AMATYC Annual Conference in New Orleans

by Kathryn Kozak, VP of the SW Region of AMATYC

November 19-22 will be a great time in New Orleans. The AMATYC Annual Conference is being held in this exciting city during this time. This year there will be three themed sessions, one focused one statistics, another focused on teacher preparation, and the last one on precalculus, calculus, and beyond. Themed sessions are hosted by committees, and involve six, 15-minute sessions focusing on the theme of the themed session. The will also be a round table discussion on placement and assessment ideas. In addition, there is a research session on Thursday night, where you can see the latest research in two-year college mathematics education. The committees have been working very hard to make these sessions the best they can be. Please consider becoming involved in a committee so that you can be involved in the focus of the committees, and AMATYC, in the future. Each committee meets on Friday, November 20 from 4:15-5:45.

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Wired Magazine: Finding a Video Poker Bug Made These Guys Rich—Then Vegas Made Them Pay

Today I was teaching probability in MAT 142 College Mathematics and told the story of some guys that discovered a bug in video poker machines. My students were fascinated with the story and it gave me an opportunity to relate probabilities to real like. I thought you all might be interested too.

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New Faculty Spotlight – Pima College

new_KyColoradoKyley Segers has worked as a member of the mathematics faculty at Pima Community College East Campus since fall of 2012. In that time she has grown tremendously as an instructor thanks to a fellowship in AMATYC’s Project ACCCESS (Cohort 10) and the mentorship of her fantastic colleagues. Currently she serves as a coordinator to Pima’s developmental mathematics emporium course, as a campus Honors Coordinator, and as one of the newest delegates representing ArizMATYC for the coming term. When she is not focused on school, Kyley enjoys playing games of skill (Settlers of Catan, anyone?), learning all sorts of new things, and road trips with good music.

Have a new faculty member you would like to spotlight? Send an email to

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Fall ArizMATYC Conference on October 9

Block out your calendars, the Fall ArizMATYC Conference is set for Friday, October 9 at Mesa Community College. Full details may be found on the Next Meeting page above.

Just imagine…

  • An opportunity to rub elbows with colleagues from around the state
  • Many fascinating conference presentations
  • The ever popular articulation meeting
  • Lunch!
  • Campus reports
  • Campus art tour
  • Centrally located in Mesa, Arizona

All for $15 (includes a membership to ArizMATYC!). To preregister for the conference, use the link on the Next Meeting page.

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Alternative Pathways to College Level Math

Over the past few years, several alternative pathways to college level math have been explored across the country. These pathways differ from the usual pre/beginning/intermediate pathways that traditionally prepare students for college algebra. Instead, they aim to prepare students for a course like college math.

The faculty at Yavapai College are in the process of developing a new course that will help students move from Prealgebra to College Mathematics as quickly as possible. Since College Mathematics enrollments are on the rise, this will help more and more students complete their mathematics requirements quickly.

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Regression Using Google Sheets

sheets_reg_01Not long ago, Microsoft Excel was the go to tool for making scatter plots and modeling data with regression functions. For the last ten years my students have used Excel to model data in projects. For many students wishing to use Excel on their own computers, Excel was an expensive purchase.

Other students wanted to save money and used ancient versions of Excel that were difficult to use. This was particularly aggravating to me since I had to help them find their models in Excel 2003, 2010, and 2013. The process was different in each platform.

This encouraged me to look at other ways of making pretty graphs with models. Google Sheets was particularly attractive because of its cost…free. Last summer Google added a simple way of adding a regression model to a scatter plot in Sheets. Now you can do just about everything you might want to do in College Algebra or Finite Mathematics in Google Sheets. And you get the added benefit of a single, free, platform in the Google ecosystem.

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Sony’s “The Interview” Math Problem

In December of 2014, Sony released the movie The Interview online after threats to theaters cancelled the debut in theaters. As originally reported in Wall Street Journal, the sales figures reported in January contained an interesting math problem appropriate for algebra students.

The following January, Sony reported sales of $31 million from the sales and rentals of The Interview. They sold the movies online for $15 and rented through various sites for $6. If there were 4.3 million transactions, how many of the transaction were sales of the movie and how many of the transactions were rentals?

For the solution goto PBL
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Online Registration for Spring Conference Now Available

The Spring 2015 ArizMATYC Conference is a little over a month away! Join your colleagues from around the state at Cochise College in Sierra Vista on February 20. You can register online now through the link below.

Register Online Today

Please register by February 6 to ensure lunch availability.

There is still time to submit a conference proposal.

Submit a Proposal to Speak

The deadline for proposals is January 16.

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Link Your College Email to a Google Account

google_group_01ArizMATYC commmunicates with its members via this website as well as a Google Group. You can access this group through a Google account and post to the group. However, if you are not subscribed to the group all you can do is to view the postings. In the menu above is a link to the ArizMATYC Google Group.

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PhotoMath: The New Killer App for Students?

Logo PhotoMath landscapeOver the past few hours, many news sources like CNN and Engadget have reported on the app PhotoMath. According to their website, this app claims

PhotoMath reads and solves mathematical expressions by using the camera of your mobile device in real time. It makes math easy and simple by educating users how to solve math problems.

Wow! What an enlightened view of how this app might be used.

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