To: MAA members                                         August 1, 1999

From: CRAFTY Subcommittee of CUPM

Subject: Curriculum Foundations for the First Two Years - Request for active participants

        The MAA Committee on Undergraduate Preparation in Mathematics (CUPM) is beginning a major analysis of the undergraduate mathematics curriculum. As a first thrust of this effort the CUPM subcommittee, Calculus Reform and the First Two Years, CRAFTY, is planning to undertake a series of conversations with leaders of other academic disciplines whose students are "heavy users" of mathematics. (Detailed plans are  available at These conversations will take place during a series of small workshops, each bringing together  mathematicians and representatives from a small cluster of other disciplines.  The workshops will take place over the next 18 months and will culminate with a curriculum conference designed to analyze and synthesis the workshop findings.

        The purpose of the workshops and culminating conference is to generate foundational materials, based heavily on the needs of partner disciplines, from which a set of possible model curricula for the first two years of a mathematics program will be constructed.  The foundational materials (primarily about the nature and desired outcomes of the first two years of undergraduate mathematics instruction, but also including additional needs of certain disciplines) will include:

  • expectations of the skills to be attained at the end of the first two years
  • lists of problems that students should be able to solve at the end of the first two years
  • the nature of assessment tools that should be employed
  • the "learning environments" in which students should work
  • Examples of how these expectations can be met, primarily in the form of possible courses and course sequences, will also be developed.

    Plans for the first two workshops are in place:  physics/computer science (sponsored by Bowdoin College in October 1999) and engineering/physics (sponsored by the United States Military Academy in November 1999).  These workshops will serve as pilots for the series of additional workshops to be conducted in the year 2000.

    Request for active participants: The Planning Committee is currently seeking individuals to serve on the Steering Committee; colleges and universities to sponsor/organize/host the disciplinary workshops; and individuals to provide information and contacts with other disciplines, to write background material for the workshops and to participate in the workshops. If you are interested in exploring the possibility of participating actively or for additional information, please contact
    Planning Committee chair William Barker  ( or any other member of the Planning Committee: Susan Ganter( ); Bill Haver (, Deborah Hughes Hallett ( ), Harvey Keynes (, William McCallum ( or Donald Small (
    Bill Haver
    Dept. of Mathematical Sciences
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Richmond, VA 23284-2014

    804 - 828 - 1301 EXT 123

    FAX   804 - 828- 8785