This is the summary of a presentation given at the Joint Mathematics
Meetings, January 10-13, 1996, Orlando, Florida.
Calculus reform, anthropology-zoology
Calculus Reform has been called Calculus Reform, K--20. I believe its future is Calculus
Reform, Anthropology--Zoology. Many of the calculus reform projects began with the goal of
breaking down the walls that enclosed the traditional calculus classroom and exploiting the
synergy between mathematics and the subjects that gave it life. Now that we have a strong
base in the mathematics curriculum---dozens of successful reform courses from
precalculus through multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations---we
can realize the real promise of calculus reform---an undergraduate curriculum in which
mathematics is integrated with the physical, life, and social sciences.
This next step comes at a time when technology has produced a medium---the
World Wide Web---that is ideally suited to our message. Our new crusade is
founded on four key ideas--- Active learners, Links between subjects
rather than walls between departments, Ownership---Students and faculty
who own their courses and tailor them to their own interests, and Living
courses that evolve over time and are produced by multiple authors---faculty
and students. The World Wide Web with browsers like NetScape that orchestrate
text, images, movies, and sound, with active student laboratories based on CAS
systems and on inexpensive flexible data gathering tools, like the TI-CBL, is a
medium made for active student learning. Its hypertext architecture is built
on links rather than bookcovers. The same architecture encourages students and
faculty to tailor courses to their own individual needs and interests.
Finally, the malleability of web-based material and its geographical
distribution guarantees changing courses with contributions from many faculty
and students. This talk will discuss work-in-progress toward the goal of an
integrated undergraduate curriculum.
Franklin A. Wattenberg, Weber State University