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New PreCalculus Labs for LEAD Students

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science wrote part of a grant proposal that was funded by the Koret Foundation. Santa Clara University already has the successful LEAD Program to support first-generation university students. The grant from the Koret Foundation helps further develop this program. With our part of the grant, we have created lab sections for our precalculus course. Though these labs were designed for LEAD students, other precalculus students are welcome to attend. These labs use only active learning pedagogies – lecturing happens at most 10 minutes per lab. Preparation for these labs was half the fun. The grant was used to bring four experts in modern mathematics pedagogies to campus last summer. Faculty in mathematics and chemistry then created real-world problems through which students learn mathematical concepts in an engaging way. The Koret grant is being used for ALEKS software, the most accurate placement device for mathematics. Another feature is that it uses machine learning to adaptively determine where students are weak and fill in the gaps in their mathematics knowledge.

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