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1998-99 Mathematica High School Grant Recipients

Published October 15, 1998

October 15, 1998–Wolfram Research, Inc. is proud to announce the grant recipients in the 1998-99 Mathematica High School Grant Program.

Dale Beames
Coral Springs High School, Coral Springs, Florida

Dale received his M.S. in Physics from the University of Delaware. He began his teaching career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, where he taught physics, mathematics, and English for two years. He taught physics and mathematics at Wilmington Friends School in Wilmington, Delaware, for four years and has been a physics teacher at Coral Springs High School for 10 years.

Dale is using Mathematica with his Advanced Placement (AP) Physics class to work on a project in which students will model problems from their physics text and previous AP Physics exams. Students will create Mathematica notebooks in which they model problems in two-dimensional kinematics and projectile motion, statics and dynamics, simple harmonic motion and wave mechanics, and a topic of their choice. The final product of this project will be a booklet containing student-generated solutions to a variety of problems.

Susan Brown and Virginia Highstone
York Community High School, Elmhurst, Illinois

Susan received her M.S. in Technology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the chair of the Mathematics Department at York Community High School and a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She is coauthor of UCSMP Algebra and UCSMP Precalculus and Discrete Mathematics. Susan is interested in integrating technology into classrooms in many subjects and at different grade levels throughout the school district. She also enjoys bringing connections between mathematics and the physical world into the classroom and has spoken about ways to do this at professional conferences.

Virginia received her M.S. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. She is a 1997 State Awardee of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and a coauthor of UCSMP Geometry and UCSMP Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry. Her interests include integrating writing into the mathematics curriculum and developing projects that allow students to display their creativity. Virginia uses technology to encourage students to explore and refine their thinking about mathematics and has spoken on this topic at professional conferences. She has a special interest in challenging the gifted mathematics student.

Susan and Virginia are using Mathematica with students in their Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry, Junior and Enriched-Junior Precalculus, and College Algebra classes. In each course, students will use Mathematica to look at each topic numerically, algebraically, and graphically. In addition, students will use the word-processing features of Mathematica to write technical papers that explain their problem-solving processes and results.

Christopher Butler
Boston University Academy, Boston, Massachusetts

Christopher received his M.A. in Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He taught high school mathematics at Princeton Day School in New Jersey for four years. He was on the Information Technology Committee at Princeton Day School and was actively involved in planning the short- and long-term technology goals for the school. In 1996 Christopher received the David C. Bogle Award to Support Excellence in Teaching. Christopher is now in his second year of teaching mathematics at Boston University Academy, where he is responsible for maintaining the school’s computer labs and the school network and serves as the faculty advisor for the Math Club.

Christopher is using Mathematica with his calculus students to investigate basins of attraction for Newton’s Method on the real line and the complex plane, Euler’s Method and slope fields for differential equations, relations between the graphs of the first and second derivatives and the primitive function, techniques of integration and numerical methods for approximating integrals, Taylor and Maclaurin series, and Fourier series. Christopher is also using Mathematica with his precalculus students to examine trigonometric functions, conic sections and their transformations, matrices and matrix operations, and sequences and series.

Loring (Terry) Coes III
Rocky Hill School, East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Terry received his Master’s in Mathematics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has 27 years of experience teaching in grades four through 12. Terry is currently on the NCTM Board of Directors and the editorial panel of the periodical Mathematics Teacher and is the Mathematics Department Chair at Rocky Hill School. He has authored multiple articles in mathematical journals and is coauthor of the McDougall Littell/Houghton Mifflin texts Algebra 1: Explorations and Applications and Algebra 2: Explorations and Applications.

Terry is using Mathematica with his Mathematical Modeling and Calculus classes. The Mathematical Modeling course is based upon applications of precalculus concepts. Topics of investigation include iteration and recursion, various kinds of growth and decay from population size to the decay of medicine in the bloodstream, and fractals and chaotic behavior. The calculus students will investigate the meaning of the derivative and the antiderivative and examine the two functions in the context of various applications. Students will also investigate the visual relationship between functions and their derivatives and explore the concepts of continuity and limits with Mathematica.

Julie Poage
Inchelium High School, Inchelium, Washington

Julie received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon. Julie has been teaching high school math and computers at Inchelium High School for three years. Prior to her arrival in Inchelium, she was a faculty member at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she taught educational technology courses to graduate and undergraduate education students. Before entering higher education, Julie taught middle- and high-school science for seven years. Julie is delighted to again be involved in classroom activities in which she can combine her knowledge of computer technology and good educational practices to engage students in the study of mathematics.

Julie is integrating Mathematica as a mathematical modeling tool into her mathematics curriculum in all high school math classes in order to increase students’ understanding of real-world applications of a wide variety of mathematical concepts. Julie and her students will use Mathematica to explore applications of linear and quadratic functions, compare real-life examples of arithmetic and geometric growth patterns, and explore applications of basic trigonometric functions.

Travis Rose
Wilcox State Technical School, Meriden, Connecticut

Travis received his B.S. in Mathematics from Charter Oak State College. He is currently active in several committees, both at his school and for the state of Connecticut. Travis is a faculty advisor for the school’s engineering club and is a member of both the State of Connecticut Mathematics Steering Committee and the State of Connecticut Pre-Engineering Initiatives Program.

Travis is using Mathematica with his Integrated Engineering Math class. Students will construct and solve systems of linear equations describing electrical circuits, cover the basics of linear programming, and work on regression analysis of linear and quadratic functions. Students will be working in a laboratory setting to gather the data they will then analyze with Mathematica.

Catherine Russell
Southgate Anderson High School, Southgate, Michigan

Catherine received her M.Ed. in Science Education from Wayne State University. Catherine was the Southgate 1993 High School Teacher of the Year and the 1998 Sam’s Club Teacher of the Year. At Southgate Anderson High School she is the coadvisor for the Ecology Club and the coordinator for landscaping activities. In addition to being awarded a 1998-99 Wolfram Research High School Grant, Catherine was awarded a Growth Initiatives for Teachers grant from GTE this year for innovative use of technology in mathematics and science.

Catherine is incorporating Mathematica into her “Symmetry in Science” class, which integrates mathematics, science, and technology. Her students will study various patterns, cycles, and forms in nature that can be described by the mathematics they are learning in Advanced Algebra and Precalculus. Catherine’s students will be using Mathematica to do calculations, construct graphs, and formulate predictions about the natural world.

Don Triezenberg
Holland Christian High School, Holland, Michigan

Don received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland. He teaches science and mathematics at Holland Christian High School and is the chair of the Mathematics Department. Don has 20 years of experience as a university administrator, eight years of experience as a science and math teacher, and three years of experience offering pre-service and in-service teacher training in science and mathematics.

Don is using Mathematica in his upper-level physics courses to generate numerical solutions to second-order differential equations, thus enabling students to explore the relation between real-world forces and the motion these forces produce, to explore the phase diagrams for the motion of a simple pendulum subject to various combinations of damping and driving forces, and to write programs to create statistics for physical processes such as diffusion. Students will use Mathematica to generate predictions that they will compare to actual results generated in experiments.

In Don’s freshman mathematics course, students will utilize the symbolic manipulation ability of Mathematica to discover the distributive and commutative properties of multiplication and the rules for multiplying and factoring polynomials and the programming capability of Mathematica to create realistic simulations based on sports contests and queuing theory. They will also use Mathematica to explore the properties of exponential functions and apply them to complex real-world situations.

Albert Watson and Michael Oberle
The Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

Albert received his Ph.D. in Mathematical Education from Columbia University. He has been teaching mathematics at the high-school and college levels since 1966 and has been teaching at The Fieldston School since 1980. Albert is coauthor of the Problemoids series of books on mathematical problem solving for gifted elementary school students.

Michael received his M.S. in Mathematics from Yale University. He is starting his fourth year of teaching calculus and statistics and is currently a member of the curriculum committee. Michael is also the scheduler for The Fieldston School, where he found Mathematica to be very useful for scheduling classes over the summer. Michael’s door is always open for questions, ranging from “How do I differentiate sin(2x)?” to “What rooms are free on Wednesday morning?”

Albert and Michael are using Mathematica with their Precalculus and AB Calculus classes and have prepared both worksheet and laboratory investigations for their students on a range of topics. Students will investigate matrix operations and the use of matrices to model mathematical problems and solve systems of equations; limits and continuity; graphical interpretation of the derivative; Euler’s method; properties of logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric functions; the use of sound in conjunction with transformations of trigonometric functions; and drug testing in the context of probability.

Kathleen Willson
Oakcrest High School, Mays Landing, New Jersey

Kathleen received her M.A. in Mathematics Education from Rowan University. She is currently working toward her Master’s of Instructional Technology at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, funded by scholarship money from a Target Grant that she was awarded. Kathleen has been teaching mathematics at Oakcrest High School for 10 years and is a member of the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District Technology Committee.

Kathleen is using Mathematica with her Algebra II and Precalculus classes. Algebra II students will identify and graph constant functions; identity functions, step functions, and absolute value functions; solve systems of equations; and work with polynomials and complex numbers. Precalculus students will graph polynomial functions and identify critical points; examine tangents to a curve and first derivatives; graph and transform trigonometric functions; and use Mathematica as a tool to discover various theorems and patterns.

Wolfram Research provides each grant recipient with a scholarship for Mathematica training, copies of Mathematica for the grant recipient’s school computer lab, and courseware development support.