2022 Washington College Mathematics Conference



Friday, May 6

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Session I
9:55 – 10:40 a.m. Session II
10:50 – 11:20 a.m. Session III
11:29 – 11:59 a.m. Session IV
12:05 – 12:25 p.m. WAMATYC Announcements & Tributes
12:25 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch Break / Virtual Hangouts
1:05 – 1:35 p.m. Session V
1:45 – 2:30 p.m. Session VI

This schedule is still tentative but should be close to reality.

How to Access the Conference

On Friday, May 6, navigate here: wamap.org/course/public.php?cid=14626&folder=0-3

To join a session, click on the session time, then click on the presentation name to see the abstract. A Zoom link will appear for each presentation about 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. Click on that link to join the session.

If you have a WAMAP account you can enroll in the Washington College Mathematics Conference course (Course ID: 14626, no Enrollment Key required) and access the non-public version of this WAMAP classroom to participate in the discussion forums.

If you experience technical difficulties during the conference, please e-mail info@wamath.org and we will do out best to assist you.


Links to individual sessions will be posted here on the morning of May 6.

Session I (9:00 – 9:45 a.m.)

Fun in the Woods
Will Webber • Whatcom Community College

This talk is intended to be fun. I have had a lot of fun building a bunch of mathematical things from wood. Now it is time to showcase many of these. There are dice, boxes, dice-boxes and stellations of all sorts. We will discuss such mathematical topics as perfect colorings, combinatorics and stellations, et al. I had hoped to present this at an in-person conference, since these creations are best experienced in a manner that is both up-close and tactile. But honestly, I don’t want to be up close to anyone right now, and I certainly don’t want anyone touching my stuff. I will attempt to make this as hands-on as a typical Zoom session allows.

What About Students Not Ready for Co-reqs?
Facilitator: Valerie Morgan-Krick • Tacoma Community College

As more colleges adopt co-requisite models to get students through college-level math more quickly, the focus can sometimes be on those with recent math experience. However, many students (especially non-traditional ones) come to college with little-to-no formal algebra experience. Does it make sense to offer these students the option of a “Math Foundations” course to prepare them for the rigors of a 7–10-credit college + co-req math class? Or should we just trust that students thrown into the deep end will figure out how to swim? Come with your thoughts, experiences, suggestions and data. If you have experience with developing/teaching such a course, or have been part of a decision to not offer such a course, we welcome your insights!

Ungrading: A Discussion
Facilitator: Leslie Glen • Whatcom Community College

This roundtable discussion will be an open forum, rather than a structured format. The idea is to provide those who have experimented with ungrading to share their experiences and those who are curious to ask questions. There is no single way to “ungrade” a course, so different instructors will have approached it in different ways. Come and share your experience or join us to learn what it’s all about!

Chairs Roundtable: Past, Present, Pandemic and the Future
Robert Weston • Clark College | Carrie Muir • Whatcom Community College

Join two relatively new math department chairs in a roundtable conversation about being chair during the pandemic. Current chairpersons are welcome to share their experiences as well, and anonymous data from a recent survey of chairs from SBCTC schools will be shared. Learn about what your chairperson must deal with, similarities and differences of the chair role at different colleges, or (inclusive) learn if you want to jump in the “chair” when it opens in your department.

Session II (9:55 – 10:40 a.m.)

Calculus: An Ever-Changing R.I.D.E.
Dusty Wilson • Highline College

Have you ever wondered what Newton and Leibniz actually discovered? We will discuss the story of the calculus and its tumultuous R.I.D.E. of Refinement, Invention, Discovery and Exploration, beginning before Newton and Leibniz through its rapid expansion, the paradoxes of infinity, the rigorization of Cauchy, and ending with your very own calculus text.

Class Formats in the New Normal
Facilitator: Kate Cook • Clark College

Now that we all have taught online, how can we leverage this experience in the new normal that we establish in our class formats? What lessons did we learn during the pandemic that can be mixed into our teaching practices? In person? Online? Hybrid? Hyflex?

Re-thinking the Destination for Bridge to College Math
Bill Moore & Mickey Davis • SBCTC

We have a system agreement guaranteeing that students entering CTCs with a B or better in Bridge to College Math (BTCM) are eligible for placement into Math 107 or Math 146. What kind of high-school preparation is really needed for those courses, and how well does BTCM meet those needs? In this session we’d like to share a conceptual re-framing of the course as a clear bridge to those specific destinations and gather input from CTC math faculty on the specifics of that shift and how well it would serve those two courses in our system.

Session III (10:50 – 11:20 a.m.)

Derivatives Before Limits
Jeff Eldridge • Edmonds College

Learn how to compute derivatives of polynomials and trigonometric functions (and their inverses) without defining limits (formally or otherwise). Hear an argument that we should start teaching derivatives at the beginning of Calculus I, rather than after a review of precalculus followed by a detour into limits and continuity.

To Proctor or Not to Proctor, That Is the Question
Elizabeth O’Neil • Olympic College

Does your department require proctored exams in online courses? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of proctored assessments and share strategies to help students retain what they are learning.

#TacomaMath: A Community Collaboration
Ander Erickson • University of Washington Tacoma

Before the pandemic, the #TacomaMath workgroup of Graduate Tacoma’s STEAM Learning network (including Jenn Crump, Tom Edgar, Michael Hale, Rita Than, Keshreeyaji Oswal and Jenny Quinn) was creating docent-led math walks. Then came “The Great Pivot.” We tried it all — from math scavenger quests (both online and on paper) to chalking puzzles around town (inspired by Traci Jackson: @teachertraci #mathwalks). With the start of the rainy season, we moved to creating “Math Around Town” YouTube recordings. Our greatest success was building a diverse community to support each other and the love of mathematics in Tacoma.

Student Undergraduate Research and STEM Retention
Narayani Choudhury • Lake Washington Institute of Technology

I would like to share a few mathematics Undergraduate Research (UGR) projects that students have carried out at LWTech. UGR promotes student group work and collaboration, offers a novel platform for integrated STEM learning, provides critical engagement for diverse learners and engages students in discovering solutions to real-world problems. UGR also provides students leadership opportunities to present their research at conferences. Some examples from student undergraduate research and their role in minority student retention will be presented.

Session IV (11:29 – 11:59 a.m.)

Improving Exams Online Using Oral Components
Jason Counihan • Green River College

Traditional exams fall short in asynchronous online classes, thanks to the abundance of resources that allow students to avoid learning. In order to make these exams more fair and diversify how I assess students, I have begun including oral components in many of my exams and projects. I’ll show you the variations of this format that I now use after eight quarters developing it, and why I (and many of my students!) think it’s worth the effort.

Using Stories in Developmental Math to Reduce Math Anxiety
Kristen Harvey • Walla Walla Community College

Stories have multiple access points for students, so they are a non-threatening, low-stakes way to introduce math concepts. As they engage the students with laughter or memories of childhood story times, students’ emotional states relax so they are able to absorb new content. Storytelling helps turn math class into something fun and sparks students’ curiosity about how the story relates to the math concept, thus increasing student engagement. Some stories are used for introducing concepts, while others teach, reinforce or even extend mathematical concepts. In this presentation, I will be telling the story of “The Radical Kingdom” by using a Promethean Board and sharing other successful stories (and maybe some songs, too) that I have used in the developmental mathematics classroom.

Horizontal Transformations — No Longer Backwards
Eric Schulz • Walla Walla Community College

Teaching students about the transformations of functions has always been a strange experience. The vertical scales and shifts are straightforward. Explanations of the concepts are straightforward, and a decent amount of practice results in success. Then come the horizontal transformations. We run out of breath explaining why f  (2 x  +  6) results in a horizontal compression and left shift of 3 units, not a horizontal expansion and a right shift. Even with our best efforts, students can quickly forget and mess up horizontal transformations after they leave our care. There is a better way! Learn a new technique that will transform the way you explain horizontal transformations (pun intended 😊).

Diversity and Social Justice in Math
Sherry McLean • Lake Washington Institute of Technology

LWTech recently implemented a graduation requirement for all students to take a Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ designation) course. In this session, the presenter will share how a Math 107 (Math in Society) course was redesigned to meet both the quantitative reasoning and DSJ requirements for students in a single class. Participants will walk away with ideas to integrate DSJ principles into their math classes (or to redesign an entire course around it!).

WAMATYC Announcements & Tributes (12:05 – 12:25 p.m.)

Join everyone in the virtual grand ballroom for important announcements and some special tributes.

Lunch Break / Virtual Hangouts (12:25 – 1:00 p.m.)

Create or join a virtual lunch table to chat with colleagues while you eat lunch (not provided). Or get up and move around away from your computer for half and hour. Your call.

Session V (1:05 – 1:35 p.m.)

The TILT Approach: Transparency in Learning and Teaching
Carrie Muir • Whatcom Community College

This talk introduces the TILT framework for Transparency in Learning & Teaching. This framework makes explicit the “why” and “how” of what we ask students to do. TILT-ed courses produce greater student engagement, motivation, understanding, connection and retention, while reducing equity gaps. Sample TILT-ed math assignments and assessments will be featured.

Math & Personal Finance: An Alternative Pathway to Precalculus
Duong “Rita” Than • University of Washington Tacoma

This talk introduces a new contextualized math course, “Financial & Mathematical Foundations,” designed as an alternative math pathway to precalculus at UWT. The talk includes the Why, Who and How of this course.

Student Interactions with an Asynchronous, Adaptive Intermediate Algebra Course
Jen Nimtz • Western Washington University

Little is known about how students interact with online course work. This presentation presents an analysis of three case studies of cognitive interactions in this environment and makes recommendations for how faculty might better utilize online homework systems. Additional research in this area is needed.

How Do We Support Immigrant Students?
Mei Luu • Whatcom Community College

Immigrants often play a small part in the discussion about closing equity gaps in education but they are an essential part of our community. In Washington, immigrants make up approximately 13.7% of the state population (American Immigrant Council, “Immigrants in Washington,” 2017). At this roundtable, I want to invite a conversation about practices that we can implement as math instructors to support immigrant students. I will share my own story as an immigrant student to serve as a background story.

Session VI (1:45 – 2:30 p.m.)

Lie Group Analysis:
A Microscope of Mathematical Modeling and Undergraduate STEM Research
Published in Refereed Journals
Ranis Ibragimov • Wenatchee Valley College

The formulation of fundamental natural laws and of technological problems in the form of rigorous mathematical models is given frequently, even prevalently, in terms of nonlinear ordinary and partial differential equations. This presentation is based on research projects that I published with undergraduate students over the last few years in various mathematical, physical, biological and engineering international refereed journals, and represents a unique blend of the traditional analytical and numerical methods enriched by the applications of Lie Group Analysis and applied to engineering, environmental, biological, ocean and atmospheric sciences.

Grading for Equity in Online Statistics
Jennifer Ward • Clark College + Portland Community College

The book Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman is packed full of small and large changes one can make to their courses so that assessments and scoring are more equitable. In this session, the equitable grading practices I’ll discuss are: rubrics, retakes, due dates, oral quizzes, outcomes and zeros. I’ll share what worked for me and what didn’t work as well as I expected.

Good and Bad Ideas to Start Calculus I
Yves Nievergelt • Eastern Washington University

ABCD’s of Calculus I: Areas of circular sectors by Arithmetic-Geometric Means prepare for trig and integrals.; Bisection to solve equations introduces upper and lower bounds to prepare for limits; Caratheodory derivatives prepare for derivatives; Death by Bad Ideas? Hopefully for each participant there will be something (watch order of quantifiers).

Accessiblity & Affordability with Knewton Alta [commerical presentation]
Michelle Miller & Becky Moening • Wiley Education

Representatives from Wiley Education discuss Knewton Alta, a mastery-based adaptive platform. Topics include: developing and designing a Knewton Alta course aligned to course learning outcomes; personalized learning paths through an adaptive, mastery-based learning model; strategies to identify at-risk students for early intervention.