Changing the Culture 2001

Changing the Culture 2001:
Writing, Speaking and Thinking Mathematics

May 11, 2001
SFU at Harbour Centre
515 Hastings Street, Vancouver

The Fourth Annual Changing the Culture Conference, organized and sponsored by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, will again bring together mathematicians, mathematics educators and school teachers from all levels to work together towards narrowing the gap between mathematicians and teachers of mathematics, and between those who do and enjoy mathematics and those who don't. Its theme this time is Writing, Speaking and Thinking Mathematics. The conference will explore connections between numeracy and literacy, mathematics and language, mathematics and literature, and how we can use language to teach mathematics.

Conference Highlights

There will be two plenary talks. Click on lecture title for streamed video filed. For more information, including technical requirements, please click here.

Morning: Mathematics and Literature: Cross Fertilization
Speaker: Brett Stevens, PIMS postdoctoral fellow, SFU

Afternoon: Breaking the Cycle of Ignorance
Speaker: John Mighton, NSERC postdoctoral fellow at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.

John Mighton is the founder and coordinator of JUMP, Junior Undiscovered Mathematical Prodigies, an educational no-cost outreach program for students who are doing badly in mathematics in school. This program has been very successful and is rapidly gaining momentum in Toronto. John will talk about his experiences with JUMP and on how to make math accessible for kids whom the standard methods have not reached. John is also a Governor's General award winning playwright. Robert LePage's latest film, Possible Worlds, was adapted from one of his plays. He was a math consultant and actor in Good Will Hunting.

Conference Programme

8:45 - 9:15 Registration

9:15 - 9:30 Welcoming Remarks

9:30 - 10:30 Mathematics and Literature: Cross Fertilization
Brett Stevens, SFU/PIMS

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 - 12:30 Workshops and Discussions

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 15:00 Panel Discussion: Truth and Fiction in Teaching Mathematics

15:00 - 16:30 Workshops and Discussions

16:30 - 17:00 Coffee break

17:00 - 18:00 Breaking the Cycle of Ignorance
John Mighton, Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences


Each participant will be able to attend two of the following workshops:
1. JUMP: Junior Undiscovered Mathematical Prodigies program.
Leader: John Mighton
2. Contextualizing Mathematics.
Leader: Brett Stevens and Karen Meagher
3. Connecting Early Numeracy and Literacy.
Leaders: Cynthia Nicol and Heather Kelleher

Panel Members

Klaus Hoechsmann Mathematics, UBC/PIMS

Peter Liljedahl
Faculty of Education, SFU

Jenny McNulty
Mathematics, University of Montana/Project NEXT

Cynthia Nicol
Faculty of Education, UBC

Cynthia Nicolson
Teacher, Bowen Island Elementary School

David Pimm
Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Previous Changing the Culture Conferences


For more information, contact conference organizer, Malgorzata Dubiel, dubiel at