Saturday, March 5, 2011


I just got back from the annual meeting of KYMATYC (Kentucky Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges).  KYMATYC is a regional affiliate of AMATYC.  The meeting was held at General Butler State Park in Carrollton, KY.

I rode down to the conference with my colleagues Dana and Mike on Friday.  Marty met us at the conference.  The talks I attended were:
  1.  Leslie and Gary Wash a Car... and Use the Tau Function - Gary Goodaker
    Gary started with a classic algebra problem and then developed it to include some number theory.
  2. Patterns and Connections in Developmental Mathematics - Pat McKeague
    Pat demonstrated some teasers that he uses in his basic algebra classes to introduce his students to topics in higher mathematics.
  3. Curriculum Spin Session - Jason Taylor
    This was an informative talk about how KCTCS got two calculus sequences.  All of the community colleges in Kentucky are under the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.  Some of the colleges have different opinions of how many credits each Calculus class should have.  Somehow, the directive to eliminate duplicate courses in the catalog lead to an updating of the courses inherited from the University of Kentucky and placing them side by side with the KCTCS developed courses.  More to follow.
  4. Online Spin Session - Gail Stringer
    This was a discussion session about teaching online classes.
  5. Let's Talk About Course Redesign - April Joy Spears and Jamie Foster
    KCTCS is moving all of its colleges toward teaching developmental mathematics with the Emporium Model.  This was one of three talks about the Emporium Model.  More on that in another post.
  6. The Human Cannonball, Ferris Wheels, and Trigonometry - Pat McKeague
    Pat gave the keynote speech at the conference.  He gave a good talk about applications of trigonometry.
The "After Math" part was after dinner.  I went for a while, but left because I was getting tired.

I have a tradition of waking up early on the Saturday of the conference to go geocaching.  I tried this morning, but the rain and dark kept me from getting too far down the trail.  I turned back and got a few more minutes of sleep before going to breakfast.  Here is some video of the Ohio River I shot on Friday to show you how wet it was.

The Saturday talks were:
  1. Emporium Model of Instruction - Fostering Student Success Through Independent Learning - Dawn Chumley, Stacie Gary, and Mark Hawkins
    This was another talk on the Emporium Model.  Most of the talks on course redesign follow the same format, give details about the grading, show a picture of the lab, and give the stats on the improved pass rate.  This talk was no different.
  2. Math Anxiety - Maranda Miller
    This was a good talk about fostering student confidence in mathematics.  Maranda has a personal touch in her teaching that came through in her talk.  I got a few good leads to follow up on her ideas.
  3. The Digital Age: Natives vs. Aliens - Nancy Sattler
    Nancy talked about the difference in how teaches use technology and how our students use technology.  I think that we should be focused on helping our students use technology in the correct ways as well as learning from them.
The weekend was good, as always.  The people in KYMATYC are a level-headed bunch who are out to do the best for their students.  I always feel better about teaching after the conference.