Teaching Mathematics Excursions using umbrella themes
Knee, David (2001) Teaching Mathematics Excursions using umbrella themes. In: Robert J. Bumcrot Festschrift, 11 May 2001, Hofstra University.
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Math Excursions is a type of course taught at many colleges across the U.S. It has also been called "Math for Poets," Liberal Arts Math," "Math Appreciation" and the like. The idea is to show students what mathematicians really do and why they just love doing it. Teachers attempt to introduce their students to the beauty, applicability and pervasiveness of Math and to remind them of its fascination. It's not a survey course in the old sense of covering many topics in very little depth, but rather it might consider 3 or 4 topics with sufficient opportunity for exploration to achieve the goals listed above. In this essay, I describe the concept of the course, briefly touch on some of its folk-history, offer thanks for its existence and suggest using an umbrella theme as a good way to teach it.
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