interfaces that fit the lenses teachers and researchers are bringing and enable direct access to all that is available for their purposes,

support the development of resources that make good use of the Internet and offer rich, interesting mathematics,

replicate existing projects such as our newsgroups and Problem of the Week in other areas of mathematics and extend the reach of activities such as Ask Dr. Math.

Because we are aiming to be only a *virtual* center of distribution, most of
the above items involve us in a coordinating role, filling in the gaps and providing support to
other Internet mathematics providers in their efforts to address the needs
of math education. The forms of support will include:

- technology transfer, technical consulting, and hosting projects and discussion groups on the Forum Web server.
- facilitation of conversations across the community of Internet mathematics providers, in part through use of Forum web discussion software, with corresponding moderation and archiving as needed.
- sharing results of research involving different teacher populations and experiments in development of "web-smart" materials.
- access to the teachers and teacher projects working with the Forum.
- developing effective WWW interfaces and indices for mathematics teachers and students.
- workshops and related materials to help mathematics organizations and projects develop their presence on the WWW.
- promoting the work of other Internet mathematics providers and facilitating access to their resources.

Our work in the proof-of-concept project will be aimed at three main groups:

**Users of the Math Forum.**- Our attention will be focused on mathematics teachers as we work toward the development of a coherent WWW mathematics education community.
One of the key tasks here is to find effective strategies for generating substantive mathematics materials that take advantage of the evolving technology of the Internet, particularly strategies in which the teachers who will use the resources are involved in creating them. Somehow we have to get the good ideas and resources operating in many classrooms to a larger audience.

**Internet providers of math education materials.**- In order to attract and be more useful to teachers and students, it is essential that we cooperate as Internet mathematics providers, keep each other informed of activities and resources, avoid duplication, develop plans to address unmet needs, and devise seamless, one-stop, minimal-click access to all our materials.
**Organizations of mathematicians, teachers, and educators.**- We are committed to serving their clientele and we can help most of these organizations get up to speed or test these rapidly changing waters.

In addition to attempting to serve the needs of math teachers in general, we have set up collaborations with special populations:

**a) Those who participate in summer institutes and related professional development programs.**- We have specifically set up relations with a coalition consisting of DIMACS, Woodrow Wilson, and the Institute for Advanced Studies.
**b) Those who are in a reform context that explicitly supports computers and networking.**- For this component we have arranged to work with some BBN Testbed schools.
**c) Lone pioneers.**- The Forum has attracted a number of pioneering teachers and recently conducted advanced programs to build up a group of Forum Teacher Associates who are helping to develop Forum resources and will receive some ongoing direct support from us. (See the Forum Web Units section of the Geometry Forum for examples.)

These collaborations will go a long way toward giving us information about what will benefit teachers and how to facilitate their contributions.

We have created software to assist in the Web-archiving process and in the management of services such as Ask Dr. Math. We have also written discussion software to facilitate local Web-based discussion groups. See the Forum News Gateway under "Forum Highlights" on the Geometry Forum.

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2 November 1995