MathEd Forum

January 20, 2018


Theme: Skills and Literacies (Financial, Digital,...) for the 21st Century

OCTOBER 25 , 2014 at 10 am-2 pm
Fields Institute, 222 College Street, Toronto

10:00-10:05 AM
Reports: OAME, OMCA, OCMA, CMESG, CMS, and other.

10:05-10:15 AM
Dragana Martinovic (University of Windsor): Introductions/Challenging the Education

10:15-10:50 AM
Yves Bourgeois (U. of New Brunswick, NB):
Why are we (apparently) so bad getting our youth skilled for the labour market?

Abstract: In 1992, the unemployment rate in Canada for 15-24 year-olds was 1.7 times the rate for 25-54 year olds. Over the following twenty years, the ratio has grown worse, reaching its peak ratio of 2.4X in 2012. Why is our youth experiencing increasing difficulty getting into the labour market? After all, this is our most educated generation ever, and our most technology-savvy as well. To compound the problem, businesses reveal in surveys that recruiting skilled workers is consistently among their top three concerns, suggesting potential new hires may not be 'job-ready.' In his presentation, Yves explores some of the obstacles to youth labour market integration, digital skills mismatches, and what key stakeholders should be doing.

Brief Bio: Dr. Yves Bourgeois is director of UNB’s Urban and Community Studies Institute, which seeks to promote better understanding of the challenges facing smaller cities. His own area of expertise is innovation, creativity and economic development, and he has authored several books, chapters and articles internationally. He holds a PhD in Regional and international development from UCLA, a Masters in Technology Studies from Edinburgh and a Masters in Philosophy and Economics from Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Yves also worked for Microsoft in Australia and for the Canadian Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette.

10:50-11:25 AM
Michael Perklin (Bitcoin):
Bitcoin, Blockchains, and the Coming Crypto-Revolution

Abstract: Bitcoin has made headlines recently, but so far the media has only discussed the tip of the iceberg. Cryptocurrencies hold the potential to drastically change many aspects of our lives in the near future just like the Internet did in the 1990s. This presentation will dive into the fascinating world of distributed consensus and highlight entirely new jobs and careers that are blooming from this inevitable societal transformation.

Brief Bio: Michael Perklin is a partner at Bitcoinsultants, a firm dedicated to providing expertise in cryptocurrencies and digital consensus models. Michael was previously employed as a digital forensic investigator before dropping everything to join the new economy and help companies adopt these exciting new technologies. Michael serves as a director of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada where he has presented about Bitcoin to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), the Canadian Senate, and leading law and telecommunication firms internationally.

Charles Anifowose (Vretta): 
Immediacy: How 21st Century Practices are Supercharging Math Intuition among Today's Learners

Abstract: Mathematics intuition moves from the head to the gut. Students have always had to grapple with concepts before developing an intuition for the subject. Through repeated interaction, a familiarity is developed which can serve the basis of further learning. This talk will look into some of the new ways of interacting with mathematics made possible by digital technologies

Brief Bio: Charles is a Designer who produces interactive mass-media to support the learning of mathematical concepts among students and the general public. He co-founded Vretta in 2009 with a dream of creating a team of artists, teachers and communicators that are deeply empathic to the student experience, and who take the aesthetic quality of their work very seriously. Vretta aims to address the lag-time of the introduction of well-developed digital tools in educational practice and the general deficiency in craftsmanship among traditional content production companies. Through their constant interactions with teachers and professors, the Vretta team experiences regular eipiphinies which it attempts to share through shared mehmes and experiences.

12:00-1:00PM Lunch

Tracy Solomon (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto):
Towards to an Evidence Base to Inform Mathematics Instruction in Canada.

Abstract: Numerical skills are essential to employability in the 21st century. But the numerical skills of students in many western countries is wanting, especially if the goal is to be globally competitive. Countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom are taking major steps to develop an empirical evidence base that can inform mathematics instruction but efforts to this end remain limited in Canada. I will discuss the role of empirical evidence in shaping education practice and policy and make suggestions for how we can achieve this in Canada, drawing on recent and ongoing work.

Brief Bio: Dr. Tracy Solomon is a Developmental Psychologist, Health Systems Research Scientist and Director of the Mathematics Education Research Lab (MERL) in the Department of Psychiatry, at the Hospital for Sick Children. She obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science degree at Trinity College and a Master of Arts degree at the University of Toronto, and a PhD at St. Andrews University in the United Kingdom. She completed postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and was Research Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill before joining the Hospital for Sick Children in 2007. She is keenly interested in how research in cognitive science can inform mathematics instruction in the classroom.

Viktor Freiman (Moncton University, NB):
Building new opportunities for (interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral) collaboration and partnership: Wrapping up and a discussion.

Brief Bio: Dr Freiman, full professor at the Université de Moncton, Faculté des sciences de l’éducation, brings his almost 25 years of expertise in educational technology, where he developed various virtual learning spaces within a Canadian French minority community (such as the website CAMI, along with other innovative ICT projects in schools. In addition to his national and international research contributions, he is an executive member of the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group and was a co-organizer of the international MACAS symposium as a result of the SSHRC funded International Development Grant (in 2008-2010). Presently, Dr. Freiman is a Director of new SSHRC funded Partnership Development Network CompéTICA (Compétences en TIC en Atlantique, 2014-2017) which closely collaborates with schools, school districts and ministries in the French Atlantic Canada. He is a President of the APTICA association that has promoted technology in different educational settings since 2000.

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