NSF logo

CBMS2015: A Study of Undergraduate Programs in the Mathematical and Statistical Sciences in the United States and the Publication of the Results: 1441478

Principal Investigator: James Maxwell
CoPrincipal Investigator(s): Ellen Kirkman, Richelle Blair, Thomas Barr
Organization: American Mathematical Society

The project, CBMS2015, will be coordinated by the Conference Board for the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) and will be managed by the American Mathematical Society (AMS). CBMS2015, will be a comprehensive survey of the nation’s undergraduate mathematical and statistical sciences programs at two-year and four-year institutions scheduled to commence in the fall of 2015. This project will continue a cross-sectional survey of undergraduate mathematics programs that has been done every five years since 1965. CBMS surveys track changes in the curriculum, pedagogy, enrollment levels by individual courses, bachelor’s degrees granted, and program faculty in US undergraduate mathematical sciences programs. CBMS2015 will provide current national benchmark data that the Nation’s mathematical sciences department chairs called for in the 1999 AMS publication “Towards Excellence: Leading a Mathematics Department in the 21st Century”. A comprehensive report describing the findings of this survey will be distributed in the spring of 2017 to science policy leaders at the national level and to all mathematics programs in the US and will also be freely available in print and online. The findings of the survey will be promoted to the mathematical sciences community at relevant professional meetings and in appropriate publications. Improving the Nation’s undergraduate STEM efforts depends on improving undergraduate mathematics and statistics, and planning future reforms begins by knowing the present. The survey report will provide data on crucial issues within the mathematics community, catalyzing other educational research.

The statistical design of the stratified random sample survey and associated statistical analysis will be conducted by statisticians at Westat, Inc. in consultation with a steering committee appointed by CBMS. The final report will be written by the project’s senior personnel and published by the American Mathematical Society. The survey’s evolving structure will contribute to educational survey research methodology. In addition, CBMS2015 will focus on a selection of topics of importance to leaders of various organizations concerned with undergraduate education in the mathematical sciences. The topics include, but are not limited to: (1) evidence-based teaching practices; (2) practices in distance-learning courses; (3) instructional strategies in College Algebra, Calculus I, and Elementary Statistics; (4) instructional strategies and delivery methods in developmental mathematics; (5) assessment of mathematics and statistics programs; (5) data on gender and under-represented groups; (6) research and internship opportunities in the mathematical sciences for undergraduate students; and (6) other full-time faculty (faculty at four-year departments that are full-time, but not eligible for tenure).

This project is funded jointly by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education, and the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Division of Mathematical Sciences.

Tags: ,