CUNY Math Initiative - Program Description

On this "mini-site," the Office of Academic Affairs seeks to record and publicize its multi-faceted approach to promoting excellence and achievement in the teaching and learning of mathematics at CUNY. Our initiative relies on participation from departments across all of our campuses, the Central Office, and external partners. Endeavors include:

The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mathematics Instruction:
Chancellor of the City University of New York (and trained mathematician) Matthew Goldstein created this prestigious award to recognize faculty who have implemented an outstanding instructional method for teaching undergraduate mathematics at CUNY. The winners of the third annual award, Professors Sandra Clarkson and William Williams of Hunter College, were honored in May 2012. Read more.

Funding math education research:
The Office of Academic Affairs recently announced the availability of grant funding for 2009-2011 to undertake evidence-based research that will lead to better learning in mathematics classrooms. The competition is an opportunity to fund faculty-led research projects at CUNY and encourage faculty members to consider questions or problems they have encountered in helping students learn mathematics, devising creative solutions, or testing existing solutions to assess their success. Read more.

Rewarding student excellence: Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development (CISDD), and supported by the Office of the Chancellor, the CUNY Math Challenge seeks to identify and reward CUNY's best math talent. Matriculated CUNY undergraduates are invited to compete for over a dozen cash prizes, ranging from $500 up to a grand prize of $2,500. On May 1, the 2012 Math Challenge winners received their awards. Read more.

Pursuing excellence at community colleges: In partnership with the Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College, CUNY's community colleges will be the subjects of an ongoing study to examine the effectiveness of remedial placement policies, including assessment of mathematics placement. CUNY provides an excellent setting for the study as the University tracks students' initial placement exam scores, remedial placement recommendations, developmental course enrollments, and exit exam scores. Sponsored by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the research will use data from all six colleges to examine remedial assessment and placement policies, programmatic interventions, and the impact of each on students, particularly low-income young adults. Read more.

Improving college readiness and success: CUNY will partner with the New York City public school system and a wide array of community groups to increase the number of high school graduates who are fully prepared for college-level work, as well as the number of students who successfully complete a college degree. This endeavor will be funded by a a Communities Learning in Partnership (CLIP) Planning Grant of $250,000 funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the National League of Cities. Read more.

Advanced resources for student assessment: CUNY has provided mathematics faculty access to Maplesoft-MAA Placement Test Suite, an advanced software system to assess the appropriate entry-level course in mathematics for students based on their knowledge of techniques and concepts.

Providing tools of the trade: 
CUNY has distributed more than 275 advanced calculators to libraries at 16 university campuses. These calculators will be loaned to students to assist them with the advanced quantitative aspects of their studies.