Martha Byrne
Teaching Fellow in Mathematics

Martha Byrne focuses her research on the “unfortunate discrepancy between what most people think of as mathematics and what mathematicians think of as mathematics.” In addition to teaching her regular courses in math, Martha is leading a Ford/Knight student-faculty research project focused on Global Warming models seen through the lens of the Winter Olympics.

Of Earlham she says, “I love the liberal arts environment because students are encouraged to explore courses outside their chosen disciplines and the faculty are truly committed to educating their students.”

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 138

Phone
765-973-2132

E-mail
byrnema@earlham.edu

Office
227 Dennis Hall

Website
Website Link

Programs/Departments

  • Mathematics

Degrees

  • M.S., University of New Mexico
  • B.A., Knox College

Selected Courses:

Mathematical proofs are the foundation of all mathematics. Once proven, a mathematical statement is known to be true and cannot be unproven. I teach two classes that utilize this powerful tool and help students develop a deeper understanding of the field of mathematics.

In Sophomore Seminar, we focus on the construction and understanding of mathematical proofs. Students learn how to write formal mathematics and how to construct logically unassailable arguments.

In Geometry, we use proofs to explore the Euclidean geometry we have seen before as well as the geometry of the world in which we actually live and other systems. This course is offered to the greater community as well as math majors.

There is an unfortunate discrepancy between what most people think of as mathematics and what mathematicians think of as mathematics. Transitioning from the computational courses of the former to the proof-based courses of the latter is often extremely difficult for students. My research centers on understanding and easing that transition.

Publications

Byrne, M., Boyle, J. (in press) Supporting Students to Construct Proofs: An Argument Assessment Tool. Proceedings of the seventeenth Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education.    

Byrne, M. (2013). Cooperative Learning and Traversing the Continuum of Proof Expertise: Preliminary Results. Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, Vol 1.   

Presentations

"Research in Proof and Proving" poster presented at the Lilly International Conference on College Teaching, 2013 - Oxford, OH   

"Cooperative Learning and Traversing the Continuum of Proof Expertise: Preliminary Results" presented at SIGMAA on RUME 16th Annual Conference, 2013 - Denver, CO   

"Learning To Cooperate - one researcher's experiences building effective cooperative groups with students" presented in MAA General Contributed Paper Session at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, 2013 - San Diego, CA   

"Estimating the Thickness of a Can" poster presented in the Math Teachers Circle Poster Session of the Joint Mathematics Meeting, 2013 - San Diego, CA    Status, Interaction and Undergraduate Mathematics in Nigeria: a VLP Experience - presented in MAA General Contributed Paper Session at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, 2012 - Boston, MA

AMS, AWM,  MAA, SIGMAA on RUME

I love the liberal arts environment because students are encouraged to explore courses outside their  chosen disciplines and the faculty are truly committed to educating their students.

In Spring 2014, I will be leading a Ford/Knight project examining Global Warming models through the lens of the Winter Olympics.

I love having access to the metals studio and the wellness center.

I am and enamelist and silversmith, and I love to read and cook and spend time with my family.

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