Monthly Archives: October 2010

Funding call and workshops

I am pleased to be able to announce the second funding call from the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation Fund, operated by the MSOR Network as part of the National HE STEM Programme.

This call is particularly directed to funding work that builds on proven innovative practice in teaching, learning and assessment in STEM subjects and brings that practice to wider use in mathematical sciences. Priority will be given to projects which attempt to transfer established practice from a successful project in physics, chemistry or engineering, or which allow more widespread use of innovative practice based on a successful project in mathematical sciences. Funding is also available to facilitate and support innovation within the mathematical sciences curriculum through projects which support the aims of the National HE STEM Programme Mathematical Sciences Strand.

Funding is expected to be at the level of £5,000 but for a project which seeks to extend significantly the use of a proven curriculum innovation into or within mathematical sciences, or has multiple partners, up to £10,000 is available.

Full call notice and application form.

Please note registration for the following workshops is now open:

Using IT when teaching mathematics classes, 19 November 2010, University of Nottingham.
This workshop will explore ways that technology can enhance the delivery of mathematics. Experience of using tablet PCs and screencasting will be shared and an opportunity to tour Nottingham’s Multi-Display Learning Space will be offered.
Further details and registration.

Embedding Graduate Skills in Your Mathematical Sciences Programme, 24 November 2010, Sheffield Hallam University.
This workshop will explore approaches UK mathematical sciences departments have taken to developing mathematics programmes to encourage the development of graduate skills and encourage discussion of the place of skills development in the curriculum and what makes a successful approach work.
Further details and registration.

Intro to ‘Assessing student teams developing mathematical models applied to business and industrial mathematics’

I recently visited the University of Salford for the first in a series of seminars given by speakers from industry to students on a module run by Edmund Chadwick and supported by a grant from the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation fund under the title ‘Assessing student teams developing mathematical models applied to business and industrial mathematics’. The speaker was a former PhD student of Edmund’s who now works for DSTL on aircraft stealth from heat-seeking missiles. She gave an unclassified description how she uses mathematics in various aspects of her work and took questions from the students. I also discussed his project and the wider National HE STEM Programme with Edmund and observed an initial meeting between the academic advisor and a student project team.

Here is Edmund’s description of his project:

Seminars from guest speakers on a spectrum of mathematical applications used in industry are to be presented to the undergraduate mathematics cohort. A case study requiring the development of a mathematical model will be presented. Students will each have a specific role within a group that will arrange meetings themselves and also with an academic adviser. A variety of assessments and methods will be used to assess business-like team-focussed attributes. This information will then be collated by the module coordinator who will draw conclusions of interest for wider dissemination.

Edmund has kindly agreed to contribute a session on this project and the wider involvement of employers in curriculum at Salford to a workshop we are organising in November, ‘Embedding Graduate Skills in Your Mathematical Sciences Programme‘.

You can hear Edmund describing his project by listening to the second episode of the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation Project Podcast:

2 – Assessing student teams developing mathematical models applied to business and industrial mathematics – Edmund Chadwick, University of Salford

Intro to “Supporting progression in mathematics education”

I have begun work as HE Curriculum Innovation Advisor for the Maths, Stats and OR Network, working on the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation project as part of the National HE STEM Programme. I have decided to write occasional updates here on my activities and those of this project.

Recently, I visited Nottingham Trent University where Dr. James Hind is running a project supported by the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation fund under the title “Supporting progression in mathematics education”. This project looks to supply two final year undergraduate students with a project each around mathematics education, while also building an outreach relationship with a local school. Here is James’ description of the project:

Final year maths degree students will visit a local secondary school and witness first hand the teaching of maths to GCSE and A-level students. They will prepare teaching material suitable for maths degree, GCSE and A-level classes on a topic chosen jointly with their project supervisor. They will progress with the assistance and advice of secondary maths teachers from the secondary school as well as their university project tutor. They will focus on elements of mathematics which are not currently part of the national curriculum or which are not dealt with by the curriculum in any depth. They will present their work to classes of the appropriate level from the assisting school. The presentation will be in the form of a taught session and associated teaching materials. The presentations will take place at University and will be combined with a question and answer session on university life and a tour of the campus science and maths facilities for students from the assisting school.

You can hear James describing the project by listening to the first episode of the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation Project Podcast:

1 – Supporting progression in mathematics education – James Hind, Nottingham Trent University.