Adam Giambrone

Statement of Teaching Experience and Philosophy:

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Summary of Teaching Evaluation Data and Selected Student Comments:

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Statement of Commitment to Diversity:

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Professor (University of Connecticut):

  • Math 1030Q: Elementary Discrete Mathematics

    Course Coordinator (Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015)
    Instructor of Record (Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015)

  • As course coordinator, I designed this course to focus on changing student beliefs about mathematics, on students learning how to learn and think more effectively, on students communicating mathematics orally and through writing, and on students being empowered by their ability to discover and work with mathematics.

    Mathematical topics discussed include the art gallery theorem, fair division, graph theory, modular arithmetic with applications, the pigeonhole principle, the Pythagorean theorem, visualizing 3D objects using 2D cross-sections, and voting theory.

    Reading/Writing assignments are used to help students learn about and reflect on mindsets about intelligence, learning theory, and strategies for effective thinking.

    Scratch work and/or a rough draft is collected for all written assignments to show students that the task of finding a solution is separate from the task of clearly communicating that solution.

    The WileyPLUS online homework system (which allows multiple attempts on each question) is used throughout the semester to promote the value of learning from mistakes and to help students engage with mathematical tasks on a regular basis.

    This was a large lecture course during the 2015-2016 academic year. A SMART Podium and selected handouts with student activities were used during class meetings. Notes and other resources were posted regularly using a course webpage.

  • Math 1151Q: Honors Calculus I (Fall 2017)

  • I am teaching this course using guided inquiry-based learning (IBL). For more information, see this website.

    I am using the open-source textbook Active Calculus by Boelkins, Austin, and Schlicker. Key features of the HTML version of the text include, in each section, a short “preview assignment” in which students read a short introduction and complete a mathematical activity to prepare for an upcoming class meeting, in-class activities meant to help students discover and work with mathematical ideas, links to Java applets, and links to WeBWorK online homework exercises.

    A group project will ask students to explore how calculus can be applied to their academic area of interest. The project will culminate in the writing and sharing of a written report.

    The WeBWorK online homework system is being used throughout the semester.

  • Math 1152Q: Honors Calculus II (Fall 2016)

  • I taught this course using guided IBL and the open-source textbook Active Calculus.

    Students completed a group project on applications of calculus that included the writing of a report and the creation of a poster that was presented during an in-class poster session.

    The WebAssign online homework system was available for students to use throughout the semester.

  • Math 2130Q: Honors Multivariable Calculus (Spring 2017)

  • I taught this course using guided IBL and the open-source textbook Active Calculus--Multivariable by Schlicker, Austin, and Boelkins. Students completed a group project (report and poster) on applications of multivariable calculus.

    The WebAssign and WeBWorK online homework systems were available for students to use throughout the semester.

  • Math 2210Q: Applied Linear Algebra (Fall 2015)
  • Math 2360Q: Geometry (Spring 2016)

  • I designed this course to focus on logic and truth tables, proof methods, neutral geometry, hyperbolic geometry, and knot theory.

    To help students visualize knots and knot equivalence, a classroom set of Tangle toys was purchased for students to use as manipulatives.

    A 3-to-4-week group project about spherical geometry (which utilized GeoGebra applets) gave students the chance to explore a new topic, discover properties and results, and collaborate with their peers.

  • Math 2720W: History of Mathematics (Fall 2015)

  • This is a writing-intensive course, meaning that 15 pages of writing with revision are assigned throughout the semester (in addition to other assessments).

    I used a sequence of three papers to shift student writing from a report (on a specific topic from early mathematics) to a paper in the style of a formal mathematics paper (on a student-chosen topic from mathematics after the year 1600).

  • Math 2794W: Mathematical Writing Seminar (Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016)

  • The main goals for this writing-intensive course are
    (1) to expose students to new mathematical topics by having them attend, summarize, and reflect on weekly UConn Math Club talks,
    (2) to have students learn how to use the LaTeX typesetting program, and
    (3) to have students develop their technical writing skills by learning how to write a mathematics paper that involves outside research and includes an abstract, an introduction, content sections, and a references section.
    Students use one of the first seven math club talks as a springboard for a 7-to-10-page final paper.

  • Math 3094: Math Scholars Course (Knot Theory) (Fall 2017)

  • I am teaching this course using IBL.

    The textbook I chose, An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory by Henrich and Johnson, is centered around student work in small groups on and student presentations of exercises designed to help students discover and communicate ideas in knot theory.

    An independent study project will ask students to explore a topic in or application of knot theory that has not been discussed in class. The project will culminate in a written report and a student class presentation.


    Service (University of Connecticut):

  • Teaching Seminar (Fall 2017 to Present)

  • I am a co-organizer of the Teaching Seminar, which is meant to give faculty and graduate students in the mathematics department a forum to share and discuss their work related to the teaching and learning of mathematics. The goal of the seminar is to create a supportive community dedicated to reflective and scholarly teaching.

  • Honors Thesis Advisor (Summer 2017 to Present)

  • Starting in the summer of 2017, I have been working with an undergraduate student to explore the topic of two-player combinatorial games on knot and link diagrams, which is a current area of undergraduate research.

    This project will continue throughout the 2017-2018 academic year and will involve the writing of an Honors Thesis.

    Knowing that the honors student is considering attending graduate school in mathematics, my hope is to have the student get the opportunity to present his work during the summer of 2018 at MAA MathFest and to publish his work in the Involve undergraduate research journal.

  • Teaching Through Diversity Community of Practice (Summer 2017 to Present)

  • I am participating in a Network Improved Community (NIC) titled “Learning to Improve: Faculty Engagement in Teaching Through Diversity”. This group meets monthly to discuss readings and participate in activities related to teaching our subject matter through the diversity of our students. Each participant is charged with brainstorming, making, and assessing changes related to diversity in a specific course during the 2017-2018 academic year. I plan to focus on Math 1030Q: Elementary Discrete Mathematics since it is a general education mathematics course with a broad audience.

  • Mathematics Education Seminar (Spring 2016 to Present)

  • I helped restart and am a co-organizer of the Mathematics Education Seminar, the goals of which are to present current research in mathematics education and to build connections between the mathematics and education departments.

  • MAA Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) (Summer 2015 to Present)

  • For the Summer 2016 Project NExT workshop, I helped organize a session titled “Recasting Failure as a Learning Tool and Battling Math Anxiety”. During this session, participants rotated through three of four different discussion stations, each run by a different facilitator. Our four facilitators/topics were

    (1) Kathryn Haymaker (Villanova University): Mastery/Standards-based grading,
    (2) Austin Mohr (Nebraska Wesleyan University): Mastery/Standards-based exams and pass/fail questions,
    (3) Victor Piercey (Ferris State University): Inquiry-Based Learning and student mindsets, and
    (4) Michael Starbird (University of Texas at Austin): Inquiry-Based Learning and student attitudes about mathematics.

  • Academic Jobs Panelist (September 08, 2017)

  • SIGMA Seminar (for Mathematics Graduate Students)
    University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

  • Specifications Grading Workshop (August 16, 2017)

  • I helped create, organize, and run a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning workshop titled “Designing a Course Around Learning Outcomes and Specifications Grading”. The workshop was designed to introduce participants to best practices for course design and specifications grading. Hands-on activities allowed participants to focus on applying these ideas to a specific course.

  • CETL Teaching Talks (December 05, 2016 and June 22, 2017)

  • I helped create, organize, and advertise for two Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Teaching Talks titled “Specifications Grading: Maximizing Student Learning and Motivation While Saving Faculty Time”.

  • Mathematics Specifications Grading Learning Seminar (Spring 2017)

  • I created, organized, and ran a learning seminar for mathematics faculty and graduate students to explore how specifications-based grading might work in a calculus course.

  • CETL Specifications Grading Reading Group (Spring 2017)

  • I helped create, organize, and advertise for a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning reading group about specifications-based grading. We read and discussed ideas related to Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time by Linda B. Nilson.

  • Independent Study in Knot Theory (Spring 2016)

  • I met weekly with an undergraduate student to explore the topic of two-player combinatorial games on knot diagrams.

  • Honors Conversion for Math 2360Q: Geometry (Spring 2016)

  • I worked with an undergraduate student to develop an honors conversion portfolio, the main component of which was an expository paper on knot theory. This paper contained history and background related to knot theory and knot invariants as well as an independent exploration of the Jones polynomial knot invariant.

  • Completion of CITI Program Conflicts of Interest and Human Subjects Research Courses (Spring 2016)

  • I completed online modules run by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program). These modules serve as training needed before conducting any educational research (e.g. the scholarship of teaching and learning) that requires approval of the Institutional Review Board.

  • Poster Session Judge (January 08, 2016)

  • MAA Student Poster Session
    Joint Mathematics Meetings of the AMS and MAA
    Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA


    Professional Membership:

  • Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

  • Special Interest Group: Inquiry Based Learning (IBL)

  • Special Interest Group: Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (RUME)

  • Special Interest Group: Undergraduate Research (UR)


  • Professor (Alma College):

  • Math 110: Liberal Arts Mathematics (Winter 2015)

  • I designed this course to be an introduction to graph theory, knot theory, and the connections between graphs an knots. The goal was to help students see a completely different side of mathematics.

    The textbook and my teaching focused on student discovery. Time in class and assessments for the course were aimed at promoting student collaboration through work in small groups.

  • Math 112: Pre-Calculus (Winter 2015, Fall 2014)
  • Math 120: Discrete Mathematics (Winter 2015)
  • Math 220: Math Foundations of Computer Science (Fall 2014)


  • Service (Alma College):

  • Andison Teaching Lunch (Fall 2014 to Spring 2015)

  • This was a monthly faculty discussion about ideas and practices related to teaching and student learning.

  • All-Campus Faculty Meetings (Fall 2014 to Spring 2015)
  • Friday Forums (Fall 2014 to Spring 2015)

  • This was a thrice per month meeting of the faculty used as a venue for faculty to discuss current faculty issues and for faculty to share their scholarship of teaching with their peers.

  • Math Curriculum Committee Member (Fall 2014)

  • I was part of a small committee of members of the mathematics department tasked with beginning to design a new lower level mathematics course intended to combine algebra content with quantitative reasoning content in order to help prepare students for an introductory course in statistics.

  • Problems and Pizza (Fall 2014)

  • I attended a weekly student problem-solving seminar.


    Instructor of Record (Michigan State University):

  • Math 103: College Algebra (Summer 2009)
  • Math 110: Finite Mathematics and Elements of College Algebra (Summer 2010)
  • Math 124: Survey of Calculus I (Spring 2011, Spring 2010, Fall 2009)

  • The WileyPLUS online homework system was used throughout the semester.

  • Math 126: Survey of Calculus II (Spring 2014)
  • Math 132: Calculus I (Summer 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012)

  • The WeBWorK online homework system was used throughout the semester.



    Recitation Instructor (Michigan State University):

  • Math 133: Calculus II (Spring 2009, Fall 2008)


  • Tutor (Michigan State University):

  • Math Learning Center (Eight Various Semesters)


  • Grader (Michigan State University):

  • Math 496: Senior Capstone in Knot Theory (Fall 2013)


  • Service (Michigan State University):

  • Student Teaching Seminar (Spring 2013 to Spring 2014)

  • I helped create, organize, and run a weekly teaching-focused seminar for mathematics graduate students.

    Components of the seminar included discussion of teaching strategies and practices, reading from the literature on undergraduate mathematics education, and reflection on teaching.

    Topics discussed included active and inquiry-based learning, backward design, Bloom's taxonomy, classroom assessment techniques, formative versus summative assessment, instructional scaffolding, intelligence mindsets, norms in the classroom, and underrepresented groups in mathematics.

  • Certification in Teaching College Mathematics (Fall 2012 to Spring 2014)

  • I completed a voluntary program meant to prepare graduate students for teaching careers in academia.

    Components of the program included a course in teaching college mathematics, various seminars and workshops meant to address life as a professor and various aspects of teaching, a mentored teaching project, and the development of a teaching portfolio.

    The components of the certification are divided into five competencies. Competency 1 encompasses the course in teaching college mathematics, Competencies 2-5 encompass the workshops and seminars, and Competency 5 encompasses the mentored teaching project (pages 49-72 of Competency 5 below). Click on the links below for more details.

    Competency 1

    Competency 2

    Competency 3

    Competency 4

    Competency 5

  • Mathematics Department TA Information Panel (August 2013)
  • Michigan State University TA Information Panel (August 2012)
  • Math Learning Center Supervisor (Fall 2009 to Spring 2010)