Past Events

Speaker: Sarah Dart (Queensland University of Technology)

Title: Engaging Undergraduate Students with Worked Example Videos and Personalised Emails

Date & Time: Tuesday 26 September 2023, 1:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: Dr Sarah Dart is a Senior Lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology, where she works across the central Learning and Teaching Unit as well as the Faculty of Engineering. In 2021, Sarah was recognised with the Australian Mathematical Society’s 2021 Early Career Teaching Excellence Award. In the seminar, Sarah will share how she has used technology to support learning of mathematics for large and diverse student cohorts, including development of worked example videos to improve problem-solving skills, and implementation of personalised emails to foster an effective learning environment when transitioning to university.

Seminar recording:

Speakers: Juan Carlos Ponce Campuzano (University of Queensland) and Joseph Grotowski (University of Queensland)

Title: Visualising complex functions: Enhanced phase portraits

Date & Time: Thursday 25 August 2022, 2:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: Complex functions are essential mathematical objects in complex analysis. They play a fundamental role in other mathematical areas such as dynamics, algebraic and differential geometry, and number theory; and advanced theoretical physics such as quantum mechanics, string theory, and quantum field theory. Visualising complex functions is a non-trivial task since they will produce a graph existing in a four-dimensional space. In this presentation, we provide an overview of the method known as domain colouring to visualise and explore complex functions. We also present a set of open-source online tools which main goal is to help students, and anybody interested in this topic, to create significant connections between visual representations, algebraic calculations and abstract mathematical concepts about complex functions.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Additional links:

Speaker: Mark Mac Lean (University of British Columbia)

Title: Comparative Judgement and Learning through Engagement with Someone Else’s Reasoning

Date & Time: Wednesday 20 July 2022, 2:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: Involving students in mathematical discourse can help them build a deeper conceptual understanding of the mathematics they are learning. One approach is to have students engage with written mathematical arguments and solutions to problems from their peers. Novices do not have the same capacity as experts to judge the work they are reading, but novices do have the capacity to compare two pieces of work and judge which one is better. Comparative judgement can be used as a pedagogical tool to help students learn mathematics. In this talk, I will describe some ways comparative judgement has been implemented in mathematics courses and how we are working to better understand the effects comparative judgement exercises may have on learning mathematics.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speakers: Dr Michael Donovan (Macquarie) and Dr Judy-anne Osborn (Monash)

Title: Roles of Maths in Reconciliation

Date & Time: Friday 27 May 2022, 1:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: National Reconciliation week 27 May – 3 June ( commemorates the successful 1967 Referendum and the Mabo Decision; and invites all Australians to consider how we can each contribute to achieving Reconciliation in Australia. In this talk we (Indigenous researcher Dr Michael Donovan and Anglo-Australian mathematician Dr Judy-anne Osborn) share some of our thoughts about ways that mathematics and mathematicians can contribute to Reconciliation from within our communities.

Jointly presented with the CARMA Colloquium at the University of Newcastle, Australia

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speaker: Emma Smith Zbarsky (Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts)

Title: Conversation as assessment

Date & Time: Thursday 20 May 2021, 12:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: As educators, we need to assess our students for a variety of reasons from the mundane requirement to submit ranked scores to the arcane desire to encourage and track learning. I have developed my approach to oral examinations for undergraduate students in an attempt to support collaborative analysis of my student’s understanding, as well as an opportunity for growth and discovery right up to the final moments of a course. I will present my experiences using oral assessments both alone and in combination with written work in multivariable calculus with mid-level students, in partial differential equations with upper-level students, and in introductory calculus with first-year students.

Jointly presented with the CARMA Colloquium at the University of Newcastle, Australia

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speakers: R. Nazim Khan (UWA), Michael Jennings (UQ)

Title: A survey of High School Mathematics curricula and First Year University Mathematics Units, COVID Plus

Date & Time: Thursday 17 December 2020, 2:00pm (AEDT)

Abstract: Australia implemented a common Year 12 mathematics curriculum in 2016. Nonetheless, differences still exist in the state curricula. We survey the mathematics curricula across Australia in the different states and compare them for similarity and differences. We further survey the first year mathematics units at universities in Australia, their respective pre-requisites and study pathways, with a focus on the G08 universities. We also consider the effects of COVID to the teaching and external examinations at Year 12. Finally, we investigate the various concessions the G08 universities have made to entry standards, and their implications for pre-requisite knowledge.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Slides: available here

Speakers: Michael Donovan (Macquarie) and Judy-anne Osborn (Newcastle)

Title: Musings on what it might mean to Indigenise tertiary Mathematics curricula?

Date & Time: Thursday 30 July 2020, 12:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: We will present some of our journey as two people thinking about what it could mean to Indigenise tertiary Mathematics curricula. We have been working in this space separately and together for some time now, and part of this talk will be the story of steps towards building that partnership. We will share some of our learnings, whilst also welcoming input from the audience from their thoughts and experiences, because we know that there is more than one story here, and more than one way to work in this space.

Presenter Bio: Dr Michael Donovan is a member of the Gumbaynggirr Nation from the north coast of NSW and Academic Director of Indigenous Education at Macquarie University School of Education. He has been involved in Aboriginal education since 1992, working from schools through to University. He has lectured across a wide variety of Indigenous topics and primarily teaches pre-service teachers about working with Aboriginal students and human rights understandings when working with Aboriginal communities. Michael is a Life Member of the NSW AECG.

Presenter Bio: Dr Judy-anne Osborn is a researcher in Mathematics and Education in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Newcastle. Her educational interests and practice are multiply influenced by her experiences of mathematics as exploratory and creative, her personal rural heritage, her enjoyment of teaching and learning and her belief in mathematics as the rightful cultural heritage of all people.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

The Zoom chat transcript from the seminar is available here. Names have been removed.

Speakers: Anthony Morphett (Melbourne), Melanie Robertson-Dean (UNE), Katherine Seaton (Latrobe)

Title: Online assessment and exams in mathematics & statistics

Date & Time: Thursday 9 April 2020, 2:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: To adapt to an entirely online teaching environment in the face of COVID-19, academics need to convert their assessment into forms that can be completed remotely. A particular challenge is to adapt summative written exams into an online form. In this session, we will describe some options for assessing written mathematics & statistics tasks in a remote learning environment, with particular emphasis on end-of-semester exams. This will include ‘Zoom supervision’ of open-book exams, remote proctoring, and the Gradescope system for submission and marking of exams. There will also be an open discussion of other approaches and technological platforms.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speaker: Robert Maillardet (Melbourne)

Title: Transitioning urgently to online classes

Date & Time: Friday 27 March 2020, 2:00pm (AEDT)

Abstract:The School of Mathematics and Statistics services 7000+ undergraduate students with around 50 permanent lecturing and tutorial staff and 170 casual tutors active each semester. In response to Covid-19 we moved preemptively and early to get tools, infrastructure and training in place to convert to online delivery and just managed to stay ahead of the impending wave to have fully operational online classes in place very quickly. This presentation talks about the online tools we used and their application to our interactive online classes, and also shares perspectives on how to manage change through such a dynamic and fast changing situation.

This 90-minute seminar will also include an open discussion about moving to online lectures.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.
Note: this recording has been edited to remove personal information of participants. Some parts of the video have been intentionally blurred or blanked out.

Speakers: Celia Hoyles and Richard Noss (Institute of Education, University College London)

Title: Teaching Mathematics in 2020 and Beyond

Date & Time: Tuesday 25 February 2020, 12:00pm (AEDT)

Abstract: In this talk, we will present our personal view of the most critical issues facing Mathematics teaching and learning in 2020 and beyond.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Note: Anyone wanting to continue the discussion from this seminar is invited to contact Judy-anne Osborn,

Speaker: Leesa Sidhu (UNSW ADFA)

Title: Teaching a compulsory maths course to Arts and Business students

Date & Time: Tuesday 10 December 2019, 2:00pm (AEDT)

Abstract: This seminar will discuss the design and implementation of a compulsory data analysis course for Arts and Business students at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy. The Rector of UNSW Canberra requested that this course be developed, in order to ensure that all graduates are exposed to key quantitative methods relevant to them in their military careers.

The course aims to teach students to use data to answer questions and make informed, objective decisions, to evaluate information, to reason logically and evaluate the reasoning of others, to understand the methods of data analysis and to apply appropriate techniques to analyse data. It focuses on understanding the concepts of statistics without overemphasizing the mathematical detail. The commonly available computer software package, Microsoft Excel, is used for data exploration, presentation and analysis.

The course is challenging to teach as the students have quite diverse backgrounds and many lack confidence or interest in mathematics. This seminar discusses ways in which the approach used in the course helps students to overcome mathematics anxiety and motivates them to engage with the course material, by establishing a supportive and encouraging classroom environment, catering for different approaches to learning, and making appropriate use of technology.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speaker: Tim Moroney (QUT)

Title: Teaching first-year Computational Science with an emphasis on collaborative problem solving

Date & Time: Tuesday 24 September 2019, 1:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: This talk will describe my experiences in designing and teaching a first-year unit in Computational Science at QUT. While many students commencing STEM degrees have significant experience with programming, others commence their studies with little to no programming experience, and often little appreciation for the importance of computation and simulation across the STEM disciplines. I will address some of the challenges in teaching a multidisciplinary cohort of Science, Information Technology, Mathematics and Engineering students with diverse backgrounds in programming and mathematics, and discuss some of the approaches taken in this unit, particularly regarding collaborative problem solving.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speaker: Julia Polak (Melbourne)

Title: Kaggle-in-class Data Challenges Can Boost Student Learning

Date & Time: Monday 19 August 2019, 1:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: Kaggle is a data modeling competition service, where participants compete to build a model with lower predictive error than other participants. Several years ago they released a reduced service that enables instructors to run competitions in a classroom setting. This paper describes the results of an experiment to determine if participating in a predictive modeling competition enhances learning. The evidence suggests it does. In addition, students were surveyed to examine if the competition improved engagement and interest in the class.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speaker: Daniel Mansfield (UNSW)

Title: Teaching mathematics with online tools and an ancient Mauritanian fatwa on inheritance for hermaphrodites

Date & Time: Tuesday 6 August 2019, 1:00pm (AEST)

Abstract: NUMBAS is a free, open source and highly versatile mathematics assessment package. At UNSW it has been used to create formative assessments that have improved student outcomes, and are highly regarded by the students themselves. This talk will give a brief overview of how NUMBAS is used at UNSW, followed by a demonstration of how to take advantage of the unique features of online teaching when writing a question. The question will be on first year permutations, but framed in the historical context of a real ancient Mauritanian fatwa on inheritance for hermaphrodites.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speaker: Glen Wheeler (Wollongong) 

Title: A model for team research projects and a conference poster session for students transitioning to maths at university

Date & Time: Wednesday 24 July 2019, 1:00pm (AEST) 

Abstract: After a curriculum transformation, a new subject was created in the transition space from high-school to university for mathematics and cognate degrees. This new subject is compulsory and serves many purposes. The centrepiece event in the subject is a team poster presentation event at the end of the semester. Teams present not only their research project, but also individual projects that have been honed through two iterations earlier in the semester. These two iterations are partially anonymously peer-graded, and reflected upon as an assessment task. In this talk I will describe the current scaffolding, support and layering of assessment that facilitates teams in being able to present a research project at the end of semester. I will then use Brookfield’s four critical reflective lenses to analyse the process, and identify several open problems.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speaker: Katherine Seaton (Latrobe)

Title: Integrating integrity

Date & Time: Tuesday 27 November 2018, 2pm (AEDT – GMT+11)

Abstract: Mathematics tasks of the type assigned to undergraduates are overlooked in the academic integrity literature, and in much of the instructional material for students about misconduct. In this talk, I will present an overview of my forthcoming e-book which begins to address this lack of specific and targeted information. In particular, I will discuss what mathematics can apply from the general scholarship, and from areas like computer science which have, by way of contrast, developed a large body of discipline-specific literature. I will then go on to present some of the 26 scenarios provided as on-line or in-class discussion starters in the book, which will be published as an open educational resource by La Trobe University’s e-Bureau early next year.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.

Speaker: Dmitry Demskoy (Charles Sturt University)

Title: A method of creating automated formative assessment by means of computer algebra, LaTeX and PDF forms

Date & Time: Wednesday 8th August 2018, 1pm (AEDT – GMT+11)

Abstract: I will explain a method of creating maths/stats assessments using a computer algebra system (e.g. Maple) and show some examples of such assessments from the subjects I teach. The method requires some programming experience from the teaching staff, but allows creating individualised assessments that can also be automatically marked. I will explore the potential benefits of this method to both students and staff.

The recording from this seminar is currently unavailable, sorry.