DAoM and Mathematics Majors

Posted on: 
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 4:15pm

Dear Colleagues, Friends, & Supporters,

For this month's blog Julian Fleron shares about how our project informs our work with mathematics majors, empowering them to "discover the ideas behind the formulas, explore the proofs behind the theorems, or learn about the mathematicians who changed the world with their creative minds," in the words of Rachel Fountain, a DAoM student turned mathematics major at Westfield.

What if eleventh and twelfth graders might have the opportunity to discover the art of mathematics? We are excited that several high schools are planning to create a senior course that uses our materials and teaching ideas. We are also intrigued by the Interactive Mathematics Program as a wonderful resource for using inquiry in middle and high school.

We are looking forward to reflecting with colleagues on ideas for Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics (TPSE) at the TPSE meeting at Duke University in NC in December. Come join us?


Julian Fleron, Phil Hotchkiss, Volker Ecke, & Christine von Renesse.

Prime Factor Conjecture

The primary audience of Discovering the Art of Mathematics is mathematics for liberal arts students. The scope of the project’s work continues to expand to include audiences that are more and more diverse. Here we describe the project’s connection to Mathematics majors. What we have found is that Discovering the Art of Mathematics has great value in recruiting mathematics majors AND our view of our Mathematics major has been deeply informed by our work on this project.

Although I enjoyed and appreciated mathematics, I was not compelled enough by the mathematics of high school to make it my major. This soon changed as I took my first college-level mathematics course, Math Explorations.

Hello, my name is Nicholas Taliceo and I am senior at Westfield State University. I’m a Mathematics major and I love it. I’ve had some amazing experiences – I’ve attended and presented at numerous conferences including the 2015 JMM conference in San Antonio, TX, and had the opportunity to experience undergraduate research, just to name a few. Interestingly, only a few years back, I would have never thought that I would be doing what I’m doing now…

Math Explorations showed me how much there was to learn in the world of mathematics. I had been contemplating the idea of pursuing a career as a teacher. Seeing the difference in how math is taught in high school and how it was taught to me in Math Explorations pushed me into thinking about how I could help kids in high school learn and appreciate math. I was convinced that this was the direction for me, so during my next semester I declared a Mathematics major with a certification in Secondary Education.