Project History

The spark that started this project happened in 1994 when a wise Department Chair put a copy of Harold Jacobs' Mathematics: A Human Endeavor in the hands of her new, young, somewhat overwhelmed faculty member assigned to teach his first Mathematics for Liberal Arts course. This book enabled him to realize some of the enormous potential of inquiry-based learning with this audience. For a number of years he struggled along, attempting to create additional materials to continue this approach. A small, local grant and two sabbaticals provided support for the initial work on materials that were the genesis for two books in the Discovering the Art of Mathematics library.

Working as colleagues, this project's leaders realized that their teaching, research, professional interests and interests in the Arts and Humanities provided a unique opportunity to collaborate. With Mathematics for Liberal Arts as one focus they saw the potential to build powerfully on their teaching and to help other teachers to use inquiry-based learning to help enrich their classrooms.

In January, 2009 the group was honored to receive a gift of $45,000 from Mr. Harry Lucas to support their work. They formed Project PRIME to help support others in adopting inquiry-based approaches in their mathematics teaching.

On 15 May, 2009, the group was awarded a National Science Foundation Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement Phase 1 grant entitled "Discovering the Art of Mathematics: A Library of Inquiry Based Learning Guides for Mathematics for Liberal Arts". (NSF0836943; 06/15/2009 - 6/15/2012; $ 149,971.00) Complete descriptions of this project can be found in the grant summary and the full proposal:

Grant Summary 2009

Grant Proposal 2009

Work on the project has been continued through a National Science Foundation Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Type 2 grant entitled "Discovering the Art of Mathematics: Inquiry Based Learning in Mathematics for Liberal Arts." (NSF1225915; 10/1/2012 - 10/1/2016; $ 550,611.00) Complete descriptions of this project can be found in the grant summary and the full proposal:

Grant Summary 2012

Grant Proposal 2012