Attention Math Faculty: Working group to research how biology is used in math classrooms!

  1. Alys Hugo

    Understanding the Usage of Bioscience in Mathematics Teaching RUME 2023 Working Group

    Quantitative Biology at Community Colleges (QB@CC) is excited to be hosting a pre-conference working group at the 2023 RUME Conference in late February. The primary goal of the working group is to research the usage of biology and life science applications in mathematics courses at community colleges. (See the abstract below.) If this work interests you, we would love to have you join us! Benefits of participating include a stipend for community college faculty and a publication. 

    To join the working group, please register for the RUME Conference for either in-person or virtual attendance and more information about the working group will be sent out in January.

    Working Group Abstract:

    Even though biology majors are typically required to take precalculus and calculus, biology is an often overlooked and under-utilized source of applications in math courses. Student engagement in mathematics is linked to their perceptions of the relevance of the material Furthermore, interdisciplinary experiences enable transference of skills and knowledge from one domain to another (e.g., quantitative skills to foundational biology courses), increasing the likelihood of success in those courses. The reasons biology faculty cite for minimizing the use of mathematics in their courses is well-researched and include lack of pedagogical content knowledge, feelings of underpreparedness for teaching interdisciplinary curricula effectively , and varied levels of preparation among students. However, measuring the extent to which math faculty are incorporating life science examples into their curriculum and identifying the barriers to using such examples is a vital first step toward improving student engagement and success. This working group aims to mirror the research done with biology faculty by finding, modifying, and/or developing and administering a survey instrument to assess the usage of biology applications in undergraduate mathematics classrooms and understand the obstacles to their use.

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