SMS scnews item created by Leon Poladian at Thu 11 Aug 2011 1034
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 23 Aug 2011
Calendar1: 23 Aug 2011 1600
CalLoc1: New Law 340
CalTitle1: IISME Event: Poladian -- First year service maths
Auth: leonp(.amstaff;2428.1001)

IISME Event: Poladian -- First year mathematics for the life sciences

First year mathematics for the life sciences 

23 August 2011 

Join us as Associate Professor Leon Poladian presents: "First year service mathematics
for the life sciences: targeting multiple proficiencies" 

When: Tuesday 23 August.  From 4:30-5:30pm, refreshments from 4pm.  Where: New Law
Annexe Seminar Room 340.  Please RSVP using 

Abstract: I will share my personal experiences teaching and redesigning a large
compulsory unit in mathematical modelling for students primarily from the life
sciences.  Many of these students do not have an intrinsic interest in mathematics and
even those who successfully learn useful skills often maintain a negative attitude
towards the subject.  Most of the changes have targeted student attitude.  A productive
disposition is nurtured by embedding activities in an authentic context and using
contemporary applications.  I’ll also share a theoretical framework that I have become
fond of that helps distinguish different types of mathematical proficiency and how each
might be targeted by differentiated learning outcomes, activities and assessments.
Finally, I will demonstrate a new online quiz system that is useful for formative

Leon Poladian did his Ph.D.  in theoretical physics at Sydney University.  He spent the
next 18 years of his career in a succession of research-only fellowships working on
optical fibres and photonics , but eventually achieved his goal of getting a traditional
academic position where he could spend a significant proportion of his time teaching and
not feel guilty about it.  He has a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education from the
University of New England and is completing a Graduate Certificate in Educational
Studies (Higher Education).  He is currently an associate professor in the School of
Mathematics and Statistics.  He has won several teaching awards, most recently an ALTC
citation for his work with first year service mathematics.  He has also spent January in
Canberra for the last 20 years teaching at the National Mathematics Summer School and
will take on the role of its Director from next year.

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