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Seminar to discuss emotions, math

March 14, 2011

Have you ever stopped to consider what your feelings are in relation to your or your student’s engagement in learning math? Emotions, attitude, beliefs and values about math can either promote or hinder mathematical learning and problem-solving, says Gerald Goldin, distinguished professor and university director of the Science and Mathematical Partnerships at Rutgers University.

Mathematics is ranked second among the best jobs in America according to in their study revealing the 10 best jobs in 2011, but many students may have mixed feelings and anxieties regarding math. Goldin, a mathematical physicist, conducts extensive research in mathematics education, and in particular, mathematical learning and problem-solving.

His talk, “Mathematics and Mathematics Education: An Excursion into the Affective Domain” is scheduled to be presented  at 4:30 p.m., March 24, in the Physical Science Center, F-wing, room 101.

Goldin’s talk will focus on the nature of student engagement. In particular, the importance of emotions during mathematical problem-solving, the role of beliefs about math, student’s long-term and short-term motivations, cognition, and difficulties in studying mathematical affect. He also will touch on how math teachers are prepared, how to connect with students, and how math is represented to the wider community. Not only will educators benefit from this discussion, but also students. By better understanding their own feelings regarding math, students can overcome any difficulties easier and fully appreciate all of the benefits that mathematics can give them in the future.

Goldin received his doctorate from Princeton University, and is a distinguished professor in mathematics, physics and education. He also is the first permanent director of Rutgers’ Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education which he has developed into one of the leading centers of its kind in the world.

The School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences invites students and math educators to attend this talk which is free and open to the public. A reception with light refreshments will be held at 4 p.m., in the Physical Science Center, A-wing, Room 206. An abstract and more information on Goldin and his research are online.

For more information on this and other colloquia series sponsored by the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Science, visit or contact 480-965-9792.

Caleen Canady
School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences