Department of Mathematics

In a glass case in the hallway of Altgeld Hall on the University of Illinois campus lies an all-but-forgotten machine -- a Harmonic Analyzer designed by Albert Michelson to perform Fourier Analysis. This presentation will describe the year long effort to memorialize this machine via the creation of a series of videos and production of posters and a coffee table book. No specialized knowledge will be necessary to appreciate this wondrous machine.

Peter Braunfeld will be leading a discussion about Common Core. The Common Core Mission Statement asserts that "the standards are designed to be robust, and relevant to the real world." But a sampling of the Common Core test items utterly fails to support this thesis. This seminar is designed to help attendees understand the abyss between pious hopes and dismal reality.

In response to the launching of Sputnik almost 60 years ago, the US has struggled to reform school mathematics. We've spent large sums of money on new curricula, teacher training and technology. What seems to be working, and what remains to be done?

Educators are always talking about "what mathematicians really do." Fact is, they do lots of very different things, most of which require technical vocabulary and a lot of mathematical background

Around 1890, Georg Cantor invents a theory of infinite sets and shocks the mathematical world. Luckily, this theory is not only genuinely elegant, but doesn't require much background. So, it's a wonderful example for both high school teachers and students to show at least what some mathematicians do or have done.

Delta is a biannual international mathematics education conference. George and Debra will discuss some of the presentations there, as well report on the presentation they gave at the conference.

Want to test your math skills? Come to our Friday Lunch this week as Chris Cunningham, an Academic Adviser in the Math Dept, will be bringing a variety of different activities he has used in college classrooms.

The Illinois Geometry Lab is primarily a research organization that creates opportunities for undergraduates to work with graduate students and professors on cutting edge research that requires or benefits from visualization. From an engagement standpoint, our main focus is extension. We like to take what we develop in the lab, both skills and content, and make it accessible to our community.

Debra Woods will join the group to discuss, "Calculus with and without Mathematica: Some questions about student thinking."

Our presenters this week will describe the Merit Programs for Emerging Scholars at the University of Illinois and MIST (Merit Immersion for Students and Teachers) Project as well as share some early results of the impact of the MIST Project.

The group will reminisce about Jerry Uhl, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University and developer of Wolfram's Calculus & Mathematica, and his significant contributions to the field of mathematics.


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