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Topic: Math Discussion Guest on Women & Lit (fwd)
Replies: 5   Last Post: Jun 29, 2006 4:18 PM

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Judy Ward

Posts: 2
Registered: 6/26/06
RE: Math Discussion Guest on Women & Lit (fwd)
Posted: Jun 25, 2006 3:27 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Peter,

Your email was lost in the crowd! Sorry!

It's good to know that someone who teaches math failed a math class, too. My
first calculus class was devastating and humbling but the world didn't stop
and I lived through it. Then while working on my doctorate I experienced
true math anxiety in a required statistics class. Previously I was at times
anxious during a math class but the statistics professor created an
environment that made it extremely difficult for everyone. That experience
truly helped me understand how others are affected by math anxiety.

Thank you for your comments.

Judy

-----Original Message-----
From: numeracy-approval@world.std.com
[mailto:numeracy-approval@world.std.com] On Behalf Of Peter Timusk
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 12:45 AM
To: numeracy@europe.std.com
Subject: Re: Math Discussion Guest on Women & Lit (fwd)

>

My answers for discussion below. I am a male middle aged statistics
TA at Carleton university with a three year general B.Math in applied
statistics who has had a few paid statistics jobs part time in the
real world. I started teaching math to disabled adults as a volunteer
before going back to school to study for my B.Math. Apparently I am
good TA but at the moment I am procrastinating on some marking that
is due today at 5PM { =;+) grin }

I have spent the last year reading on gender and computing and look
forward to this discussions this coming week.


>> From now until the 19th, here are some questions that you may want to
> think about:
>
> When you think about yourself, how would you answer the following:
> How do you feel about math?


I love it but find it tough work that sometimes is impossible.


> Do you remember any situations both in and out of school that affected
> how you feel about math?


When I failed my second year of math at a major Canadian university
but was hired for a student summer job as an analyst. Everyone in
that office of some 40 young student workers came to me that summer
with math questions. I then dropped studying math for years until I
rediscovered my skills at statistics.


> Which mathematical topics/concepts would you say are your best?

Linear regression models, computer coding math, saying this "there
is more to statistical literacy than bias", geometry, games of chance.

> Which mathematical topics/concepts would you say are your most
> difficult?
>


Mathematical statistics, series, differential equations, applied
probability, reading advanced math books.

> Do you or have you experienced "math anxiety"?


yes every time I have an assignment due, my first time at the black
board, the first time I did not have the answer in front of the
class, also while marking statistics homework I am nervous.

>
> If you have or currently teach your students math, how would you
> answer
> the following:
> How do most of your students feel about math?



They just require a statistics credit thus they are not really
interested in further statistics studies. Many of the bright ones
enjoy doing the work and getting perfect marks.


> Have they ever shared any situations both in and out of school that
> affected how they feel about math?


Not much, but students with difficulties are open about this such as
letting me know they are repeating the course. Other weak students
often say this is the only course in their degree they can not pass.
Although SAS programmers with confidence let me know they did well
with introductory courses. And on the topic of gender most of my
supervisors are women professors of statistics and the best
programmers tend to be women too. It seems statistics is more gender
neutral perhaps more feminine than pure maths.


> Which mathematical topics/concepts would you say are the easiest for
> your students to learn?


I think graphing, descriptive statistics in general, mean, median,
mode, confidence limits,


> Which mathematical topics/concepts would you say are the most
> difficult
> for your students to learn?
>


Inequalities, residual analysis in regression, probability,
appropriate distributions, maximum likelyhood estimators, when to use
T test rather than a Z test.


> Have any students shared with you that they experience "math anxiety"?
>


Yes and on the topic of gender it is more often women who says this.
But these are a minority of the students who actually talk this
openly. Most students do not talk much.





Peter Timusk,
B.Math statistics (2002), B.A. legal studies (2006) Carleton University
Systems Science Graduate student, University of Ottawa.
just trying to stay linear.
Read by hundreds of lurkers every week.


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