Investigators and Contact Information:
Dr. Carolyn Morgan
School of Science
Department of Mathematics
Dr. Anne L. Pierce
School of Liberal Arts
Department of Humanities
HU FORCE - Financially Oriented Research Calculus Experience
Educational Research Project
HU FORCE project is an HBCU-UP educational research project to determine whether the integration of financial applications, new teaching strategies, and real-world "keystone" research projects that incorporate aspects of design, analysis, and finance into the calculus courses for Hampton University undergraduate STEM majors (biology, chemistry, physics, marine science, engineering, and mathematics) will increase academic achievement, retention in STEM, progression toward graduation and the number of students pursuing graduate school. FORCE project supports the university's Quality Enhancement Plan targeted at enhancing student-learning outcomes in mathematics and financial literacy.
This project is one of several grants recently awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to HU to increase the production of minority professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It is a collaborative effort between the School of Science and the School of Liberal Arts.
Please see the NSF HBCU-UP website for more general information about this program.
Dr. Morgan, Professor of Mathematics, conducted a finance workshop
where each student was given a workbook to assist them in the
calculation of common financial problems such
as the escalating cost of credit.
Students often come to the classroom thinking that they want to be engineers, but have no idea what that entails mathematically. At HU, the value of financially-focused model to the teaching of calculus was determined through a literature search of best practices. For example, students seldom realize that functional relationships are all around us. The goal of the instructional model employed in this project is to enhance what STEM students know and are able to do at the end of calculus instruction. The investigators have developed the proposed study to uncover for practitioners what is required to grasp the concepts and ideas underlying calculus facts and skills, and what instructional enhancements are required to organize these facts, skills, and concepts in a way that makes sense to students. Since the project began in Fall 2009, Dr. Carolyn Morgan and Dr. Anne Pierce have refined their research methodology with the aid of Advisory Board member Marguerite Mason, Ph.D., of the College of William & Mary. They are also working with the HU Assessment Facilitator, Spencer Baker, Ph.D., who will evaluate the project to determine appropriate assessments, their delivery schedule, and determine the analysis protocol.