First Year Seminar
UCO 1200 Section 185 -
Math and Science Problem Solving
Dr. Rahman Tashakkori, e-mail:
Web Page: http://www.cs.appstate.edu/~rt/
Office: CAP 121, Office
MWF 10:00-12:00 am, and T 9:00-11:00 am
MWF 9:00-9:50am/CAP 337
Thursday, December 10, 2009 from 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Students who wish to receive accommodations
are encouraged to refer to
ASU Freshmen Majoring in Math or Science
None - Handouts and Articles will be provided by the instructor
Reference Book: Problem Solving & Comprehension, Arthur Whimbey & Jack Lochhead
Objective of the
Students will work in small groups to solve a wide variety of problems
from math and science. They will use and modify as needed a step-by-
step approach to problem solving, starting with information gathering
and ending with putting together a solution for formal presentation,
both orally and in writing. A wide variety of problem solving strategies
will be introduced. Students will need to think creatively and critically.
They will need to communicate with their team members and be able to
resolve conflicts when they arise. When difficulties are encountered
in finding a solution, students will learn to rethink their assumptions
and try alternative approaches.
The First Year Seminars are designed to teach students a certain set of skills,
decided on by a committee of staff, faculty, and administrative personnel.
Here are those goals:
- 1. Recognize, differentiate, and effectively employ appropriate and increasingly sophisticated strategies to collect and interpret information.
- 2. Successfully integrate disparate concepts and information when interpreting, solving problems, evaluating, creating, and making decisions.
- 3. Examine and evaluate how their own personal, historical, and cultural perspectives affect the discovery and generation of knowledge.
- 4. Apply theories from a variety of disciplines and advance convincing reasons to connect as well as differentiate theories from different domains of knowledge.
- 5. Articulate and comprehend effectively, using verbal or non-verbal communication suitable to topic, purpose, and audience.
- 6. Use writing effectively to discover and develop ideas and to articulate positions in contexts of increasing complexity.
- 7. Collaborate effectively with others in shared processes of inquiry and problem-solving.
The First-Year Seminar Committee produced this list of common expectations
for First Year Seminars:
1. Utilize at least two different modes of inquiry.
2. Use engaging pedagogies and involve students in a shared process of inquiry.
3. Involve students in problem-based learning with a research component.
4. Help students make connections with faculty, other students, their courses, and the university.
a. Include an intentional focus on community building (to ensure students build an academic community, make a connection with faculty members, and feel a sense of belonging).
b. Foster out-of-class engagement.
c. Incorporate some level of co-curricular involvement. (Faculty may choose.)
1. Service learning, cultural events, outdoor programs, etc.
d. Help students appreciate interconnectedness of knowledge and the disciplines and begin to think about integration of coursework.
5. Include an element of "how to do college".
a. Provide explicit support/expectations for how to meet the level of challenge.
b. Should include exposure to appropriate campus resources.
6. Help students understand the purpose of college and general education.
7. Require the use of the Summer Reading book.
8. NOT be narrowly focused or an introduction to a specific discipline.
- Problem Solving Methods
- Why do we need Problem Solving Strategies?
- Key Approaches to Problem Solving
- Process of Problem Solving
- Problem Solving Tools
- Problem Solving using Computer Tools
- Problem Solving in Math and Science
- Computer Tools for Problem Solving in Math and Science
In addition, we will have tours of different research labs in the College of Arts and
Sciences so we can learn about the opportunities on campus. Also, we will have
a problem solving outdoor activity with the Outdoor Program.
There will be several problem solving projects. Two of these projects will
be completed in pairs.
Students are required to attend ALL classes. Each unexcused absence will
result in a reduction of 3 points from the semester grade.
In addition, all students are required to
attend the Convocation and at least one discussion session on Summer Reading
The following grading scale will used in this course:
*Unless indicated by the instructor, all assignments and class
work must be completed individually. Please read the ASU Academic
Integrity Policy for more information on how the potential violations
- Two Midterm Projects 30% (15% each), **
- Final Exam & Project 30%,**
- Labs and Assignments 20%,
- Attendance and Participation, 20%
** These components may include presenations of the projects as well.
No incomplete grade (I) will be
given in this course.
- A = 93 to 100, A- = 90-93.9
- B+ = 87 to 89.9, B = 83-86.9, B- = 80-82.9
- C+ = 77 to 79.9, C = 73-76.9, C- = 70-72.9
- D+ = 67 to 69.9, D = 63-66.9, D- = 60-62.9
- F = Below 60
Calendar : http://www.registrar.appstate.edu/calendar/