Precalculus Conference Program Page

34th Annual Good Ideas in Teaching Precalculus And . . .

. . . Algebra, Calculus, Geometry, Discrete Mathematics,
and Probability & Statistics, with Technology

Rutgers University – Busch Campus – New Brunswick
Friday, March 20, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Featuring a Plenary Session, a Sharing Session (with 9 choices),
and four 50-minute Presentation Sessions (each with up to 10 choices), two before and two after lunch; details of these programs are presented below

(click on the title to see the abstract)

Precalculus and Calculus:

Calculus: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Cardano’s Formulas for Solving Cubic Equations of the Form: x3 + ax2 + bx + c = 0
Composite Functions and Continuity
Rational Function Investigation
Trig Functions as Line Segments
Using a Two-Dimensional Method for Solving Volumes of Revolution
Using the ROF-1 Method to Solve Precalculus Problems
We Broke Calculus

Algebra and Geometry:

Care to “Jazz Up” your Algebra 2 Class???  Analyzing Position and Velocity Functions in Algebra 2
Generating Pythagorean Triples in Three Different Ways
Hands-On Activities for Transformation of Functions
Using Desmos to Analyze Student Photographs and Artwork

Discrete Mathematics in Precalculus:

Approval Voting: So Goes Maine, So Goes the Country
Computational Geometry: Algorithmic Reasoning in Precalculus
Fractals for the Uninitiated

Probability and Statistics:

Personalizing Learning Through the Use of Utilizing Data
Play Ball! Hit a Home Run by Incorporating Baseball into your Statistics Class!
The Monte Hall (Let’s Make a Deal) Problem and other Fun/Challenging Problems from Marilyn vos Savant (Author/Columnist)


SAT for Graduation, College Readiness and Street Cred
Using Desmos for Discovery and Assessment
What’s the Best Way to Ask a Question?

Instructional Strategies:

Delivering Mathematical Concepts Visually
Socratic Teaching: Ask, Don’t Tell!
Teaching in an Active Learning Classroom
Teaching Mathematics of All Levels Using Active Learning Strategies


A Couple of My Most Favorite Hands-On Modeling Activities Using Technology
Connecting Mathematics with Work and Life is an Effective Way to Succeed in STEM Program
It’s All Fun and Games… Even After They Realize It’s Math
Polynomial Division: Developing Conceptual Understanding
Why You Should Be Using VNPS in Your Classroom

Mathematics and Technology:

DESMOStration 2.0
Effective Use of Choice Boards in the Classroom
Making More with your SMART Board
The Desmos Card Sort

Plenary Session:

Political Geometry: The Mathematics of Gerrymandering

Diana Davis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Swarthmore College

Gerrymandering, the drawing of (Congressional) districting lines for political advantage, has been in the news a lot recently. Mathematicians have been instrumental in creating tools to identify when a districting plan is gerrymandered; a mathematician helped Pennsylvania throw out its gerrymandered plan, and a group of mathematicians contributed important supporting evidence in the March 2019 Supreme Court case about gerrymandering in Maryland and North Carolina. In this talk, I’ll explain how geometry and statistics can help us detect gerrymandering, and you’ll have a chance to try your hand at gerrymandering — and at using some of the tools that mathematicians have developed to measure the problem.

Diana Davis completed her Ph.D. at Brown University in 2013 under the direction of Richard Schwartz. She was a postdoc at Northwestern University for three years, followed by visiting professorships at Williams College and Swarthmore College. While a graduate student, she won an international award for the video she created to explain her PhD thesis result using colors and dance, which “went viral” in the mathematical community. She has published over a dozen papers, mostly on aspects of mathematical billiards and dynamical systems, and has given over 100 talks in 22 states and 9 countries. Davis is also an educational innovator, creating and teaching problem-centered, discussion-based math courses of all levels, and studying their pedagogical effectiveness.

Sharing Session

Informal discussions of the following topics:

Bring your experiences and at least one idea to share!

Schedule of Activities

8:30 – 9:20 Session I
9:30 – 10:20 Session II
10:30 – 11:35 Plenary Session
11:35 – 12:30 Lunch
12:00 – 12:30 Sharing Session
12:40 – 1:30 Session III
1:40 – 2:30 Session IV