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Middlesex Community College
Lowell, MA

NEMATYC 2014 was held at Middlesex Community College, Lowell, MA, on Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, 2014.

Taking a que from Lowell native son Jack Kerouac's "On the Road", the theme was "On the Road with Math".

The conference cochairs were Maria Arambel and Dora Ottariano, of MICC.

Besides a great program, attendees enjoyed a Friday evening trolley ride to the Boot Mills Museum followed by hors d'oeuvres at a local restaurant. At lunch on Saturday they heard a talk by Steve Pennel of UMass-Lowell on the peripatetic mathematician Paul Erdös.

On the Trolley
Click for pics

Conference Cochairs
Maria F. Arambel & Dora Ottariano, Middlesesex Community College

Executive Committee 2013 - 2014

Title Name Affiliation
President Meredith Watts MassBay Community College
Vice President Dave Henry Bristol Community College
Past-President Mary Kehoe Moynihan Cape Cod Community College
Secretary Marsha Pease North Shore Community College
Treasurer David Cox So. New Hampshire University
At-Large Member
Robert Cantin MassBay Community College
At-Large Member Anne O'Shea North Shore Community College
At-Large Member Denise Robichaud Quinsigamond Community College
At-Large Member Kenneth Takvorian Mt Wachusett Community College
Newsletter Editor Phil Mahler Middlesex Community College
Newsletter Production Editor Anne O'Shea North Shore Community College
Social Media Director Dave Henry Bristol Community College
Student Math League Awards Coordinator Dave Henry Bristol Community College
Webmaster Mary Sullivan Cape Cod Community College
Past Conference Chairs Anne O'Shea & Marsha Pease North Shore Community College
Conference Exhibitor Chair Beth Donovan Bristol Community College
Membership Chair Phil Mahler Middlesex Community College


Featured Speaker: At lunch on Saturday, Professor Steve Pennell spoke about the peripatetic, famous Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdös.

Perspectives on our Curriculum
Highlights from my perspective on two important issues in our typical two-year college math curriculum: Too many students do not achieve their goals because of developmental mathematics sequences and too much of our curriculum is not focused on student needs. What is being done, and what should we be doing, to make our math programs "a pump and not a filter".


The Importance of Math in the Criminal Justice Field
Heloisa DaCunha, Middlesex Community College
In this session you will hear about a collaborative project between Criminal Justice faculty from Middlesex Community College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell. At both institutions, it is very common for faculty members to hear from our Criminal Justice students about their fear of math; it is also common to have students question the use of math in Criminal Justice. To help our students, faculty members from both institutions created signature assignments beginning at the introductory level courses at Middlesex Community College leading up to assignments at the senior level courses  at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In this session you will learn about Criminal Justice assignments that require students to use mathematical formulas, create line graphs, use Microsoft Excel, interpret and analyze data, while identifying patterns of crime rate.

Math in Life (sciences)
Jean Cremins, Jane Wiggins, Middlesex Community College
Many students come into A & P with the idea that quantitative reasoning is not going to be necessary. WRONG!! Concepts such as pH and surface area are just two examples that are encountered throughout both A & P I and II. In this session, we will explore some activities that create lasting quantitative comprehension (hopefully) for our A & P students.

Developmental Mathematics: A Modular Approach
Matt Genaway, Senior Implementation and Training Specialist, Cengage Learning
Enhanced WebAssign, a leading online homework platform for math and science, offers a self-paced option to help your students master developmental mathematics. Cengage Learning presents this option to help your students learn concepts and apply them in your course to be successful.

An Alternative Teaching Model of Teaching Conditional Probabilities: Truth Table
Eiki Satake, Emerson College
This paper demonstrates how the truth table of elementary mathematical logic can be used to teach the derivations of complex conditional probabilities. As evidenced by many literatures, statistical novices have difficulties in grasping the concept of conditional probability because of such complexities as (1) how to distinguish between conditional and unconditional statements, (2) how the sample space can be identified and defined, and (3) how the formula can be applied for calculation. The author invented an alternative approach called Truth Table Method to not only simplify the computation process but also help students understand underlying logic behind the conditional probability.

A Modular Self-Paced approach to Remedial Mathematics
Mark Snyder, Fitchburg State University
For the last year and a half, I have been teaching a modular, self-paced class in Remedial Algebra at FSU. I describe the structure of the course, the grading criteria and preliminary results on the performance of students in their college math class.

Teaching a Hybrid Mathematics Class
Gail St. Jacques, Johnson & Wales University
Hybrid courses (also referred to as a blended classroom) truly represent the best both worlds, that is combining face-to- face classes with online learning. In order for a hybrid course to be successful, a complete course redesign is necessary. The presentation will focus on how the presenter designed and developed her hybrid class, her experience from having taught it twice and lessons learned.


Math Literacy:  An Alternative Pathway for Non-STEM Students
Jim Sullivan, Lori Heymans, Northern Essex Community College
Learn about a new developmental math course, Mathematical Literacy for College Students, developed and  implemented as an alternative pathway for non-STEM students intending to take a college level math course in Statistics, Quantitative Reasoning, or General Education Mathematics. Participants will explore new curriculum materials that engage students in mathematics that is relevant for their college level pathway. Attendees will also investigate the ups and downs  of implementation at Northern Essex Community College and leave with an understanding of how to start a similar  pathway at their college.

Practical Applications of Math in Health Care
Cassie DelCheccolo, Kathy Gehly, Middlesex Community College
Have you ever heard a student ask, “When will I ever use math in real life?” Find out how nurses rely on math skills in the health care setting. This presentation will include a discussion of the challenges and rewards of incorporating math into the nursing curriculum through the application of math skills in real life situations and scenarios.

Shape up Your Algebra
Natalya Vinogradova, Plymouth State University
Do your students struggle with algebraic formulas and procedures? Let’s get together to explore how geometric shapes can help. By moving rectangles and squares, we will help our students attach meaning to algebraic symbols. Visualization can and should be a useful tool in learning mathematics. Any tool requires skillful handling, and so does visualization. We should teach our students how to use it flexibly and efficiently. You will be able to use these strategies and activities in your next math class!

Acceleration Through Hybridization
Magdalena Luca, MCPHS University
Every fall semester I teach Biostatistics, a second course in the statistics sequence required for Public Health and Premed students. And every semester I encounter the same problem: students either forgot most of the statistics they have learned in the first course, or, even worse, they were not properly taught statistics. To improve and accelerate students’ basic statistical knowledge, I have developed a hybrid course. In this presentation I will address effective hybrid teaching techniques. More specifically, I will describe what topics, assignments, and assessment methods are appropriate to be offered online instead of being presented in class.

So You Think You  Know MyMathLab?
Kevin O’Brien, Sr. Learning Technology Specialist, Pearson Education
Pearson introduces new features to MyMathLab twice a year allowing you to rethink how use MML with your students and course each semester. In this session, we will review Personalized Homework, the Adaptive Study Plan, adding questions from books outside of your course, Gradebook diagnostics, the new reporting capabilities coming this April and much more. Also learn about the new Adaptive MyMathTest. Pearson Vice-president Greg Tobin filled in for Kevin, who was ill.

On The Road  (Mathematically)  With  Red Sox Championship Teams!
Steve Krevisky, Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT
Since 2004, the Red Sox have won Three World Series. Is this a golden age for the Beantowners? How does the current version stack up against previous series winners? What are the strongest Sox teams of all time? Using the Pythagorean Projection, Slugging Average, and many other statistical measures, we look at the many titles of the Bosox, and also examine the careers of such famous players as Ted Williams, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, Yaz, Pedro, Manny, Big Papi and others. Intended for teachers of Statistics, Algebra, and Quantitative Literacy.

Cape Cod Community College’s New Non-STEM Algebra
Mary Moynihan, Cape Cod Community College
What should the prerequisite to a non-STEM college level mathematics course look like? CCCC has reworked our entire developmental mathematics and college level mathematics curriculum. One of our new courses is a 3 credit, 5 hour developmental level Algebra for non-STEM students which replaces our Elementary and Intermediate Algebra courses. I piloted the Intermediate Algebra level material during Spring 2013 and Fall 2013. Mary E. Sullivan and I developed the course during the summer and fall semesters and we’re offering it for the first time in Spring 2014. We believe that the new course is a substantial change from our traditional algebra courses.

Homogeneity of Variance Tests Using Excel Kerouac Room
Barry Woods, Unity College
While Minitab lists two (2) separate Homogeneity of Variance (HOV) tests Bartletts and Levenes, and JMP lists four (4) HOV tests; OBrien, BrownForsythe, Levene, and Bartlett, Excel lists none. However, Excel will be used to calculate and demonstrate two powerful, commonly used HOV tests; Levenes test and the BrownForsythe test.

Asking good questions to promote inquiry and mathematical conversations
Volker Ecke, Christine von Renesse, Westfield State University
In this interactive workshop participants will be considering the different kinds of questions a professor could ask in a mathematical conversation. Good questions promote deeper thinking, clarify students reasoning, reveal contradictions,   or stimulate participation and discussion among students. Conversations can take place as a whole class, in a smaller group or just between the professor and the student. Our work on the use of questions has grown out of broader effort on promoting student inquiry. At Westfield State University we successfully use inquiry based materials and techniques to engage students in mathematics. In our project Discovering the Art of Mathematics (, we are now developing teacher materials and offering workshops making our best practices explicit through vignettes, videos and reflections on our own teaching.

Math Placement and Support Strategies
Mary Rayappan, Justice-Taylor Baker, Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT
In response to PA 12 – 40, signed by CT Governor Malloy that became effective July 1, 2012, we have been constructing several strategies for students who have skills gaps and do not get placed in a college level math course.
Few such initiatives are fast-track math workshops, embedded courses, free supplemental resources in classes like Khan Academy and in-house videos, and traditional courses in split classrooms with supplemental instructors. Key aspects of these initiatives along with available data will be presented.

Multiple Pathways on the Horizon for Developmental and College Mathematics
Kim Ward, Eastern Connecticut State University
As a result of the Connecticut Public Act 1240 Law, the offering of remedial/developmental education courses at Community Colleges and State Universities in Connecticut, must fit into the following levels: Intensive, Embedded and College. Therefore, commencing summer 2014 Eastern will offer multiple pathways to developmental and college mathematics courses. Only time will truly reveal whether this approach will better provide students with the mathematical skills needed for success in their current math course and strengthen basic math readiness skills for future coursework   in mathematics and subjects requiring quantitative skills.

Developmental Mathematics at MWCC: Reduce, differentiate and Integrate
Yoav Elinevsky, Mt. Wachusett Community College
We are addressing two major issues: (a) The large number of students who need Developmental Mathematics (b) The small number of students who start in Developmental Mathematics and able to complete a college level math course. We: (a) reduce the number of students that are placed in our Developmental Mathematics courses by teaching Developmental Mathematics at the HS to seniors, (b) differentiate between STEM majors and non-STEM majors by offering two different developmental math pathways; one which is heavy in Algebra and one which is not, (c) Integrate some algebra into entry- level college math courses such as Statistics and Survey of Mathematics.

The Convolution Summation:  A Nifty Accounting Technique
Robert Cournoyer, Wentworth Institute of Technology
The concept of convolution is used in the engineering world. In my own words it’s a nifty accounting technique. It keeps  track of the past inputs as well as the present inputs of a system. Convolution comes in integral form, the convolution integral, and in summation form, the convolution summation. The convolution summation can be explored by precalculus students who have studied functions, function notation, graphing functions, horizontal shifting of graphs, and the reflecting of graphs about a vertical line. I will present a sequence of two Laboratory Investigations in which students develop and learn to appreciate a convolution summation. I will then present a third Laboratory Investigation called Medication Dosing. The concept of half-life is used in this Laboratory Investigation.

The Statistics Connection
Joseph Manthey, University of St. Joseph
Discussion boards are a central feature of many online courses and are used to develop communication and critical   thinking skills. However, discussion boards can also be used to encourage students to see the big picture. In this presentation, I will share examples of discussion questions used in an online statistics course. These examples illustrate the connections between statistics concepts and larger societal issues such as income inequality, poverty, energy and health care. Several compelling examples of the consequences of statistical illiteracy will also be included.

Classroom Management: How to Eliminate Unruly Behavior and Complete Your Curriculum Without Disciplinary Drama
Howard Coffman
Classroom management has never been easier and more effective. Learn proven ways to raise the level your students’ behavior such that it exceeds your wildest expectations. This session will demonstrate practical methods that guide your students to a new level of learning, you never thought possible. Your students will finally be able to focus on the learning objectives and no longer be distracted by disciplinary drama and delay.

SATURDAY: April, 5 • 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Charting Your Way to Multiplying and Factoring Polynomials
Elizabeth Reith, Great Bay Community College
Help your students who are struggling with polynomial operations. Learn a great method where they can multiply any size polynomial without the common problem of dropping terms. Also, instead of the tedious “Trial and Error”, learn a different technique that works for factoring trinomials. Supporting activities will help reinforce the transition from the concrete manipulations to the abstract pencil and paper.

Embracing Disruption: Transforming
Developmental Math Programs with Khan Academy Kerouac Room
Tim O’Connor, New England Board of Higher Education
One of the key findings of the New England Board of Higher Education’s Davis Educational Foundation Summit on Costs in Higher Education is that “The confluence of rising prices for students and concerns about quality have increasingly entered public discourse and now promise to prompt regulatory action from government and change cultural attitudes toward higher education.”
The NEBHE Developmental Math Demonstration Project with Khan Academy directly addresses this concern on at least three levels:
• Instructional Costs and Student Savings
• Time and Competency – Based Learning
• Quality and Real – Time Student Progress Data
Join us for a tour of Khan Academy and the Developmental math Demonstration Project. We'll show you what we're learning and how our discoveries can positively impact you and your students.

Elementary Math: It’s Not So Elementary!
Linda Dart-Kathios, Carol Henry, Middlesex Community College
With the focus on STEM programs it is imperative that students gain a deep understanding and an appreciation of the beauty of mathematics. This needs to start at the earliest level and elementary teachers can have the most profound effect on students in laying this foundation. This panel will include pre-service teachers currently taking one of their required teacher mathematics courses here at Middlesex. They will discuss what they have learned this semester that has helped give them a better understanding, what they know now they wished they knew then, and techniques that would be helpful in any math class. Come hear what our students are saying about the math challenges that they have faced and how a course like this will influence how they will teach math in the early grades.

Vision Project:  A Discussion of its Impact on Higher Education in Massachusetts
David Henry, Bristol Community College, Bob Cantin, MassBay Community College
The Vision Project, which is funded by The Boston Foundation, is relatively new, but changes are coming to the Massachusetts community college system. We will be discussing the recommendations from the report submitted by the projects Task Force on Transforming Developmental Math Education and try to develop an understanding of the road ahead for our profession.

Mathematical Dictionaries:  Reducing the Language Barrier in Mathematics 
Rachel Olson, Mount Ida College, Endicott College, MassBay Community College
Despite increased access to mathematics via technological advances and educational research, students continue to struggle with becoming independent mathematical learners. This is, in part, due to challenges in decoding the language   of mathematics itself; understanding this language is a crucial part of a student’s interaction with mathematics. Students must discover meaning in phrases, such as solve versus simplify and equation versus expression. By exploring these  very subtleties, students found their own conceptual understanding of mathematics. The goal of this workshop is to start a discussion on the role that understanding the language of mathematics plays in learning mathematics. We will look at common directive words used in math instruction and attempt to assign meaning.


NEMATYC Annual Meeting
Middlesex Community College
April 5, 2014



Balance on March 31, 2012:   $15,607
Balance on April 6, 2013:        $17,315

Download the PDF report (tba)

NEMATYC Student Math League

Results for 2013-2014

Teams in NEMATYC Region

Total score
Middlesex CC
Springfield Technical CC
Quinsigamond CC
Massasoit CC
NHTI - Concord's CC
Holyoke CC
MassBay CC
Bristol CC
North Shore CC
Southern Maine CC
Roxbury CC

Individuals in NEMATYC Region

Student College
Total score
Timothy Thomas MassBay CC
Daniel Glassman Springfield Technical CC
Anthony Bassett Massasoit CC
Garrett Bryant NHTI - Concord's CC
Shusuke Aizawa Middlesex CC
Joseph Labbe Springfield Technical CC
Kennedy Udechukwu Quinsigamond CC
Ato Howard Quinsigamond CC
Kyle McDonell Middlesex CC
Sean Roda Holyoke CC


Exhibitors & Sponsors 2014

Thanks to our sponsors/exhibitors!









Friday Evening Reception Sponsor





Worldwide Center of Math



Registration List 2014

Autumn Alden Bristol Community College
Suchi Amritkumar North Shore Community College
Maria Arambel Middlesex Community College
Aisha Arroyo Massasoit Community College
Mary Anne Barbato Fitchburg State University
Igor Baryakhtar Middlesex Community College
Persefoni Bica MCPHS University
Janet Cahill Middlesex Community College
Robert Cantin MassBay Community College
Cathy Cantin Pearson Publishers
Judy Carter North Shore Community College
Haynalka Caton Quinsigamond Community College
Michelle Chrisman Massasoit Community College
Howard Coffman
Kerry Cook New Hampshire Technical Institute
Rick Cooney Johnson & Wales University
James Copley Mount Washington College
Alex Cotter Massasoit Community College
Robert Cournoyer Wentworth Institute of Technology
David Cox Southern New Hampshire University
Jean Cremins Middlesex Community College
Marie Cruso Middlesex Community College
Heloisa DaCunha Middlesex Community College
Linda Dart-Kathios Middlesex Community College
Mita Das Middlesex Community College
Cassie DelCheccolo Middlesex Community College
Joanna DelMonaco Middlesex Community College
Lynne DeSantis Mount Washington College
Donna Dominguez Quinsigamond Community College
Elizabeth Donovan Bristol Community College
Erika Dunbury Massasoit Community College
Volke Ecke Westfield State University
Yoav Elinevsky Mt Wachusett Community College
Cynthis Engvall Grafton High School
Bert Engvall Middlesex Community College
Nick Fegley New Hampshire Technical Institute
Jennifer Fitzgerald Northern Essex Community College
Beth Fraser Middlesex Community College
Alyce Galiano Middlesex Community college
Wanda Garner Cabrillo College, CA
Kathy Gehly Middlesex Community College
Michael Gilmore Middlesex Community College
Regina Goodwin Middlesex Community College
Loretta Hart New Hampshire Technical Institute
Carol Hay Middlesex Community College
Joe Heise New Hampshire Technical Institute
David Henry Bristol Community College
Carol Henry Middlesex Community College
Scott Higinbotham Middlesex Community College
Adam Hopper New Hampshire Technical Institute
Lisa Houh Middlesex Community College
William Jackson North Shore Community College
Glenn Johnson Middlesex Community College
Alexander Katkov Johnson & Wales University
Laura Kelleher Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Judy King New Hampshire Technical Institute
Festus Kirpono Mt Wachusett Community College
Steve Krevisky Middlesex Community College, CT
Betty Kudrick Trinity High School
Valerie LaVoice New Hampshire Technical Institute
Rita Libova Mt Wachusett Community College
Lucille Ligas Johnson & Wales University
Christine Lojko Middlesex Community College
Magdalena Luca MCPHS University
Elizabeth Lucas North Shore Community College
Phil Mahler Middlesex Community College
Joseph Manthey University of Saint Joseph
Cliff Martin Massasoit Community College
John McColgan Roxbury Community College
Mehrdad Meskoob New Hampshire Technical Institute
Mary Moynihan Cape Cod Community College
Maidani Naidjate Dean College
Richard Neville Dean College
Claudia NugentdeRago Middlesex Community College
Tim O'Connor New England Board of Higher Ed.
Pamela O'Connor
Barbara O'Donovan Clinton Community College NY
Anne O'Shea North Shore Community College
Rachel Olson Mount Ida, Endicot, MassBay
Dora Ottariano Middlesex Community College
Marsha Pease North Shore Community College
Gail Peretti Middlesex Community College
Stephanie Pollard Bay State College
Mary Rayappan Middlesex Community College, CT
Elizabeth Reith Great Bay Community College
Carol Riley Middlesex Community College
Denise Robiichaud Quinsigamond Community College
Marianne Rosato Massasoit Community College
Everilis Santana Bristol Community College
Kate Sawal New Hampshire Technical Institute
Kathleen Sessa-Federico North Shore Community College
Dan Shagena New Hampshire Technical Institute
William Sheehan Trinity High School
Mark Snyder Fitchburg State University
Gail St.Jacques Johnson & Wales University
Eiki Stake Emerson College
Denise Sullivan Middlesex Community College
Jim Sullivan Northern Essex Community College
Kenneth Takvorian Mt Wachusett Community College
Gary Tararonis MCPHS University
David Timmons North Shore Community College
Greg Tobin Pearson Publishers
Caroline Trachim Trinity High School
Natalya Vinogradova Plymouth State University
Christine vonRenesse Westfield State University
Aaron Wan Cape Cod Community College
Kim Ward Eastern Connecticut State University
Meredith Watts MassBay Community College
Hayat Weiss Middlesex Community College
Jane Wiggings Middlesex Community College
Michael Williamson Middlesex Community College
Alice Wilson Bristol Community College
Barry Woods Unity College
Maureen Woolhouse Quinsigamond Community College
Tonka Zelenkova Middlesex Community College