SUNY at Stony Brook MAT 517/ MAE 330: Technology in Math Education
Spring 2014
MAT 517 Syllabus

MAT 517 / MAE 330 Technology in Math Education - Fall 2014 -


Instructor: Moira Chas - 3-119 Math Tower

Email: moira dot chas "at"

Office hours:

  • Tu 1-2:10pm  P-143 Math Tower
  • Th 3:40-5:30 3-119 Math Tower.
Overview: We will discuss how technology can be used in the teaching of mathematics.
The goal of the course is to learn to use technology
  • to explore and/or to solve mathematics problems,
    • Example: Use a CAS, like Mathematica or Wolfram-Alpha, to find the roots of polynomials using various methods.
    • Example: Use a graphing calculator to find the best straight line fit to a given set of data.
  • to create pedagogical demonstrations
    • Example: Use a dynamic geometry software, like Geogebra, to create a demonstration about concurrence of certain lines in a triangle.
  • to communicate math ideas using various technology tools
    • Example: Create a website explaining a given math topic
    • Example: Use latex to communicate mathematical ideas in writing.

Since technology changes really fast, our focus will be more on to "learn how to learn" as opposed to  mastering particular technology. (For example, using the help button efficiently).

The "mathematics" and "communication" parts of this course are crucial and will be part of the assessment . 
Prerequisite: MAE 301 and MAE 311
Textbook: All materials will be posted in the course website.

Required Equipment:

  • Graphing calculator.
  • Access to a computer with Geogebra, Latex and TexMaker.
  • Homework 20%: Homework will be posted online each Thursday evening and must be posted on the Stony Brook Google site before midnight of the due date (the following Thursday).
    • All solutions must be written in Latex and submitted in pdf form unless otherwise stated. 
    • Each graded problem or activity is worth up to 10 points.
    • You are encouraged to study with and discuss problems with others from the class, but you must write up your own homework by yourself on your own.
    • Mathematical writing is an important part of this course and will be part of your grade.  All problem sets  should be written in  complete English sentences, with correct grammar and correct spelling.
    • All mathematical steps should be clearly justified.
    • The number of symbols and abbreviations/acronyms should be minimal (or zero).
    • Proofread what you have written before submitting. Reading aloud to yourself is helpful for this.
  • Two projects 30% each. Your target audience is a reasonable high school senior. Two lessons will be on topics of your choice and the third one  will be assigned. Here is a list of possible topics. Each project must consist of
    1. 15-20 minutes oral exposition using technology resources.
    2. A written exposition in latex or html, which must be posted ten days before your exposition (making sure you give a clear definition of each term you introduce). This exposition should have meaningful illustrations.  This draft should be an illustrated set of notes that "stand alone", and do not depend on your lecture. You can think of this draft as notes for a students who miss the class you taught that day.
    3. Four homework problems for the audience with solutions written in Latex. (Homework must include the use of software and/or graphing calculator).
    • Each project will be graded as follows
      •  appropriate use of technology 9 points
      • mathematical correctness and depth 6 points
      • homework 3 points
      • oral presentation 6  points
      • writing quality 6 points
  • Class participation: 20%

Under no circumstance you are allowed to browse in Internet trying to "fish" for solutions to the homework problems or fo the projects. Copying  from a website or any other unquoted source will be consider academic dishonesty and reported to the Academic Judiciary.

One cannot learn mathematics or the use of technology related to mathematics without doing mathematics and using that technology. You should expect to devote a minimum of five hours outside the classroom to this course. The load of homework to submit each week will not be constant so it is strongly advised to plan ahead.

Software and web resources
To use Latex, you will need to install the Tex/Latex system and an editor. The editor we will use in class is Texmaker, which works with both PC and Mac.
Miktex  is a Tex/Latex system for PC's, Here you will find a Tex/Latex distribution for Mac's.
Latex tutorial
Here you'll find an equation editor for latex and here is a drawing pad that "translates" a symbol to latex.
Desmos is an online calculator.
A tutorial for Geogebra
Algebra Using the TI-83 Plus / TI-84 Plus Online Course by Texas Instruments
Activities for students with the TI-84
Google sites, docs
If you are on campus, you  can connect to the Virtual Sinc Site  using the link

We might use some of items listed below.
  • Wolfram Alpha
  • Padlet
  • To convert files to eps (or other formats)
  • Movies
  • Turing Machine
  • Excel
  • Google docs
  • Html
  • Smartboard
  • PowerPoint
  • Maple, Mathematica
  • Instructional videos (for instance Khan Academy)

Possible Topics for the Project
  1. What is a function? (composition, inverse)
  2. What is a limit?
  3. What is a derivative?
  4. What are the extrema?
  5. What are the mean, standard deviation, percentiles?
  6. What is an integral?
  7. What is a real number and what is a rational number? Operations
  8. What is a complex number?
  9. What is a random number?
  10. Circle theorems.
  11. Newton's method.
  12. Convergent and divergent series.
  13. Geometric constructions
  14. Locus problems
  15. Conic sections.
  16. Polynomial equations and circulant matrices.
  17. The Fibonacci numbers
  18. The mathematics of running in the rain.
  19. Variations on a irrational theme
  20. A question of limits (you need to log with your NedID to retrieve this article).
  21. Many articles for the American Mathematical Monthly, or Mathematics Magazine are appropriate.
Disabilities: If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services at or (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to the following website:

Academic Integrity: Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at

Critical Incident Management Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, and/or inhibits students' ability to learn.