Changing the Culture 2003:
Do We Need to Teach Algebra?

May 2, 2003
SFU at Harbour Centre
515 Hastings Street, Vancouver

The 6th 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 believe they could.
This year's conference will focus on transitions from secondary to post-secondary mathematics classrooms. What are the issues?

People teaching first year courses at universities and colleges feel that students are not prepared for the experience. Parents are looking for tutors for their children, concerned about their chances at passing UBC (SFU, UVic, ...) calculus course. Does the new curriculum prepare students for the university/college experience? Or, is it that the high school curricula have been changing faster than the university calculus courses, and the students arrive not knowing enough about algebra to satisfy university expectations? Are these expectations realistic?

Do we need to teach Algebra? What Algebra? For Whom?

These are just some of the questions this year's Changing the Culture conference will attempt to answer.