Engaging Mathematics



Engaging Mathematics: Creating a National Community of Practice

Funded through the National Science Foundation's TUES-II program (DUE-1322883), the Engaging Mathematics (EM) three-year initiative aims to significantly increase the use of the SENCER model, and other reformative pedagogies, by a national community of mathematics scholars capable of creating, implementing, and sustaining reforms in mathematics education.


As the executive director of NCSCE and principal investigator of the EM project David Burns points out, SENCER has grown from its early years to now include "a strong corps of leaders, along with terrific models and other curricular assets, in mathematics." This growth allows the National Center to apply the already well-established SENCER approach to college-level mathematics courses, with the goal of using civic issues to make math more relevant to students.


Both lead and partner institutions collectively make up the EM project. The project's two lead institutions are Metropolitan State University and LaGuardia Community College. Augsburg College, Normandale Community College, Oglethorpe University, and Roosevelt University represent the partner institutions. Over the course of the project, lead and partner institutions will enhance existing courses, where applicable, and develop new courses, modules, and themes for future use. The table below outlines some prospective courses and modules to be enhanced and developed by participating institutions:


Civic Issues
Algebra: Energy and the Environment; Elementary Algebra: Problems & Issues in Public Health; Elementary Statistics of Society and the Environment
Inequality; housing; redevelopment; the environment; NYPD's stop and frisk practices
Metro State
Environmental Statistics; Mathematics of Sustainability; mathematical modeling/dynamic systems module
Alternative and renewable energy sources; population dynamics; groundwater; the case for buying local; wind energy; monarch butterflies; whelk populations
Calculus I
Ecotourism to Nicaragua's GARBO Coffee Cooperative
Mathematics for the Liberal Arts; undergraduate research modules
Groundwater pollution; climate change; energy consumption
Great Ideas of Modern Mathematics
Healthcare topics including the efficacy of mammograms, pregnancy tests, and drug tests
College Algebra: Modeling the City
Social justice issues common to Chicago


Another goal of the EM project, in addition to course enhancement and development, is to offer these resulting courses at both their institutions of origin as well as at partner campuses, thereby benefitting partner institutions with several new courses, and providing the project team insight on how to successfully implement courses in multiple settings.


Project Results

The EM leadership team will work with the Mathematical Association of America to disseminate materials, modules, courses, and results to communities of interest. Additionally, updates and resources developed throughout the initiative will be made available online to all interested educators, administrators, and students. Regional meetings, national symposia presentations, and faculty development programs are planned.


Current Events

EM partners met during the SENCER Summer Institute, held in Asheville, North Carolina from July 31st through August 4th.


A meeting to kick off the EM project was held over January 24th and 25th in Jersey City, New Jersey. Nineteen of the project's stakeholders met to examine curricula developed by the partners, discuss the expansion of the community of practice, and more closely plot the trajectory of the project going forward.


Please visit the Engaging Mathematics website for more information about the project and partners.




EM funding announcement

Kick-off meeting details

Kick-off meeting recap

Study Calculus Abroad

Oglethorpe's Great Idea

Normandale "Sees" Math

Environmental Statistics Across Continents

Sustainable Scholarship

LaGuardia Community College Works to Close "Math Gap"

The Summative Successes of Dr. Victor J. Donnay

Roosevelt University Uses Chicago's Social Justice Issues to Teach Algebra   

Dr. Zobitz to Speak at 7th Annual Flux Course      

Engaging Math Partners Engage in Collaborative Planning and Meet Others Interested in Their Work

SIGMAA QL and SENCER: Perfect Together--Reflections on QL's 10th Anniversary at MAA's Summer MathFest

Engaging Mathematics Can Help Close a Gap in Informal Education



More Information



For more information, please visit the project website:




Engaging Mathematics Contacts

Wm. David Burns

Principal Investigator


Dr. Cindy Kaus

Co-Principal Investigator

Metropolitan State University


Dr. Mangala Kothari

Co-Principal Investigator

LaGuardia Community College


Dr. Frank Wattenberg

Co-Principal Investigator

United States Military Academy


Dr. Rikki Wagstrom

Institutional Partner

Metropolitan State University


Dr. Milena Cuellar

Institutional Partner

LaGuardia Community College


Dr. John Zobitz

Institutional Partner

Augsburg College


Dr. Victor Padron

Institutional Partner

Normandale Community College


Dr. Tony Dunlop

Institutional Partner

Normandale Community College


Dr. John Nardo

Institutional Partner

Oglethorpe University


Dr. Lynn Gieger

Institutional Partner

Oglethorpe University


Dr. Barbara Gonzalez

Institutional Partner

Roosevelt University


Cathy Evins

Institutional Partner

Roosevelt University


Christine Marie DeCarlo

Project Assistant



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Engaging Mathematics is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DUE-1322883).