Center for Science and Mathematics Education Research
Colloquia & Seminar Series
Tevian Dray & Corinne A. Manogue
Oregon State University
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN MATHEMATICS
AND THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES
As with Britain and America, mathematicians are separated from other scientists by a common language. Casual discussions with those in other disciplines suggest far more agreement than exists in fact. In a nutshell, mathematics is about functions, but science is about physical quantities. This has far-reaching implications not only for the teaching of lower-division mathematics “service” courses, but also for the training of mathematicians.
For the last decade, we have led an NSF-supported effort to bridge this gap at the level of second-year calculus. The unifying theme we have discovered is to emphasize geometric reasoning, not (just) algebraic computation. In this talk, we will illustrate the language differences
between mathematicians and physicists in particular, and what this implies for the teaching of mathematics in general, and vector calculus in particular.
Further information about the Bridge Project can be found at:
Monday, January 25, 2010
Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium, 165 Barrows Hall
Snacks will be provided at 2:45 in the Hill Auditorium Lobby.