Modeling across the Currilculum The SIAM-led Modeling across the Curriculum program has, so far, held two workshops in 2012 and 2014. This paper describes some of the main outcomes of this initiative and the workshops.In this particular paper the focus will be firmly on the undergraduate education aspects. The overarching goal of this initiative is to 'Engage and keep young people in stem disciplines, from k-12 through undergraduate (and graduate) studies, and into the workforce.' The extensive use of Modeling both within the mathematical education of students and in cross-disciplinary team-teaching situations is seen as a natural way of motivating students' interest in mathematics and its relevance to all STEM disciplines. This approach also addresses some of the observations in the PCAST Engage to Excel report that much of the traditional mathematics curriculum is not well adjusted to the needs of 21st century scientists and engineers. The first workshop report made several major recommendations, including 'Develop modeling-based undergraduate curricula.' The second Modeling Across the Curriculum Workshop, MaC II, extended the work of the first by using three working groups, one of which was devoted to develop explicit pathways to address effective strategies for influencing undergraduate STEM education. While the program primarily concerns mathematical content, it specifically addresses a much broader view of STEM education, requiring cooperation across multiple disciplines.
The need for a more applied/relevant approach to mathematics education from early grades through college is well recognized for students entering any majors and careers, especially in the STEM fields. Modeling and computational applied mathematics provide a natural vehicle to satisfy this need.
Overarching goal: Engage and keep young people in STEM disciplines, from K-12 through undergraduate (and graduate) studies, and into the workforce.
Key activities have been two workshops to develop programs in modeling at all levels.
Approach has been through active participation in small (approx. 40 - 50) people) workshops with expertise from colleges, and K-12 community, from mathematics and partner disciplines, from scientists and education researchers.
Recommendations that resulted have been followed through in the form of subsequent proposals, formation of professional collaborations and groups.
Key outcomes have included:
formation of SIAM's activity group (SIAG) on Applied Mathematics Education, which in turn is preparing for SIAM's first Conference on Applied Math Education, ED16;
the IMMERSION program (Levy, Burroughs, Seshaiyer) was an outcome of MaC II;
the GAIMME report (Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Mathematical Modeling Education, led by Levy and Fowler) is another outcome, in late draft form;
Formation of a joint NCTM-SIAM committee on Modeling across the Curriculum;
Broader impacts are really central to this project. All of the outcomes reflect that in their (potential) influence on K-12 and college education, and the transition between these. The NCTM-SIAM collaboration is an excellent example of an impact beyond the original expectations.
Modeling became a theme of latest CBMS Forum, at least in part due to MaC;
Links to TPSE-Math and Common Vision projects
No unexpected challenges. Still making progress towards desired goals.
Modeling across the Curriculum www.siam.org/reports/modleing_12.pdf
Modeling across the Curriculum II, www.siam.org/reports/modeling_14.pdf
Collaboration in the Mathematical Sciences Community on Mathematical Modeling across the Curriculum, CHANCE, Vol 28.4, 2015, pp 12-18