This site is under construction for the MAA Subcommittee on Calculus Reform and The First Two Years
Back to CRAFTY homepage

CUPM Subcommittee on
Calculus Reform and the First Two Years (CRAFTY)

Minutes, San Diego, Saturday, January 11, 1997, 3:30pm - 4:45pm
(With additional comments and extensions.)
Notes produced by Bill Barker, March 13, 1997 

(1) Attendance.

David Smith opened the meeting by observing that not all the new members 
were notified of the meeting --- apologies were offered.

         Departing          Continuing         New           Visitors
         Members            Members            Members

Present: David Carlson       Bill Barker       Linda Kime    Mort Brown
         David Smith           (new Chair)     David Lay
           (Chair)           Karabi Datta
                             Bill Davis
                             Wade Ellis, Jr.
                             Sheldon Gordon
                             Margret Hoft
                             Herbert Kasube
                             Don Small

Absent:  Charles Alexander   Martin Flashman   Susanna Epp
                                               Bill McCallum

A complete list of the committee membership, with 
regular and e-mail addresses.

(2) Martin Flashman's Memo.

A message was read from Martin Flashman (who could not be present at 
this meeting) with the following three items:

** Suggestions on the CRAFTY web page (which Martin is currently 
designing at our request) should be sent to him at

Martin has a draft of some ideas for the page which are posted on his 
own home page:

For convenience, his current set of ideas/suggestions is attached as an 
Appendix A at the end of these minutes.

** Martin volunteered to help plan a session or panel for either the 
summer meeting in Atlanta or the next AMS/MAA combined meetings in 
Baltimore.  [Note: Even as we met in San Diego on the 11th, it was 
already too late to submit suggestions for contributed paper sessions at 
the Atlanta or Baltimore meetings.]

** Martin suggested that CRAFTY might explore the connections between 
reform of linear algebra instruction and the vector aspects of the 
second year calculus course.  What type of things are being done? What 
kinds of special attention might this need?

(3) CRAFTY Panels in San Diego.

There were brief reports given on the two CRAFTY sponsored panel 
discussions that took place the previous day (1/10/97): 
  "College Algebra Reform," 
     Organized and moderated by Don Small
  "A Roundtable Discussion with the Client Disciplines"
     Organized by Shelly Gordon
     Moderated by Bill Barker
Both had small audiences --- audiences of around 30 to 40 people --- but 
both were judged to have been valuable undertakings.  The three 
panelists in the Client Disciplines forum (from physics, electrical 
engineering, and economics) were very pleased with the event.  They were 
thoughtful, articulate, eager to be part of a dialog with mathematicians 
(and with each other) and were very supportive of the goals of the 
current reform efforts in calculus instruction.

(4) Contact with Other Disciplines/ASEE Panel in June.

The panel reports led to a discussion of the value and the methods of 
making contact with other disciplines.  The primary action discussed was 
the organization of panels at meetings of other disciplines.  The 
purpose would be to discuss the current education reform efforts in both 
mathematics and the client disciplines.  Anecdotal evidence was offered 
for the probable success or failure of such ventures (e.g., how many 
folks would show up), but no conclusions were reached.

Shelly Gordon said he would continue efforts to contact professional 
organizations of other disciplines to see if there is interest in 
hosting panels of this nature.

[Shelly, as usual, has been good to his word.  He has been busily 
setting up a summer CRAFTY panel at the ASEE meeting in Milwaukee on 
Monday - Wednesday, June 16 - 18 (ASEE = American Society for 
Engineering Education, web page:  The 
Wiley/CCH Conference in also in Milwaukee at the end of that same week 
(Friday & Saturday), so the timing is good.  Shelly and Bill McCallum 
have volunteered for the ASEE panel and we can probably recruit some 
other calculus reformers who are attending the CCH Conference.  However, 
are there other CRAFTY members who plan to be (or could plan to be) in 
the Milwaukee area at the time of the ASEE Conference?  If so --- and if 
willing to participate in the panel --- please contact Shelly and/or 
Bill Barker ASAP.  Here is what Shelly originally proposed to the ASEE:  

"I propose a panel session at the ASEE meeting that will feature several 
members of CRAFTY.  We envision this session as first providing a broad 
overview of what is happening in mathematics education, and then looking 
at a variety of the different major reform projects (calculus, 
differential equations, precalculus, etc.) that would have direct 
implications for engineering education."

They have agreed to this, with the likely addition of some engineers and 
mathematicians from engineering schools "to balance the panel."]

(5) Report from the CUPM Meeting.

Three members of CRAFTY attended the Thursday meeting of our "parent 
committee," the CUPM (Committee on the Undergraduate Program in 
Mathematics).  In fact, much of the CUPM meeting focused on CRAFTY since 
we purposely started our report with the challenging question "Do we 
still need a CRAFTY Committee?"  That was certain to produce a more than 
routine response.  The unanimous answer was YES.  The issues/actions 
that were suggested for CRAFTY's attention included:

** "Focusing" of the calculus reform movement energy and in the revision 
of the first two years program in general.  How can we help to keep 
calculus reform (and AFTY) alive and vital?  This should include the 
"managing of backlash" which will surely result from the various reform 
efforts.  (This is rather vague, more of a rallying cry than a specific 
set of actions at this time.)

** Attempting to preserve the reform materials and textbooks that have 
been developed during the last ten years but seem to be in jeopardy due 
to publisher retrenchment.  Methods which could be employed were 
discussed at both the CUPM and the CRAFTY meetings but no definitive 
consensus was reached.  Some suggestions revolved around CRAFTY acting 
as a catalyst between "orphaned authors" and an appropriate MAA 
publication committee, but there was skepticism among committee members 
that any MAA committee would wish to undertake such a publication role.  
It was also suggested that CRAFTY investigate the possibilities of 
making reform materials available electronically or via custom 
publishing.  Again, skepticism was voiced as to the practical aspects of 
such ventures.

** Producing informational, non-judgmental reviews of reform materials.  
This was suggested by one member of the CUPM as a useful service that 
CRAFTY could perform.  Such reviews, placed on-line [our web page?] 
could be of great value to individuals and institutions about to embark 
on a reform program.  Bill Davis suggested expanding this to include 
discussions of what has worked, what has failed, ... and WHY.

** Analyzing how graduates of calculus reform programs fare in 
subsequent upper level courses.  Work has already been done in this area 
by other folks --- we should find out more about such studies and about 
what studies are currently underway or are in the planning stages.

** Becoming involved with/informed about the issues surrounding 
"distance learning" and "electronic academic systems."  In this 
formulation the grouping is rather a potpourri of not-necessarily-
related instructional techniques, from the successful "distance 
learning" arrangements of "Calculus&Mathematica" to the more 
questionable "computerized learning environments" that are quietly but 
fervently under development in many commercial institutions ("They look 
like Myst" as Bill Davis tersely put it).  Mort Brown observed that the 
NCTM is "flooded with this stuff."  Wade Ellis is actually on the Board 
for one such company --- mostly to provide some reasoned input into what 
appears to be an inevitable product development --- and he too voiced 
concern about potential negative aspects of such products. The 
Mathematics community should not be caught off-guard with respect to 
these developments --- perhaps CRAFTY is the proper MAA unit to study 
and analyze the potentials and threats of such instructional trends.  It 
is likely that most "electronic academic systems" will not be designed 
around a "reform" viewpoint.

(6) Tulane II.

David Smith reported on a conversation that was held during the weekend 
with a number of calculus reform people (Deborah Hughes-Hallett, Bill 
Haver, etc.).  It covered some of the issues described above, but ended 
with a tentative plan that we should know about:  the intention to 
submit a proposal to the NSF to fund a "Tulane II" conference.  The 
intent would be to "declare victory in stage one of the current efforts 
to revise calculus instruction and then to set the groundwork and 
generate the necessary energy for stage two efforts."  The proposal 
might be two-tiered:  a small, invitational workshop (in the Fall of 
98?) followed by a bigger, public conference.  CRAFTY should probably be 
involved in this effort.

(7) Traditionally Black Institutions.

Don Small raised the concern that we have not done enough to reach out 
to traditionally black college and universities and that this is an area 
which needs a great deal more attention.  David Smith observed that 
these are generally conservative institutions which are not inclined to 
gamble with potentially risky innovations.  We need to do more to bring 
leaders from these traditionally black institutions into the reform 
movements, both for the insights they would bring and to share with them 
the insights that have been gained from the current reform programs.  
This should probably be considered when picking future CRAFTY members.

(8) Planning for the Atlanta Summer MAA Meeting.

The 1997 MAA MathFest is being held in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 2-4.  
No CRAFTY events are planned for MathFest although we are currently 
scheduled to have a CRAFTY committee meeting:  the preliminary timetable 
has us scheduled for Saturday, August 2, from 1:00 to 3:00.

[In order to plan this session it is critically important that I know 
the intentions of all CRAFTY members.  In particular, WHO IS PLANNING TO 
BE AT THE MATHFEST?  There is no point in scheduling a meeting in which 
no one will be present.  PLEASE let me know ASAP of your Atlanta plans. 
You may wish to refer to the April FOCUS or the MAA World Wide Web Page 
[] for the program of the Atlanta Meeting.]

One year ago in Orlando CRAFTY encouraged then-Chair Wayne Roberts and 
Don Small to schedule one of their summer calculus reform workshops just 
prior to the Seattle MathFest in August 96.  In fact, Roberts and Small 
did just that, although their focus was expanded beyond just calculus 
reform.  They had almost 40 participants.  Unfortunately the limited 
time for this year's meeting did not allow for a discussion of a similar 
workshop prior to the Atlanta meeting.  

[The 1997 schedule for Calculus Reform Workshops has now been released 
and does not contain such a pre-Atlanta event.  Perhaps we should 
consider a CRAFTY organized workshop prior to the 1998 MathFest?]

(9) Planning for the Baltimore AMS/MAA Meeting in January 98.

It was agreed that CRAFTY should approach the MER Forum (Mathematicians 
and Education Reform) and suggest a jointly sponsored special session of 
twenty minute talks on "Current Trends and Concerns in Calculus Reform."  
Such a proposal to MER has been made (see Appendix B) and will probably 
be accepted by them.  In Orlando we had a similar jointly sponsored 
session with MER that was a great success.

It was also suggested that we propose to organize two contributed paper 

  "Transition to/from Reform Calculus," 
       to be organized by Herb Kasube and Sheldon Gordon
  "Trends in College Algebra Reform,"
       to be organized by Linda Kime and Don Small

[Unfortunately, as noted earlier, the timing of the MAA committee 
meetings in San Diego doomed the contributed paper session proposals:  
the committee in charge of these sessions had met the previous day --- 
Jan. 10 --- and had already made their decisions.  David Smith had 
circulated an e-mail message to all of the CRAFTY members in July that 
contained that Jan. 10 deadline but none of us remembered it!  We will 
keep this timetable in mind when planning for future January meetings!  
My assumption is that we will resubmit these proposals for January 99.]

There was also some discussion of organizing a special session or panel 
discussion on research in math education which is of particular 
relevance to undergraduate education.  There may still be time to 
organize such a session.  The Chair will look into the possibility.

Appendix A:  Web Page Ideas.

Here are Martin Flashman's current set of ideas/suggestions for a CRAFTY 
web page.  Comments should be sent to Martin at

   Information about CRAFTY- committee charge, members- names, etc. 
   CRAFTY publications 
   CRAFTY sponsored activities at meetings (past and upcoming) 
   Discussion groups- CALC-REFORM@e-math, AMATYC, etc. 
   CRAFTY sponsored on-line interactive conferences and panels. 
      (monthly on specific topics?) 
   Q&A help on reform. {from a panel of experts or visitors?} 
   Other places to find information: 
      Project Sites 
      Funding Ideas ....NSF, etc. 
   Other reform sources by topic: 
      Course based: Precalc, Calc I & II, Calc III, Linear Algebra, 
                    Applied Calculus, Diff'l Eq'ns. 
      Technology based/ Software: 
                    Mathematica, MAPLE, etc./ TI, HP, Casio 

Appendix B:  A Proposed MER/CRAFTY Special Session for Baltimore.

Submitted to MER by Bill Barker

"Calculus Reform:  Current Trends and Concerns"
A series of speakers to address the following questions:

1.  How much of a (national) difference has the calculus reform
    movement made to date, especially in the large universities?

2.  Is there a backlash?  Will calculus instruction remain by-and-large
    "traditional" at most schools?

3.  How are the various calculus reform materials to be kept available
    for continued development and experimentation in the face of
    publisher indifference?

4.  Future innovations in calculus instruction: possible directions.

Please send suggestions and comments to Martin Flashman through E-Mail:
Most recent update: 4/01/97