The JOMA Applet Project: Applet Support for the Undergraduate Mathematics Curriculum

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Results from Prior NSF Support

The Math Forum, REC-9618223, $971,300, March 1999 to date.

The Math Forum began in January of 1996 as a proof-of-concept grant from the NSF to extend the work of the Geometry Forum into other areas of mathematics and to investigate the viability of a virtual center for mathematics education on the Internet. The Math Forum has developed a vast Web site [4] that receives over a million hits a week, with mentored user services such as Ask Dr. Math and Problems of the Week at various levels in which hundreds of students participate each day.

From the Forum home page you can now search or browse the Internet Mathematics Library [5], which contains annotated entries of hand-selected resources combined with cataloguing features based on American Mathematical Society categories, extending its value far beyond what is available from indexing agents such as AltaVista or Internet catalogues like Yahoo.

The Forum has examined and cooperated with attempts by GEM and others to develop metadata standards that allow meaningful data exchange across disparate areas of the Web. The PI is a member of the recently formed Math Metadata Working Group, whose goal is to develop draft metadata standards for the field of mathematics and for mathematics education.

The Math Forum is also publishing the peer-reviewed Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications (JOMA). The editor is Ladnor Geissinger of the University of North Carolina and the PI is Gerald Porter of the University of Pennsylvania. The first issue is expected in the summer of 1999. JOMA is an outgrowth of the need of the Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications Across the Curriculum (MACMATC) project [6] to disseminate the best of the Internet curriculum modules developed by that project. The MathWright project [7] of the Institute for Academic Technology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is also interested in submitting material developed under its aegis, and a number of other NSF-funded projects have material to contribute.

In addition, the Math Forum is a partner in the ESCOT project [1], coordinating teams of teachers, software developers, and curriculum disseminators in developing component software and integrating it into activities designed to fill gaps in the curriculum. Our contribution to this project involves facilitation of discussions between educators and programmers about component development.

The Math Forum has provided many different ways for people to interact with one another, with different points of access for people of varied strengths and needs. Community-building is an important part of Forum activities: the Math Forum represents a vision about the possibilities for an Internet community that extends the collegiality found in schools, classrooms, or the workplace. Evaluation of the Forum is used in program design, development, and facilitation, and provides an assessment of impact.

Publications:

The Math Forum Web site is a 600,000 page online publication. [4]

[8] Renninger, K. A., Weimar, S. A. & Klotz, E. A. (1998). Teachers and students investigating and communicating about geometry: The Math Forum. In R. Lehrer & D. Chazan (Eds.) Designing learning environments for developing understanding of geometry and space (pp. 465-487). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[9] Renninger, K. A. & Shumar, W. (1998). Why and how students work with The Math Forumıs Problem(s) of the Week: Implications for design. In A. S. Bruckman, M. Guzdial, J. L. Kolodner, and A. Ram (Eds.), Proceedings of ICLS 98 (pp. 348-350). Charlottesville, VA: AACE.

[10] Renninger, K. A. & Shumar, W. (Eds.) (In preparation). Building virtual communities. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.

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