Changing The Culture 2023


The annual Changing the Culture Conference, organized and sponsored by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, brings 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 think they don't. 





Register for CtC 2023


Date: Friday, May 19, 2023

Location: SFU-Vancouver at Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver, Canada


As in past years, registration for this event is free, but we ask you to complete the registration using the button on this page. N.B. You will have to register for an account on that website to complete the registration process. Please register by Tuesday May 16th.



Conference Program


8:00 Registration, (1301 Harbour Centre Concourse)

8:45 Opening Remarks, (Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theatre)

9:00 Plenary Talk I: Paths and pathways [video, slides] Jayadev Athreya, PIMS
(Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theater)

We talk about how some simple sounding problems about straight line paths on surfaces require many different kinds of mathematical thinking to solve, focusing on the example of understanding straight line paths on Platonic solids. We'll use this to start a discussion of how we can emphasize teaching different ways of thinking, and why geometry is an important resource for students. There will be lots and lots of fun pictures and hopefully interesting and provocative ideas!

N.B. Prof. Athreya was unable to participate on the day of Changing the Culture 2023, but has kindly provided a recording of their talk ( instead.

10:00 Coffee Break, (1400 Segal Centre)

10:30 Workshops A and B

Workshop A: Making Space for Straight-Edge and Compass Constructions, Natasha Davidson, Douglas College
(Room 1325)

While messing about with some paper, straight-edges and compasses we will talk about the utilitarian purpose of making time and space in our classrooms for doing the same.

Workshop B: Locus and Physics in Scratch, Cameron Morland, University of Waterloo
(Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theater)

We'll be creating simple programs to explore how conics can emerge in different ways. Prior experience with Scratch is useful but not required. Bring a laptop if you can.

12:00 PIMS Award Ceremony (Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theatre)

12:15 Lunch (Room 1400, Segal Centre) 

13:00 Plenary Talk II: Streaming Services, Fok-Shuen Leung, UBC
(Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theater)

University mathematics courses are often a shock to the system of a first-year student. In this talk, we'll explore how we can help students succeed, whether that's by ensuring their background is sufficient, encouraging them to take a suitable university math course, or transforming those courses in smart and logistically sound ways. At the end, we'll discuss some larger issues around the principles and ethics of sorting students to begin with.

14:00 Panel Discussion Should We Teach Geometry in Schools?
(Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theater)
  • Özgür Yilmaz, PIMS
  • Natalia Kouzniak, SFU
  • Simin Sadat Chavoshi Jolfaee, BCIT [slides]
  • Cameron Morland, Waterloo
  • Minnie Liu, Gladstone Secondary
Moderator: Melania Alvarez, PIMS

15:30 Concluding Remarks