MIT room 2-171
By arrangement pretty much anytime (e-mail or call)
Iím a Lecturer II in Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) at MIT: I help math instructors to teach communication (writing and speaking) within the context of their math classes. My activities are diverse: I lecture, lead workshops, work with students one-on-one and in teams, consult with instructors and TAs one-on-one and in workshops, and I am editor of the math departmentís CI Space. The CI Space is an internal website that helps math instructors collaborate to develop and share ideas and materials for teaching mathematical communication in their classes.
I am also an editor of the Mathematical Association of America's Mathematical Communication website, which grew out of the MIT math department's CI Space.
With Michael Carter (NCSU), I am researching the communication skills needed by software engineers in industry.
Below is a list of the classes I work with in the math department, and a brief description of the communication in each.
Project Lab in Mathematics
This subject is an lab class, so it is focused on research: in teams of three, students explore rich open-ended questions in mathematics. Each team does three projects during the semester. For each project, the results are presented in a paper, which is then revised. Each team presents the results of one of their projects to the class in a 50-minute presentation. Along with the math instructors and TAs, I help teams to prepare for their presentations to the class by watching and giving feedback on a practice presentation. We also give feedback on paper drafts.
Real Analysis, Communication Recitation
This recitation meets once a week to teach topics of mathematical communication within the context of Real Analysis. Recitation topics include proof writing, information order and connectivity, guiding text, elegance, communicating mathematics to a range of audiences, preparing slides and visuals, and peer critique. Students write and revise three short papers on various topics for various audiences. Most recitations are taught by a math instructor who collaborates with me to prepare the recitations; I give the recitation on information order and connectivity and am available to help students individually with their writing.
Principles of Applied Mathematics
This lecture class focuses on topics in applied mathematics. During the first part of the term, the problem sets include short writing assignments for clearly explaining algorithms and presenting proofs. In the second part of the term, students write and revise a term paper on the applied-math topic of their choice. I give a lecture to prepare students for writing the term paper, I provide individual feedback on some of the short writing assignments and term papers, and I train TAs to provide communication feedback on the others.
Undergraduate math seminars
The math department has about ten undergraduate seminars on various topics. For each seminar, students teach each other the mathematics: each class is given by one or two students who research a topic and then present it to the rest of the students. Each student also writes and revises a final paper on a topic of their choosing. I am available to consult with the seminar instructors to plan the semester; during the semester Iím available to read and give feedback on paper drafts, watch practice presentations, giving writing &/or presentation workshops, etc.
I have taught communication in the following classes in past years as well:
Micro/Nano Processing Technology
Computer System Engineering
Quantitative Physiology: Cells and Tissues
Communication workshop for math majors doing a year abroad
Principals of Mathematical Exposition
Bioelectronics Project Laboratory
Psychoacoustics Project Laboratory
Biology Project Laboratory
Topics in Experimental Biology
Before coming to MIT in 2003 I was a developmental editor and freelance writer for math and science textbooks for a decade. My education is in math, physics, education, and graphic design. I'm co-editor of Boston Rocks, 2nd Ed., a guidebook to rock climbing in the Boston Area.
In my spare time
I enjoy many ways of exploring the world: travel; rock, ice, and mountain climbing; taking classes; research. Currently I'm researching the communication needs of software engineers in industry.