IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute
UNDERGRADUATE FACULTY PROGRAM (UFP)
Ordinary and Extraordinary
JOHN C. POLKING, Rice University
PAUL BLANCHARD, Boston University
DANIEL L. GOROFF, Harvard University
Co-sponsored by Chautauqua Programs
For college teachers of: mathematics, physics, or related fields who
have strong interest in undergraduate mathematics education and wish to increase both
their content knowledge and teaching skills.
Prerequisites: five years of undergraduate mathematical teaching
experience. This program is generally not for graduate students or new PhD's.
Undergraduate faculty concerned with recharging
college teaching come to PCMI from various types of institutions across the country to
pursue the following activities:
- Learning mathematics together: Participants will choose parts of the
PCMI Graduate Summer School, Research Program, or Undergraduate Program to attend (see the
sections on the Research Program and Graduate Summer School for a listing of topics, or
consult the PCMI Research Programs brochure for more details).
For 2001, this strand will
concentrate on teaching and learning about Differential Equations. Courses, activities,
and projects will examine current trends in college courses on this subject, including
special attention to technology, modeling, visualization, numerical methods, and waves.
The goal is to model the process of collectively producing useful lesson plans by holding
a regular series of workshops where practice classes can be presented, critiqued, and
improved. The products of this work should be of interest both to the general mathematical
community and to national groups currently re-examining the undergraduate mathematics
curriculum. In the spirit of PCMI, participation in these workshops by members of other
programs, including students, AP teachers, and research professors, is especially
- Curriculum development: The content focus will be on the mathematics
of grades 13 and 14.
- Public perception of mathematics: Mathematicians must be ambassadors
for mathematics. By thinking carefully about how to bring the case for mathematics before
the general public, and by acting on these thoughts, members of the mathematical community
can enhance the claim of mathematics for general support. In order to draw attention to
the pressing need for more public support of mathematics, the Undergraduate Faculty
Program, in conjunction with other interested groups at the Summer Session, will review
existing examples of promotional materials and work on creating new ones. Having a cross
section of the mathematical community present at PCMI provides a unique opportunity for
members of the Undergraduate Faculty Program to put into a broader context their efforts
to affect the public perception and support of mathematics.
There will be ample opportunity for interaction both with other
groups at PCMI who use Differential Equations to study Field Theory, the mathematical
research theme this summer, and also with the high school teacher and educational research
groups who are concerned with more pedagogical issues. Undergraduate Faculty may
spend a few hours each week, preferably in subgroups of two or three, as resource advisors
to the various Working Groups of the High School Teacher Program (see the section on the
High School Teacher Program for a listing of these working groups).
- Involvement with other PCMI programs:
Each weekday, the Institute will run activities that
include: parallel classes at the high school teacher, undergraduate, and graduate student
levels; research seminars for specialists; colloquia accessible to all; discussion groups
about policy issues of interest to mathematicians; joint luncheons; demonstrations in the
computer laboratory; etc.
College faculty with a strong interest in
undergraduate education are encouraged to apply to PCMI's Undergraduate Faculty Program.
Those interested in Differential Equations, especially as they appear in mathematical
physics generally and in field theory in particular, will be able to learn more about this
topic. Preference will be given to faculty with plans for developing and sharing ideas
related to Differential Equations that can enhance undergraduate education back at their
home institutions and beyond.
John Polking is Professor of Mathematics at Rice University. Paul
Blanchard is Professor of Mathematics at Boston University. Daniel Goroff is Professor of
the Practice of Mathematics at Harvard University and Associate Director of the Derek Bok
Center for Teaching and Learning. Professors Polking and Goroff are members of the PCMI
Application Guidelines and
PCMI Summer Session Page
PCMI Home Page
questions or concerns should be directed to