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40th Annual Conference

ON THE EDGE

May 20 to 22, 2020

For 40 years, college mathematics educators have been coming to the OCMA conference having discussions ON THE EDGE of contemporary issues we experience in our classrooms and learning spaces independent of policies and procedures. Maybe you are a new learning specialist trying to find out what technologies are ON THE EDGE of math pedagogy. You might be a retiring professor ON THE EDGE of your career looking back at your personal growth as well as that of the college system. Or perhaps you are an established proponent of mental arithmetic who is ON THE EDGE of embracing the calculator. Whatever face you are currently showing, the OCMA conference allows you to meet others on those edges to share and debate ideas before you decide to step back or move forward. Join us at OCMA 40 to celebrate 40 years of discussions ON THE EDGE of college mathematics.

Our apex keynote speaker is Ovidiu Bagdasar, University of Derby, Derby, UK, who will guide us on the edge of mathematics from the classroom to applications and infinities.

Wednesday, May 20

11 - 12:30

Registration and Light Lunch

Location: Lobby

12:35

Welcome and Opening Remarks from the Executive

Location: Bergwens

12:45 – 2:15
Speaker
Session 1

KEYNOTE: ON THE EDGE OF MATHEMATICS:
FROM THE CLASSROOM, TO APPLICATIONS AND INFINITY

Mathematics is often called the “Queen of Sciences”, being praised for its clarity, elegance, and beauty, and for its applications in science, technology, and in our daily lives. This talk will take you on a journey on the edge of mathematics and its many applications. Mathematics has always been the cutting edge of reason, as language in which the laws of the Universe are written, allowing scientists to explore the edges of time, space and light. In the classroom, mathematics keeps everyone on the edge: keen students on the edge of their seats, anxious students on the edge of despair, teachers on the edge of patience, while technology companies and pedagogic practice are pushed to the edge of innovation. Mathematics also keeps us on the edge of faith. Dare to take the leap, and you are exposed to spiritual delights on the edge of disbelief, such as infinity, fractals, and magic formulae.

Dr. Ovidiu Bagdasar, University of Derby, United Kingdom

Location: Bergwens

2:20 – 3:20

CONVERSATION CAFÉ

Check out the presentations for the conference and meet the presenters.

Location: Bergwens Lobby

3:30 – 4:20
Speaker
Session 2

Are Your Students on the Edge of Their Seat in Your Math Class?

We believe that a world where everyone enjoys mathematics is just around the corner and we’re on the edge of helping students discover the joy of learning mathematics. Over the past 10 years of delivering mathematics resources to colleges across Canada, we’ve seen time and again the value of teaching students math with a focus on engagement. This includes providing them with truly meaningful applications for their learning, tapping into the latest trends in technology, and introducing them to gamified elements that motivate through goal-oriented challenges. Be sure to bring your laptop because we will be kicking off the presentation with an interactive math game that will have you on the edge of your seat!

Anand Karat and James Howell, Vretta Inc

Location: Simcoe

How Maple gives STEM students that EUREKA! feeling.

So you’ve heard that Maple can be used to help enlighten and excite students (maybe you even know it was used to teach Calculus to a group of 11-year-olds!). Plus, you’ve decided that your students, many who have aspirations to pursue a STEM career, deserve to be exposed to a Computer Algebra System. But it’s been a while since you’ve used a Computer Algebra System such as Maple, and you certainly don’t have time to redo all your course material or spend hours learning a new tool. You can relax! This session will showcase features in Maple 2020, our latest release, that will allow you to get productive right away. In this session, we will highlight features of Maple that bring calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, physics, statistics, and many other classes to life.

Presented by Maplesoft

Location: Huronia

MyLab Math for Business Math

Ideally, what do you wish you could be doing in class to keep students engaged? Do you spend more time creating assignments, homework, and grading than working with students in the classroom? Are you being asked to “flip” your class but simply don’t know how or have the time? Join Pearson author Kelly Halliday as she highlights how the features in Pearson’s MyLab Math for Business Math allow her to easily assign reliable homework exercises and quizzes, supports student learning, and frees her up to engage students and have a more interactive classroom.

Euan White, Pearson and Kelly Halliday, Georgian College

Location: Room 420

Wiley

Location: Bergwens

4:30 – 5:20
Speaker
Session 3

Connect: Affordability and Outcomes

Learn how Canadian business math instructors are using McGraw-Hill’s Connect with Smartbook platform to improve course performance and improve efficiency. Explore recent enhancements to the Connect for Jerome/Worswick Business Mathematics in Canada 10th Canadian edition. Enhancements included the addition of BAII Calculator questions, improved algorithmic questions, SmartBook 2.0, and the ReadAnywhere app. Participate in an interactive demonstrations, with opportunities for attendees to ask questions and share.

Margaret Greenfield, McGraw-Hill Education

Location: Simcoe

The TI-Nspire CX II CAS and the TI 84+CE

This presentation will begin with a tour of the TI-Nspire CX II CAS Handheld and Teacher Software. Then on to the TI 84+CE SmartView Teacher Software, TI-Innovator, and TI-Rover.

Tom Steinke, Texas Instruments

Location: Huronia

Improving Student Outcomes in Foundational Math Courses

How do you address the unique and ever-changing needs of students in foundational math courses at your institution? Foundational math courses often have students from diverse math “starting points”, and it can be difficult to address them in the classroom. This session is about setting your students up for success by providing them with access to the math remediation they need in a personalized learning format that engages them in the process. You will learn how to use digital course materials to meet your students where they are in their learning curve and help them master the material that will empower them to succeed.

Nelson

Location: Room 420

5:30 – 6:25

Hospitality Suite (sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education)

Location: Fireside 108

6:30 – 8:00

Dinner/Annual General Meeting/ Reports from OAME, AMATYC

Location: Dining Room

8:00 – ???

PUB(lisher) Night and CASINO (sponsored by Pearson)

Come on over to check out the publishers and vendors AND do some serious gambling! The bar will be open! Have a MATHerita to celebrate 40!
Win lots! Lose tonnes!

Location: Mary Lou’s

Thursday, May 21

7:00 – 7:30

Walk/Run Activity

Start the day with a walk/run! Meet at the Gazebo located at the front of the main lobby.

Location: Gazebo

7:30 – 8:45

Breakfast

Location: Dining Room

9:00 – 9:50
Speaker Session 4

Edging Toward Vocational Mathematics

In terms of curriculum, the transition from K–12 math education to college has a significant amount of branching into different types of vocational mathematics. This session will look at the scope of the issue from the point of view of the mathematics involved. What happens mathematically? How might we get an edge on addressing the challenges?

Tim Sibbald, Nipissing University

Location: Simcoe

Productive Struggle in Developmental Mathematics

A substantial amount of students enter college underprepared in mathematics. Colleges address this problem by enrolling these students in a sequence of remedial courses known as developmental mathematics. However, only half of the developmental mathematics students complete the sequence. This presentation looks at the qualitatively different ways students and lecturers experience productive struggle and how this could be promoted to promote learning.

Matthew Cheung, Centennial College

Location: Huronia

Advancing Test Preparation with LaTeX

Nowadays, printed assessments are mostly prepared in MS Word. In this talk we will build the case for using LaTeX instead. LaTeX is a free On-the-Edge document preparation system, which can offer a number of powerful tools for assessment preparation, which are either inconvenient or unavailable in Word. Complex formulas and symbols can be displayed easily using LaTeX. LaTeX can automatically space problems on pages, keep track of marks, generate various values for problems, calculate solutions, generate rubrics, change sequence of problems and answers, show and hide solutions, and do many other important tasks. Customizability and flexibility of document preparation is endless in LaTeX and is far surpassing that of MS Word.

Maksim Sokolov, Seneca College

Location: Room 420

Cutting Edge of Innovation in Mathematics and Statistics for Health Sciences

Our country continues to be evaluated on its overall health-care, and the reports show a great rating! We as educators continue to commit to raising the quality of our health-care providers through the delivery of cutting-edge innovations in mathematics and statistics in health sciences courses. Two years ago, Vretta launched a new resource that was tailored to the provincial curriculum for health sciences. This year, we invite you to join us to discuss the evolution of this resource through the feedback that we have received.

Sean Saunders, Sheridan College, and Irene Lee, Humber College

Location: Bergwens

10:00 – 10:50
Speaker Session 5

The (Mathematical) Write Stuff

There is a transition gap between high schools and colleges, where high school teachers need to hear from college professors. Whether it is your best practices, challenges you are finding, or classroom research, one way to address the gap is to provide details to teachers. This session will draw on my experience as a high school teacher, mix in some research regarding vocational mathematics, and draw on experience as an editor of a mathematics journal and several books. The intention is to clarify why there are challenges communicating and how we might give high school teachers an edge preparing students for college destinations through the written medium.

Tim Sibbald, Nipissing University

Location: Simcoe

Decolonizing and Indigenizing Math Learning Spaces

The first step in the process of Reconciliation and Indigenization is awareness and putting ourselves in the mindset of Decolonizing. In this engaging and reflective session, we will survey the Eurocentric history of mathematics as we know it and open our minds to different ways of knowing and learning. The main aim of this session is to share current research and discuss thoughts and ideas. We hope that by the end of this session participants will reflect upon their current practices.

Srishta Chopra, Emily Tian, Darcie Brown, Centennial College

Location: Huronia

Seven Reasons Why You Should Ditch BEDMAS

Replacing the teaching of BEDMAS with the Analysis-Synthesis Technique can help one learn to use algebra as a language to encode information into and decode information from algebraic expressions, equations and formulas. While BEDMAS works, there are numerous problems associated with its use. Its teaching leads to a major block in helping learners become fluent in the use of algebraic tools. These shortcomings can be overcome by replacing BEDMAS with the Analysis-Synthesis Technique which focuses on the syntax of algebra as a language to deal with the ever increasing level of complexity of the types of problems that we solve.

Afshin Azari-Vala, George Brown College

Location: Room 420

On the Edge of Launching Lifelong Learning through the Adaptation of Open Education Resources for Calculus

OERs reside in the public domain and can be tailored to increase student engagement, encourage educators to collaborate and share, save costs, and have proven to serve as a model for lifelong learning for students. Last year, we were presented with the opportunity to remix and revise openly available calculus content for health sciences and mathematics for technologists to provide our students with engaging, affordable, and high quality digital learning experiences. We are on the edge of launching this lifelong learning resource and invite you to join us to learn about how we have adapted this content, without traditional copyright limitations, making the learning resource open for students to use without having to pay exorbitant costs.

Erin Kox, Fanshawe College, and Paul Obour, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Location: Bergwens

11:00 – 11:50 Speaker Session 6

Problems That Good Students Could Not Solve And What I Did to Help Them

Teaching is often conceived as the process by which the content of a subject is brought to the mind of the learning individual. The brain is envisioned to be a static vessel which gets filled. My presentation aims to demonstrate that the responsibility of the teacher should include a focus on the construction of that brain. I will present examples from elementary school to higher school, showing that spending time in class for reflection and discussion along with problem-solving are of greater benefit to the student than simply delivering concepts and algorithms as recipes. This model presents mathematics not as a fixed discipline already elaborated before but as one that is actively growing and to which the student can contribute in its construction. My assertion is based on the classic cognitive theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, extended to the cognitive development of the adult individual, as well as recent findings of neuroscience that affirm that learning changes the physical structure of the brain.

Hernando Burgos-Soto, George Brown College

Location: Simcoe

Calculated Humor

Keep your students on the edge of their seat, while working on the edge of your comfort zone, using humor in the classroom! Humor is a powerful classroom tool. It enhances student focus and enjoyment in the classroom, increases students’ ability to remember what is discussed in class, and can be used to illustrate and explain numerous mathematical concepts. This presentation will give a technical explanation of what a jokes are and why they are funny, leading into how to make up your own jokes to use effectively in the classroom. We will also discuss the benefits of using humor in the mathematics classroom, giving examples of several jokes that illustrate mathematical concepts. Finally, there are areas of humor better to avoid in the classroom, and the presentation will touch up on these as well. Humor can be a powerful weapon, and those who wield it on the edge of its capability, ought to have some basic safety training.

Alexander Gurevich, Humber College

Location: Huronia

On the Edge of Raising the Level of Numeracy in Our Province through OCMT – 16 Years in the Making!

Our provincial math diagnostic and upgrading resource OCMT has been continuing to serve the needs of students and educators at high schools, colleges, and universities by strengthening student confidence and preparing them for success in their math courses. We invite you to learn more about the recent implementations, psychometric analysis, partnerships, and technological evolution that have been made over the past 12 months to bring this innovative assessment-for-learning experience in the hands of our students, preparing them for success in mathematics.

Emily Brown, Sheridan College, and Anand Karat, Vretta Inc.

Location: Room 420

12:00 – 1:15

Lunch

Location: Dining Room

1:30 – 4:30

Inter-Active Activities : See the sign-up sheets for activities, including:
Golf / Walking / Biking Trail/ Badminton/ Tennis/ Table Tennis/ Archery /Canoes / Kayaks
/ Paddle-boats/Mini-golf/Bocce / Horseshoes / Shuffleboard/ Archery/Hockey
Complete the Math Problem Challenge (due at 6:30 today!)

PRIZES!!!!

Location: Outdoors

5:00 – 6:10

Hospitality Suite (sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education)

Location: Fireside 108

6:15 – 6:30

Group Photo

Location: Gazebo

6:30 – 8:30

MYSTERY DINNER (sponsored by Vretta)

Location: Dining Room

8:45 - ???

MOVIE in Bergwens

GAMES in the HOSPITALITY SUITE

Location: Bergwens Fireside 108

Friday, May 22

7:00 – 7:30

Walk/Run Activity
Start the day with a walk/run! Meet at the Gazebo located at the front of the main lobby.

Location: Gazebo

7:30 – 8:45

Breakfast

Location: Dining Room

9:00 – 9:50
Speaker Session 7

On the Edge of a Transformational Change in Learning Business Statistics

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition; they somehow already know what you want to become”. This quote from Steve Jobs romanticizes intuition as a key decision-making factor for success in business and life. However, we as educators know that data-driven organizations are three times more likely to report significant improvements in decision-making compared to those that rely on their gut or a hunch. This reality has led to our commitment to teaching students statistics contextualized for business applications in a digitally rich environment, ensuring that they see immense value in its use. Last year, we launched a new business statistics resource for Canadian students. This year, we invite you to our session to learn how this resource has evolved and is on the edge of providing students with exceptional tools and transformational experiences at Canadian colleges.

Joshua Emmanuel, Humber College, Sean Saunders, Sheridan College, and Lisa MacKay, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Location: Simcoe

The Art and Science of Teaching Online Statistics

In this presentation, I will explore the area of designing and teaching online STEM courses and share my experience in researching, designing, and teaching an online statistics course, which was developed and designed within the “From STEM to STEAM” initiative in a Community of Inquiry theoretical framework. This course is a “collage” of different activities including art-inspired elements. The community of inquiry framework provided conceptual guidance to the study and practice of online learning. I believe this case study provides useful insights into benefits and challenges of creating effective and engaging online statistics and mathematics courses.

Elena Chudaeva, George Brown College

Location: Huronia

Economics for Mathematics Edge-ucators

Economics is a rich source of classroom examples for mathematics educators: equilibrium of supply and demand, optimization of profit and costs, consumer and producer surplus and growth models, among others. But to what extent are these simple models realistic? In this talk, I will explain the assumptions underlying some often-used economic models and discuss to what extent they actually reflect reality.

Gordon Craig, Sheridan College

Location: Room 420

10:00 – 10:50
Speaker Session 8

Living On the Edge – Inside and Outside the Classroom with Business Mathematics

Out of the 1.2 million small, medium, and large businesses in Canada, small businesses account for 97.9%! This statistic shows the importance of entrepreneurship in our country. Small businesses play an immensely large role in job creation and the success of our economy As educators of business and finance mathematics, we need to provide our students with effective, high-quality, and contextual learning experiences to ensure a high level of passion in the subject. In this session, we will be sharing different strategies that we have used for students to integrate business and finance mathematics into their lives, ensuring that they remain engaged, invested, and on the edge of using business mathematics to become financially savvy future entrepreneurs of our country.

Lisa Mackay and Paul Obour, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Location: Simcoe

Balancing on the Edge

This presentation is about combining and balancing features of hybrid, flipped and traditional classroom pedagogy to meet student expectations, student engagement and student use of social media technology in our ongoing adventure in teaching.

Dave Schuett, Durham College

Location: Huronia

On the Edge of Understanding

To me, this begins with cultivating accessibility in mathematics. In my math classes, my goal is to engage students by embracing Bruner’s constructivist approach where the student is an active agent in their learning and meaning making. Instead of “telling” students about the math they need to learn, I draw on everyday experiences to pull out the mathematical concepts embedded within them. In this session, I will present group activities that I have used in my math classes to get students thinking, talking and doing math to introduce or consolidate a mathematical topic. We will also try them out! Topics include fractions/decimals/percentages, standard deviation, binomial distribution, and linear equations.

Elisa Romeo, George Brown College

Location: Room 420

11:00 – 11:50
Speaker Session 9

Number Systems and Alternative Notations for use in Theoretical and Applied Contexts

This presentation begins with a look at two commonly used classification schemes to represent numbers: the historic scheme (whole numbers, fractions, decimals, signed numbers and irrational numbers) and the formal scheme (natural numbers, N, integers, Z, rational numbers, Q and real numbers, R). The latter is tied to the need for closure with respect to the various operations that are used in problem-solving, as we move from the simplest of the problems to increasingly more complex problems. The presentation will then move to alternative notations used to represent the different types of numbers: the formal notation (used to represent the numbers in N, Z, Q and R) and base-ten notations (decimals and scientific notation). We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each notation and show how the strengths of each notation can be exploited in the communication of ideas in theoretical and applied contexts.

Afshin Azari-Vala, George Brown College

Location: Simcoe

OERs and the Vision of Mathematics Education in the Open

In this presentation, I will share the latest movement of open education resources in the higher education domain and the implications they bring to mathematics. This presentation will touch on how to implement open education resources and open technological tools into daily teaching practices, write your open textbooks in Pressbooks, use H5P to build interactive assessments, and discuss the opportunities and challenges lying ahead of us with the whole OCMA community.

Xinli Wang, University of Toronto Mississauga/Humber College

Location: Huronia

Living on the Edge – A Tour of Graph Theory and Topology

What do stirring a cup of coffee, colouring a map, cutting a ham-and-cheese sandwich, building a bridge, and studying meteorology all have in common? The answer is math, but it’s not what we might expect! Come and push the perception of math to the edge as we take a tour of topology and graph theory, develop a deeper appreciation for some well-known concepts, and discover some new ones! We may even find a few ways to inspire our students to explore some tangential, beautiful and fun mathematical ideas!

Sean Saunders, Sheridan College

Location: Room 420

12:00 – 1:30

Celebrating the History of the OCMA and Lunch

….. remembering when ……

[Note: if you are leaving early and will not be around for this lunch, please notify the Fern front desk by lunchtime on Thursday.]

Location: Dining Room

THIS CONFERENCE IS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED AND SUPPORTED BY:

Thank you for sponsoring the MYSTERY DINNER and looking after our website!

Thank you for sponsoring the CASINO NIGHT!

Thank you for sponsoring the HOSPITALITY SUITE!

Thank you for sponsoring the MATH CHALLENGE!

Thank you for your continued support of the OCMA!

Thank you for your continued support of the OCMA!

Thank you for your continued support of the OCMA!

Thank you for your continued support of the OCMA!

Thank you for your continued support of the OCMA!

Thank you for your continued support of the OCMA!

Thank you for your continued support of the OCMA!

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