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Mathematics Instruction Using Decision Science and Engineering Tools

Presenters: Robert Young and Karen Keene
Mathematics Instruction using Decision Science and Engineering Tools (MINDSET) created and implemented engineering modeling-based instructional materials to teach mathematics concepts for a non-calculus fourth-year high school course. MINDSET has two student-focused goals: (1) enhance students’ ability to formulate, solve, and interpret multi-step contextual problems; and (2) improve students’ attitude toward mathematics, especially students from underrepresented groups. In this session, presenters share implementation and evaluation results, as well as plans for scale up.

Robert Young, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina State University
Robert Young is the principal investigator of the MINDSET Project, an NSF DR K–12 project that is developing and testing the use of industrial engineering and operations research tools to teach high school mathematics. His interests are in fuzzy mathematics, database applications, and information system design for manufacturing. He has worked extensively with electronic and aerospace industries, both as a consultant and full-time, when on leaves of absence from academia. He has been a guest professor at universities in Denmark, Germany, and Austria, and has given workshops in Brazil, Venezuela, Germany, Russia, and South Africa. He has been working in the area of computer technology for more than 45 years and in manufacturing systems since 1975. He has published several book chapters, four books, and more than 80 articles on various aspects of manufacturing. In 1982, he was named a Young Manufacturing Engineer of the Yearby the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. In 1978, he was a University Fellow with the U.S. Air Force's Integrated Computer-Aided Manufacturing (ICAM) Program, and subsequently worked on many of its projects. He is a past director of the Computer and Information Systems Division of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), in which he is a senior member. He is also a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He is a licensed engineer in the State of Texas. He received his BS in Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his PhD and masters’ degrees in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.

Karen Keene, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, North Carolina State University
Karen Keene is a co-principal investigator of the MINDSET Project, an NSF DR K–12 project that is developing and testing the use of industrial engineering and operations research tools to teach high school mathematics. Her primary areas of interest are teaching and learning mathematics at the high school and university levels. She is particularly interested in the integration of engineering and mathematics. She also studies secondary teachers’ mathematical knowledge and its relationship to good teaching. Keene has collaborated with faculty at Michigan State University who are seeking to understand and define mathematical knowledge necessary for teaching algebra, as well as designing and facilitating professional development for middle school and high school teachers for the Promoting Rigorous Outcomes in Mathematics and Science Education (PROM/SE) project. She is an author of Contemporary Calculus, a reform textbook written in the 1990s at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and authored the instructor’s guide for the text Contemporary Precalculus with Applications. Keene taught high school in regular and specialized schools for 15 years and has extensive experience in professional development for high school teachers. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mathematics from Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., and her PhD in Mathematics Education from Purdue University.