## About Us

There is a deep tradition within the mathematical sciences at the University of Newcastle of care and involvement in education at all levels. We have a critical mass of people invested in this tradition, and this page is intended to describe and promote our activities, and hopefully to promote cooperation with other like-minded persons.

## Activities

### Schools Mathematics Enrichment

The University of Newcastle Mathematics Department has a long
history of community engagement, including running an enrichment program
for talented high school students. This is currently held every
fortnight for interested year 9 and 10 students in terms 2 and 3, and
covers areas not traditionally addressed in the standard curriculum
through mathematical problem solving. Presenters are drawn from the
maths faculty, research higher degree students and outside of the
university to give a range of perspectives. Feedback from students is
generally very positive, and through this program we hope to encourage
participants to explore maths further in various ways. The Department is
always keen to notify teachers and students of these sessions, so please
contact us if you are interested in hearing more about the current maths
enrichment series.

Contact: Jared Martin, Jeff Hogan,
Louise Barker (admin)

### CARMA Young Mathematicians Programme

The *CARMA Young Mathematicians Programme* is a pilot programme building on the Enrichment Programme which introduces
school students to

- Thinking as a mathematician
- Applications of mathematics
- Computer software tools for mathematical explorations
- CARMA's research

Contact: Malcolm Roberts, Andrew Kepert

### Teaching Mathematics Teachers

Around ten years ago, Malcolm Roberts developed two specialised courses for trainee mathematics teachers. These courses, developed on sound educational principles, introduce students to the processes of mathematics and thinking as a mathematician. They succeed in positively transforming students' attitudes towards mathematics and are amongst the most popular second-year mathematics courses at UoN. We are interested in making these courses, and others like them, more widely available.

Kath Holmes and Elena Prieto run a course for practising teachers who wish to re-training as mathematics teachers.

Contact: Malcolm Roberts, Andrew Kepert, Kath Holmes, Elena Prieto, Judy-anne Osborn

### "Mathematical Rounds"

Mathematical rounds are akin to medical rounds, in which trainees accompany an expert practitioner on their rounds and discuss
cases. Mathematical rounds are an implementaion of the Quality Teaching Framework, which was developed by Prof Jennifer Gore at UoN
and which is used extensively across NSW in teacher training. Mathematical rounds are similar to techniques used in Finland,
renowned for its excellent mathematical education.

Contact: Kath Holmes, Elena Prieto,
Jennifer Gore,
Malcolm Roberts, Andrew Kepert,
Judy-anne Osborn

### Teachers Visit Day Presentations

**2013**

- Andrew Kepert, Peter Howley, Elena Prieto:
*"Maths at University, Maths in Schools "*

This session will discuss developments in national programs for ensuring that Australia continues to have the mathematical skills and knowledge required for its future. In particular, ensuring well-defined pathways through school, university and into rewarding careers in mathematics, science, technology and engineering. Key to this goal is ensuring that the schools attract and retain inspiring and well-trained mathematics teachers. - Malcolm Roberts, Judy-anne Osborn:
*"Doing Mathematics with GAuSS"*

As you may be aware Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) had a remarkable influence in many fields of mathematics and science and is ranked as one of history's most influential mathematicians. Wouldn't it be great if we could have someone like him to help us when we are doing our own mathematics? In a sense we can. These days there are a significant number of general purpose mathematical software tools that encode an enormous amount of "mathematics knowledge", (including GAuSS, i.e. Geometry, Algebra, u (?), Statistics, Simulation). Even better, in each category there are excellent free and open source packages that can be used.In this session we will introduce to you how you could use such packages to help you, and your students, do some of your own mathematics. - Kath Holmes, Elena Prieto:
*"Learning Mathematics with Purpose — Uses of PBL in the Mathematics Classroom"*

In this session we will talk about authentic learning tasks used in the mathematics classroom. We will overview strategies currently being implemented in Australia and overseas and give several practical examples. We will invite a lively discussion and would like to workshop ideas from teachers who are already using PBL in their classroom.

**2012**

- Andrew Kepert, Eric Beh:
*AMSI Future of Mathematics*forum - Roslyn Hickson, Ben Brawn, Judy-anne Osborn:
*"Teaching Calculus with Excel"* - Kath Holmes, Elena Prieto:
*"How to combat Australia's skills shortage: a mathematician's view"*

### Mathematics in the Science and Engineering Challenge

The Science and Engineering Challenge is a nationwide outreach program lead by the University of Newcastle in conjunction with
various partners and sponsors. The Challenge is designed to inspire students to study science and engineering at a senior level. In
2013, a mathematics activity was introduced, designed by Olivia Smith, Ben Brawn and Roslyn Hickson.

Contact: John O'Connor,
Ben Brawn

### NUMS: Newcastle University Mathematics and Statistics Society

The Newcastle University Mathematics and Statistics Society are well-known for their series of undergraduate mathematics talks,
and hold film nights and other social events.

Contact: Christopher Banks

### Mathematicians in Schools

Various people visit primary and secondary schools across Australia, both on their own initiative or as part of the CSIRO's
"Mathematicians in Schools" and "Scientists in Schools" programmes.

Contact: Jeff Hogan, Ian Benn

### Australian Mathematics Competition

Andrew Kepert has been deeply involved in the Australian Mathematics Competition for over a decade, and is interested in its
impact on Australian school students.

Contact: Andrew Kepert

### Communicating Mathematics in the Media

- Judy-anne Osborn:
*"Tipping the Balance Towards Humanity in WWZ"* - Jon Borwein: Pi-day talks and radio interviews
- Jon Borwein, Fran Aragon:
*"Walking on Real Numbers"* - Jon Borwein: numerous popular articles
- John O'Connor: 2NUR radio fortnightly science slot
- Roslyn Hickson: occasional 2NUR radio fortnightly science slot

Contact: Jon Borwein

### Mathematical Modelling, Simulation and Optimisation

Much of our early mathematical training would have us believe that mathematics is the study of arithmetic, algebra and geometry.
While there is no doubt that these ideas are central, mathematics is extremely diverse and has applications in engineering, business,
industry and almost every other discipline. In this session we investigate a *highly practical* area of mathematics known as
mathematical modelling, simulation and optimisation. Activities include computing the constant Pi using die, consulting for business
decision making, and the mathematics behind nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. This activity is organised by the University of
Newcastle's Equity and Diversity unit as part of their "Uni in the
Classroom" programme.

Contact: Matthew Tam, Kirrily Stokes

### SMART Program

More information is available on the Faculty of Science and Information Technology's webpage.

Contact: Terry Burns

### SSAI Poster Competition

Visit the compeition web site for more information.

Contact: Peter Howley

## People

Some of the people and some of our interests:

- Dr Judy-anne Osborn: first year maths for diverse cohorts; teaching teachers as mathematicians; "mathematical rounds"; mathematical games
- Dr Malcolm Roberts: teaching teachers as mathematicians
- Dr Kath Holmes: equity; PBL in maths; "mathematical rounds"
- Dr Elena Prieto: PBL in maths; relevance materials; "mathematical rounds"; mathematical games; computer science education
- Dr Andrew Kepert: Australian Mathematics Competition; teaching teachers as mathematicians
- Dr Peter Howley: cognitive load; online learning
- Dr Jeff Hogan: schools outreach
- Dr Ian Benn: schools outreach
- A/Prof Jarad Martin: schools outreach
- Laureate Prof Jon Borwein: experimental maths in education
- Prof John O'Connor: teachers as scientists
- Prof Jennifer Gore: frameworks for assessing quality teaching
- Prof George Willis: how students learn and perceive maths
- A/Prof Brailey Sims: school curriculum planning; schools outreach
- Mr Ben Brawn: how students gain competance in maths; schools outreach; online mathematics learning
- Mr Ben Carter: interactive online maths learning; student motivation
- Ms Rachel Bunder: schools outreach
- Mr Henry Shearman: schools outreach; NUMS
- Mr Christopher Banks: schools outreach; NUMS
- Mr Matthew Tam: schools outreach
- Mr Michael Rose: schools outreach
- Dr Liz Stojanovski: online learning; teaching with diverse cohorts
- Dr Mumtaz Hussain: innovative mathematical teaching techniques for culturally diverse cohorts, outreach activities, online learning
- Miss Rebecca Smith: mathematical education (practices and pedagogies); transitioning students from diverse backgrounds into tertiary mathematics; online learning

## Visitors

- Dr Manju Sharma,
*20 August, 2013*

Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, The University of Sydney - Dr Cynthia Garvan,
*20 August, 2013*

Office of Educational Research, The University of Florida - Dr Deborah King,
*3 April, 2012*

Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre, The University of Melbourne

## Talks

Date |
Presenter |
Title |
Abstract |

10 Feb, 2017 |
Anita PonsaingThe University of Melbourne |
Mathscraft - Doing maths like a research mathematician | [Click to show or hide] |

22 Nov, 2016 |
Dr Andrew KepertThe University of Newcastle |
A showcase of home-grown software tools for generating and managing assessment material | [Click to show or hide] |

8 Mar, 2016 |
The University of Newcastle |
Insights into the BMath from "Conversations: BMath Experiences" - a NUMERIC project | [Click to show or hide] |

16 Jun, 2015 |
Prof Bill McBrideThe University of Newcastle |
Teaching mathematics to engineering students in the USA | [Click to show or hide] |

12 May, 2015 |
James JuniperThe University of Newcastle |
Applying Diagrams from Category Theory in a more User-friendly Approach to Teaching Advanced Elements of Financial and Economic Analysis | [Click to show or hide] |

26 Aug, 2014 |
Dr Jeff HoganThe University of Newcastle |
Forum on assessment as a lens for thinking about teaching | [Click to show or hide] |

5 Aug, 2014 |
Prof George WillisThe University of Newcastle |
The art of discovering what seems too good to be true | [Click to show or hide] |

4 Jul, 2014 |
Prof Kim BeswickThe University of Tasmania |
What do great mathematics teachers know and believe? | [Click to show or hide] |

24 Jun, 2014 |
Alasdair McAndrewVictoria University and the University of Melbourne |
Open Source Systems for Mathematics and Mathematics Education | [Click to show or hide] |

13 Jun, 2014 |
Shaun BelwardJames Cook University |
Attention where it is needed: strengthening the mathematics experience for pre-service mathematics teachers | [Click to show or hide] |

3 Jun, 2014 |
Dr Judy-anne OsbornThe University of Newcastle |
Education, Combinatorics and the Modern World | [Click to show or hide] |

11 Feb, 2014 |
Jonathan KressUniversity of NSW |
Online mathematics assignments using MapleTA, at UNSW | [Click to show or hide] |

11 Feb, 2014 |
Ben CarterThe University of Newcastle |
Online mathematics assignments using MapleTA, at UoN | [Click to show or hide] |

21 Jan, 2014 |
Prof Liz BurdThe University of Newcastle |
Proposals for the flipped classroom at the UoN | [Click to show or hide] |

17 Dec, 2013 |
A/Prof Tristan PerezThe University of Newcastle |
Minimum-level of Competency in all Topics - A Requirement for Sitting the Final Exam | [Click to show or hide] |

12 Nov, 2013 |
Sue Worsley |
Profiles of Mathematics Students | [Click to show or hide] |

20 Aug, 2013 |
Dr Manju SharmaThe University of Sydney |
The changing face of education: Challenges and opportunities for educators | [Click to show or hide] |

25 Jul, 2013 |
Dr Elena PrietoThe University of Newcastle |
Discrete mathematics in the school curriculum | [Click to show or hide] |

11 Jun, 2013 |
Various MembersThe University of Newcastle |
Ideas for large class teaching from Eric Mazur | [Click to show or hide] |

21 May, 2013 |
Various MembersThe University of Newcastle |
A joint presentation from members of the Schools of Education and MAPS | [Click to show or hide] |

19 Mar, 2013 |
Dr Judy-anne OsbornThe University of Newcastle |
On the role of a First Year Experience Coordinator in Mathematics | [Click to show or hide] |

3 Apr, 2012 |
Dr Deborah KingThe University of Melbourne |
An experience of directing a mathematics and statistics learning centre at the University of Melbourne | [Click to show or hide] |

## Educational Research Group

Many members of NUMERIC are also members of the CARMA Educational Research group.

For some related publications, see: