The comment I write most frequently as a reviewer or editor involves the word “traditional”. In most cases, I don’t think this word is doing what it needs to do, and in a lot of cases, I think it’s doing some harm. First, the term “traditional” doesn’t communicate anything about that tradition. Lots of authors contrast their pedagogical idea with an unspecified “traditional teaching”; others frame their pedagogical activity as being embedded in something more “traditional”. But this doesn’t mean anything unless the reader shares the same understanding of what is traditional and knows in detail about that tradition. Here’s …

Tradition(al)!Read More »

The journal PRIMUS (Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies) announces a special issue on developing the teaching capacity of early-career mathematics instructors. Jessica Deshler (West Virginia University) and Sarah Mayes-Tang (University of Toronto) will guest edit the special issue. An often-told anecdote among mathematicians is that of being handed a textbook and a class schedule, many times as they were just beginning graduate school, with the assumption that their years as a student would provide sufficient guidance in how to teach. Indeed, novice instructors usually teach in the way that they were taught. However, these ways of teaching are …

Call for Papers: Special Issue on developing the teaching capacity of early-career mathematics instructorsRead More »

Post by Matt Boelkins, Editor-in-Chief The purpose of this post is to offer some guidance for referees regarding what is most helpful to authors and editors in the review process, including how we interpret terms like “major revision”. At PRIMUS, we are invested in the overall project of helping students learn collegiate mathematics effectively; we do so through the articles we publish for our readers, who are primarily teachers of collegiate mathematics themselves.  As noted in our Aims and Scope, our focus is on pedagogical initiatives that range in scale of application from individual students and courses to curricula and …

What makes a good PRIMUS review?Read More »

One of the exciting elements of being the Communications Editor is that I get to connect people with the exciting papers in PRIMUS that I think will impact their professional work for the better. In support of this goal, Taylor & Francis allows us (Matt Boelkins, Kathy Weld, and me) to select papers each year as Editors’ Picks and makes them freely available for download to all without login, without requiring access to the journal. This blog post is intended to share a little about the categories of Picks and why I am excited about these particular papers. In general, …

Editors’ Picks 2020Read More »

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken loose the cobwebs in all corners of the discussion about assessment in tertiary mathematics education. Faculty are being creative about assessments in new media, are being forced to acknowledge long-standing inequities and harm in the status quo, and are being given or are demanding the freedom to make changes that may have seemed impossible a year ago. While the pandemic has certainly been horrific, I hope that one silver lining of 2020 will be a permanent shift in our assessment practices as a community as well as a sustained openness to critiquing and revising our …

Curated Collection: AssessmentRead More »

The journal PRIMUS (Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies) announces a special issue on promoting women in mathematics.  Sarah Greenwald (Appalachian State University) and Judy Holdener (Kenyon College) will guest edit the special issue. Description:  The purpose of the special issue is to encourage meaningful discourse surrounding the underrepresentation of women in mathematics and statistics. Certainly, these disciplines benefit from the talents and contributions of all people; gender equity is a matter of social justice. To this end, we solicit articles offering promising ideas and solutions for recruiting, encouraging, supporting, or retaining women in their study of mathematics …

Announcement of Special Issue of PRIMUS Promoting Women in MathematicsRead More »

One thing that was of great interest to the Editorial Board of PRIMUS at the last annual Board meeting (held at JMM in Denver in January 2020) was the geographical contrast between authorship and readership. Taylor & Francis is able to share some data on this for the interest of PRIMUS readers. Submissions since the beginning of 2017 have shown that the authorship of PRIMUS is very heavily based in the USA. The following map shows submitting countries, with darker weighting showing higher submission numbers: This pattern is even more pronounced when looking at this data in chart form (specific …

Who publishes in PRIMUS and who reads it?Read More »

There are SO MANY RESOURCES floating around. This page is my attempt to get them all in one place so that individual faculty don’t have to hope they’re on the right lists or reading the right Twitter threads. PLEASE, PLEASE comment or send me things to add to this page. I am confident that this post represents a small fraction of the ideas I’ve read in the last two weeks. Webinars and overviews: Rick Cleary, Ray Levy, and Mike Weimerskirch gave a (recorded) panel on “Active Learning Online” in the Electronic Seminar in Mathematics Education. This link includes several other …

Organized Resources for Teaching in this PandemicRead More »

This blog post expresses the wisdom of two colleagues who are thinking about the challenges of suddenly teaching with the online meeting technology Zoom. First, Steve Klee, an associate professor at Seattle University, shares his recent experiences transitioning suddenly to teaching with Zoom and wanting to maintain small group work. Then Anne Ho offers a checklist for faculty ramping-up to using Zoom derived from her experiences as chair of the (online) masters of mathematics program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. While the content of this blog post is not directly connected to PRIMUS, we are confident that these …

Suddenly Teaching with Zoom?Read More »

Lots of faculty are being asked to re-imagine courses in the middle of a term to allow for completely remote learning. As other have pointed out, this is not the same thing as designing an online course, let alone developing the expertise to teach in a radically different medium suddenly, so we should expect less out of the results. Personally, I think we should allow students to get “credit” for courses up to this point but to be able to walk away from the rest without penalty (interpreted broadly), in order to preserve their health and to respect the fact …

Resources as you suddenly convert a course to a remote formatRead More »