Orlando Meetings: Presentation Summary

Back to Orlando: Calculus Reform

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

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