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College of the Sciences

CWU Math Professor Contributes to National Science Foundation STEM Effort

Jean Marie Linhart, Central Washington University mathematics professor, was one of only 20 participants selected for a curriculum development workshop at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. Linhart was part of an international cohort that developed materials to support methods of teaching differential equations.

Linhart created a project that explores ballistics modeling; specifically how different models of air resistance change the theoretical trajectory of an object, comparing theory with experimental data.

“The project I worked on involved modeling the trajectory of a sponge dart,” said Linhart. “Students can inexpensively collect their own data, and then use mathematics to see how different mathematical models of air resistance change the theoretical trajectory of the dart, and how well theory matches up with the data.”

Participants experienced new activities for teaching with real world scenarios through presentations and teaching experiences. They investigated applying mathematics to such areas as biology, chemistry, economics, and engineering. Through peer review, conversations, and quiet time devoted to writing, participants produced innovative teaching materials for online publishing and distribution.

The organization, SIMIODE (Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations), sponsored the week-long workshop to support using modeling in teaching differential equations, a pivotal STEM (science, technology, education, math) course in the undergraduate curriculum. SIMIODE is a National Science Foundation funded effort in support of a learning community at www.simiode.org.

DEMARC (Differential Equations Model and Resource Creators) is an NSF-sponsored developer workshop for faculty to participate in a challenging and invigorating faculty development opportunity.

Photo: Linhart is in the third row, to the right of the man in navy, yellow and white stripes.


Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu

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