E-Symposium Series - Now That Machines Do Math, What Do Math Teachers Teach?

Now That Machines Do Math, What Do Teachers Teach?

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More and more the manipulation in mathematics is done by a machine and users are forced into using their energy in design and interpretation vs. past energy that was spent on “working the problem” How does that change teaching?

You have to create grey box experiences that prepare students to work in a black box world. For example in finance, students need to construct and see loan payments in action (a grey box experience) to better understand the black box results of PMT keys. In Science, playing with the recursive derivations of solutions (a grey box experience) best instills understanding estimates and prepares one for a career built upon using the “SOLVE” key. Faculty mistakenly think that the laborious derivation of formulas (a white box experience) prepares one for a computer based world. The heart of this seminar is defining grey box experiences. Dr. John Kenelly, Alumni Distinguished Professor at Clemson University and Treasurer of the Mathematical Association of America, argues that classroom grey box experiences are the new challenge.

Dr. John Kenelly was an early visionary in the teaching and implementation of technology in math education, winning two substantial National Science Foundation grants to research effective ways of using graphing calculators to enhance the student's understanding of math. Today he continues to explore new frontiers in mathematics education through a variety of scholarly, and outreach activities.
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