Changing The Culture 2018: Thinking Outside the Box


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.


Changing the Culture



Date: Friday, May 18, 2018

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


As in past years, registration for this event is free, but you will be asked to complete this RSVP form to allow us to plan the event. Please register by Tuesday May 15th.



Conference Program


8:00 Registration, (1301 Harbour Centre Concourse)

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

09:00 Plenary Talk: TBA  Gary McGillivray, UVic (Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theatre)

10:00 Coffee Break, (1301 Harbour Centre Concourse)

10:30 Workshops A, B and C

Workshop A Krypto's Lock Box Hans Bauk
For the past two years we have orchestrated an event at my school called Krypto’s Lock Box: Part scavenger hunt, part escape room, and part math contest. The goal for the students was to open a locked box full of prizes, and to do so required solving a series of math problems, riddles, and puzzles. It has been an overwhelming success in terms of student involvement and school spirit. In this workshop I’ll show what we did and how we did it, and we will explore some of the problems that the students had to solve along the way.

Workshop B Numeracy Tasks: Opening Pandora’s Box Phil Stringer, Crofton House School

Workshop C TBA

12:00 PIMS Award Ceremony Presenting 2018 PIMS Education Prize (Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theatre)

12:15 Lunch 

13:00 Plenary Talk: What Makes Algebra So Hard? Knowing versus Doing Deborah Hughes Hallett, University of Arizona/Harvard Kennedy School (Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theater)
For too many students, algebra is the subject that derails their career aspirations. Why can the subject be so hard to learn? In this talk we look how students approach algebra and how we think about what we expect them to learn. We also consider how students’ confidence affects their approach. The goal of the talk is to attempt to spark a discussion between schools and universities that will help us all refocus our courses.

14:15 Panel Discussion (Room 1900 - Fletcher Challenge Theatre)

15:45 Concluding Remarks