Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mathematics Instruction
Assistant Professor Peter Gregory
Baruch College (Mathematics and Financial Engineering)
Professor Gregory’s award recognizes his work implementing new technology and social media to enhance his precalculus and calculus courses at Baruch College. He uses a tablet PC to conduct these classes, writing all notes on the tablet screen and projecting them at the front of the room. Professor Gregory also uses the tablet PC to produce class notes, sample solutions and tutorial videos. These materials are then posted on Blackboard and Facebook to be shared not only with his students, but also with students in other sections of the same courses. Using the tablet PC and screen-capture software provides an easy way to communicate with his students mathematically outside of the classroom. Seeking a way for students to share their work with him and each other when not in class, Professor Gregory has also developed the use of Facebook as a forum in which he and his students can discuss mathematics. These techniques have been shown to greatly enhance student learning in his courses. Professor Gregory looks forward to sharing these practices within his own department, and with math departments CUNY-wide.
Assistant Professor G. Michael Guy
Queensborough Community College (Mathematics and Computer Science)
Professor Guy’s award recognizes his innovative work in developmental mathematics at Queensborough Community College. Research indicates that the students who enter college with the most significant developmental needs are often not effectively educated by the use of traditional approaches to instruction. Dr. Guy not only has restructured a course with historically low levels of student engagement and low pass rates into successful, student-centered workshops, but also has led a team of his colleagues in writing a textbook specifically crafted for the unconventional design of these workshops. His leadership has produced multifaceted strategies targeting one of the University’s most challenging areas. The award further recognizes that his work has the potential to improve the learning outcomes of a large population of students at CUNY and at other similar institutions. Dr. Guy’s website is located at at http://gmichaelguy.com
Professor Janet Liou-Mark
New York City College of Technology (Mathematics)
Professor Liou-Mark's award recognizes the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) instructional model which has promoted student success in mathematics. Students actively learn in a small group facilitated by a peer leader. In a typical workshop, six to eight students meet with a peer leader for one or two hours per week to solve carefully structured problems that are designed to foster problem-solving abilities. The faculty is closely involved by creating workshop problems and activities. These modules utilize key course concepts, channel student efforts into effective collaboration, and provide applications that are meaningful and relevant to the students. The workshops are integrated into the course, providing an opportunity for students to discuss their understanding of the concepts presented in the lecture in a supportive environment. A trained peer leader plays an indispensable role by clarifying goals, ensuring that the team members engage with the materials and with each other, building commitment and confidence, and encouraging debate and discussion. The peer leaders are students who have previously done well in the course and indicate leadership potential. Results from several studies on implementing PLTL workshops in mathematics courses that typically have high failure rates have shown improved pass rates and increased retention rates.
Adjunct Professor Leonard Presby
Queens College (Mathematics)
Dr. Presby's award recognizes his work teaching precalculus using a bridged online assessment and learning system (ALEKS). The success of his approach--which features timely feedback about student success, continual assessment of student progress, and adaptability to individual students’ learning paces—was demonstrated by an increase in students’ grades and a decrease in number of course withdrawals. Results of Dr. Presby’s work will influence future work in improving undergraduate learning outcomes in mathematics at Queens College.