Skip directly to content

Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON
Doing Business As Name:University of Texas at Arlington
PD/PI:
  • Theresa A Jorgensen
  • (817) 272-1321
  • jorgensen@uta.edu
Award Date:09/16/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 254,379
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 254,379
  • FY 2019=$254,379
Start Date:09/15/2019
End Date:08/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:GP-IMPACT: COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Integrating Geoscience to Engage Majors with Mathematics: iGEM2
Federal Award ID Number:1911454
DUNS ID:064234610
Parent DUNS ID:042000273
Program:IUSE
Program Officer:
  • Brandon Jones
  • (703) 292-4713
  • mbjones@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:701 S Nedderman Dr, Box 19145
City:Arlington
State:TX
ZIP:76019-0145
County:Arlington
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:06

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Texas at Arlington
Street:Box 19408
City:Arlington
State:TX
ZIP:76019-0408
County:Arlington
Country:US
Cong. District:06

Abstract at Time of Award

Part I Entry level math courses in college often form a roadblock for STEM-intended students, particularly when students do not test directly into Calculus when they enter college. This is certainly true at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), an access-oriented university, and remains a challenge faced by universities across the country. Calculus is the first mathematics course in all natural science degree plans at UTA; however, Algebra or Precalculus are common mathematics entry points for STEM-intended majors especially those who begin their major through nontraditional pathways. In spring of 2018, 48% of all UTA undergraduate students entered UTA as transfer students, and 42% of all UTA undergraduates were first generation students. Given these statistics, and the fact that the proposed work will directly affect ~1000 students per semester at UTA taking College Algebra and Precalculus, this project will have an enormous impact on a diverse population of at-risk students who aspire to graduate with a STEM degree, but are also largely unaware of opportunities in the geosciences. We will recast College Algebra concepts in the context of societally relevant Earth Science themes without changing the content of the current course. In this way, we will empower beginning STEM students by placing abstract mathematical concepts in a scientific context at a critical transition which constitutes statistically a major stumbling block for many of STEM-intended majors. This is a new strategic partnership, as the geosciences incorporate research methods from across all of STEM and are therefore likely to be relatable to a broad range of STEM-intended students. At the same time, it will expose students early in their college experience to geoscience as a potential major or career. Success of the project will be determined by monitoring D-F-W rates of this course, evaluate students' perceptions of the geosciences and confidence in mathematics, and tracking students through declaration of their major and beyond. We will test the transferability of this model by implementing it in the Precalculus course at UTA during the second year of this continuing project and using the College Algebra redesign in the equivalent course at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas to gauge its effectiveness and transferability across institutions. Part II At The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), mathematics courses leading to Calculus constitute a major obstruction to success for alarming numbers of STEM-intended majors. This fact reflects a challenge faced by universities across the country. Our goals are to (1) improve success of intended STEM majors at UTA in mathematics courses that lead to Calculus, courses taken primarily by STEM-intended majors, but yielding D-F-Withdraw rates >60%, and (2) introduce first and second year students to the geosciences and related career pathways before they decide on a major, thereby increasing the number and diversity of students who choose to major in the geosciences. We will do this by first modifying College Algebra by integrating geoscience concepts into the mathematics curriculum and lab components, reaching approximately 1,000 students per semester at UTA. Video presentations featuring current research of faculty, students, and geoscientists in industry and related fields will motivate a societally relevant Earth Science theme and delineate how a particular algebraic skill is essential for his/her research or job. Concepts introduced in these videos will be developed and incorporated into homework assignments, challenge problems, and lab exercises involving problem-solving activities that synthesize mathematical concepts and apply the concepts to problems related to the Earth Science theme. In this way, the mathematical abstraction will be connected with geoscience content crossing the fields of geophysics, environmental geochemistry, hydrogeology and oceanography. This is a strategic partnership, as the geosciences incorporate research methods from across all of STEM and are therefore likely to be relatable to a broad range of STEM-intended students. This collaboration will empower beginning STEM students by placing abstract mathematical concepts in a scientific context at a critical transition, which constitutes statistically a major stumbling block for many STEM-intended majors. At the same time, it will expose students early in their college experience to geoscience as a potential major or career. This project is possible by building upon a new partnership between the School of Earth Science at The Ohio State University and Mathematics at UTA. Success of the project will be determined by monitoring D-F-W rates of this course, evaluate students' perceptions of the geosciences and confidence in mathematics, and tracking students through declaration of their major and beyond. We will test the transferability of this model by implementing it in the Precalculus course at UTA during the second year of this continuing project and using the College Algebra redesign in the equivalent course at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas to gauge its effectiveness and transferability across institutions. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

For specific questions or comments about this information including the NSF Project Outcomes Report, contact us.