New Engaging Mathematics Teaching Manual Explores the Calculus of Milkweed and Monarchs

New Engaging Mathematics Teaching Manual Explores the Calculus of Milkweed and Monarchs

Dr. Rikki Wagstrom, an Engaging Mathematics Institutional Partner and Associate Professor of Mathematics at Metropolitan State University, published a teaching manual containing two modules for use in either a standard Calculus I-II sequence or a one-semester applied calculus survey course. The first module, Calculus Exploration 1: Rates of Change, explores declining milkweed abundance in Iowa crop fields and the implications for monarch butterflies. The second module, Calculus Explorations 2: Definite Integrals, explores monarch reproduction, a crucial factor for survival of the species. Rikki’s manual builds upon her previous work that integrates sustainability into algebra courses.

This teaching manual is available for download in ebook, PDF, and Microsoft Word format at the Engaging Mathematics website. Engaging Mathematics has published manuals that help teachers incorporate civic issues such as sustainability, climate change, and water pollution into statistics, algebra, modeling, and other mathematics courses. New manuals will continue to be shared as the work of Engaging Mathematics continues. View all Engaging Mathematics teaching manuals.

Dr. Frank Wattenberg of USMA describes Engaging Mathematics during a Joint Mathematics Meetings poster session.

Engaging Mathematics Presents Invited Poster at Largest Math Meeting in the World

In early January Engaging Mathematics partners flew to San Antonio to discuss their work at the 2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM). The Engaging Mathematics initiative was invited to the JMM to contribute a poster for projects supported by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education.

Initiative partners also presented individual work. Dr. Rikki Wagstrom (associate professor of mathematics at Metropolitan State University, SENCER Leadership Fellow) and her math education student Jodin Morey gave talks on curricula they developed for Engaging Math. Rikki’s curriculum focuses on the Midwest’s declining milkweed populations and the potential impacts for monarch butterflies. Jodin’s compares greenhouse gas emissions from automobile fuels.

Dr. Lynn Gieger (associate professor of mathematics at Oglethorpe University) gave a talk exploring how flipped classrooms impact student attitudes and achievement in a liberal arts mathematics course.

The Joint Mathematics Meetings, the “largest mathematics meeting in the world”, is co-presented by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. To learn more about the JMM, click here. To see the Engaging Mathematics poster exhibited at the meeting, click here. Follow the initiative on Twitter at @MathEngaging.