The Mathematics Yearbook – showcasing the exceptional work of our undergraduate students
The Mathematics Yearbook showcases the amazing work of students studying mathematics in the School of IT. This new publication brings together articles written by students for a general audience in all areas of mathematics, some adapted from work submitted by students in their undergraduate subjects, and some based on research projects undertaken by keen students working in partnership with researchers in the school.
Over the last few years, the mathematics teaching team has been changing the way students are assessed in first year mathematics units. Many think of mathematics as being about solving sums and equations, but beyond high school and university, mathematicians need to be able to reason, problem-solve, communicate, explain, research and innovate. It’s more than just algebra – thinking mathematically is about applying logic and abstract thinking to deconstruct and solve complex problems.
While fundamental skills are certainly very important, if the sole focus is on assessing students on these skills, students can lose sight of the big picture of what mathematics is all about. Moreover, by focusing on the routine procedures, we deprive students of the opportunity to acquire and demonstrate flair, enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter.
In moving some assessments toward tasks that tap into these other aspects of mathematics, the mathematics teaching team in the School of IT started to see exceptional examples of student work being submitted, even from students in their first year or even first trimester of their degree! This led to the idea of putting together a Mathematics Yearbook – something that recognises the above-and-beyond achievements of students in the School of IT.
Working with students
Recognising and celebrating the contribution and learning of students is an important part of being a university educator. As the mathematics teaching team engaged with students to work on their submissions, the students were able to put together a rigorous piece of extra-curricular work while also completing their usual subjects.
They also expressed a lot of pride at their work being included in the publication. Deakin student and contributor Sarah King said, ‘It is an honour being selected to write an article for this yearbook – it is recognition of all the hard work I’ve put into my degree and a great start to pursuing my new career.’
While this was not officially part of the Students-as-Partners program, this project certainly shares the sentiment of what amazing things can happen when collaborating with students.
We can’t wait to see how the mathematics teaching team in the School of IT works with such enthusiastic and talented students in the future! You can download the Mathematics Yearbook 2021 for free or order a paperback version online.