SIMIODE Newsletter December 2017


Volume III Number 6

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Welcome to SIMIODE and our Newsletter

SIMIODE - Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations is about teaching differential equations using modeling and technology upfront and throughout the learning process. Learn more at our dynamic website,  SIMIODE is now entering its fifth year as a community and its fourth year in publishing this newsletter.

SIMIODE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, based in Cornwall, New York in the United States.  Contact:
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SCUDEM for You and Your Students

SIMIODE is sponsoring a modeling competition specific to the pivotal STEM course, differential equations. We call it Student Competition Using Differential Equations Modeling (SCUDEM). After our very successful inaugural SCUDEM on 14 October 2017 at Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh NY USA, for schools within a two hour drive of Newburgh NY, we offer SCUDEM at sites around the country and beyond on 21 April 2018.  Currently there are 96 sites in the United States and beyond. We are still seeking additional local site coordinators for whom we have a $500 stipend as well as $200 for student assistants and $400 for local support. Contact us if you are interested or want to learn more.

We offer a SCUDEM 2017 video in which students and faculty share their enthusiasm for using modeling in solving solve real problems to learn differential equations. Student interviews are very, we mean VERY, convincing as to the value of this modeling competition in their learning and growth in applying the mathematics they are learning.  

At the SCUDEM 2017 site we offer complete results including the statement of the posed problems, the additional issues offered on Competition Saturday, results with all student submissions, award information, a way cool video, a PowerPoint overview of the event, MathBowl fun competition. Try it. You will enjoy it! You can find answers in the Teachers Group Resources at SIMIODE.

We announce SCUDEM 2018. This competition is for three member teams of students. SCUDEM takes place over a week-long period that begins with teams selecting one of three modeling problems on Friday, 13 April 2018, at each team’s individual home campus, and culminates on Competition Saturday, 21 April 2018, at 9:00 AM at a nearby regional host site in the United States and beyond.

We are still seeking host sites and if you at your institution are interested see details here. Complete site information can be found at SCUDEM 2018  host sites,  including a list of local sites for the competition.

Teams will work at their home institution, developing approaches and solutions to one of three posed modeling scenarios. They will prepare an Executive Summary and a 10 minute Presentation. Scenarios are designed so that every team may experience success in modeling, enhance their model building skills, and increase their confidence in modeling with differential equations.

On Competition Saturday, teams will travel with their faculty coach to a nearby host site. In the morning teams will work on a small additional issue to their modeling scenario for inclusion in their final presentation, not their Executive Summary which will be submitted at Registration.  Faculty will participate in faculty development to help them use modeling in their coursework.

At morning registration, teams will turn in a final version of their Executive Summary which will be judged by coaches present. In the afternoon, each team will present their 10 minute Presentation, judged by an audience of coaches, faculty, and participating students.

After lunch there will be a MathBowl for students. The competition culminates in an awards ceremony, closing the day by 4:30 PM to allow time for travel.

There is a modest registration fee (US $200) for team participation and faculty development workshop for faculty coach. Additional faculty may join workshop and judging activities at no cost. Registration will open on 1 February 2018.
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SIMIODE is a tax exempt organization

SIMIODE is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and can accept tax deductible contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Think of your differential equations course and how applications and modeling would have been so beneficial to motivate you and your fellow students. SIMIODE is your chance to support this approach for students now. You can see students value this approach in our SCUDEM 2017 video. Join us and contribute your support, financially and intellectually. 

As a mathematics education organization we are open to receiving public support. In fact, we need this support to exist, so please contribute. You can contribute financial support for SIMIODE in whatever amount you feel appropriate at Donate. See our Mission Statement for reasons why you should support SIMIODE. All contributions are tax-deductible. For ANY contribution we will send you a letter of appreciation, acknowledging your contribution, for tax purposes. Please provide your email for this letter. Thank you.

You may confirm our NonProfit status at the official listing of SIMIODE in the IRS Organization List of NonProfit Organizations.
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What are you waiting for? Publish in SIMIODE.

If you are teaching differential equations of some sort you have probably written and assigned projects. Consider publishing your materials online in our peer reviewed, double blind referee system.

You can see how to submit your materials here. What you do is important to your students, but it is also worthy of sharing with colleagues and their students. Step up and write up your projects for SIMIODE. You will have an online refereed publication at SIMIODE. You will be pleased to know others are using your ideas, building on your success, and enjoying what you share with your students. So, what are you waiting for? Just do it!

One purpose of SIMIODE is to offer colleagues solid, refereed teaching material on which they can base a modeling first course in differential equations. Thus publishing new ideas and activities for students is a main goal of SIMIODE.

However, it is reasonable to ask yourself, "Why should I prepare, submit, and publish in SIMIODE?" Here we give you many good reasons to publish in SIMIODE. Check them out and see that many fit you. Then join us by sending us your efforts.
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Publishing Your Students' Projects

You assign projects in your differential equations courses, often encouraging students to find project areas of interest to them. You collect them and take the time to grade them and give them feedback. As you read them there are several which really stand out. They are exceptionally well-written; they involve interesting mathematics - stuff you did not realize; they extend the mathematics you offered them in your course; and they leave you with a great feeling about your students.

Encourage and enable your students to submit these excellent projects for publication in SIMIODE. You can see how to submit materials here.

We have a place for publishing completed student projects so others can see the work of your best and finest. Have your students submit their project to our Manuscript Management site for refereeing, editing, and acceptance. They can also submit supplemental materials, e.g., video, spreadsheet, data sets, computer algebra files, posters, PowerPoint slides, extra pdf files.

We believe quality student work is worthy of display, of sharing, and of praise. Do this for your students. Help them publish their good work at SIMIODE.
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Comments Help Create Community at SIMIODE

For each posting in SIMIODE community members have the option to post COMMENTS. This is strongly encouraged as it will build conversations which will connect colleagues, improve material, and build community.  Any posted Comment will be emailed to the author of that resource and conversations can then begin.
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Modeling Scenarios You Might Consider Using in Your Teaching

We publish more and more Modeling Scenarios all the time after they have worked their way through the referee and editorial process and are made available at our growing list of Modeling Scenarios. We have a Student Version in which the STATEMENT of the problem is offered with supporting materials and we have the Teacher Version in which COMMENTS are offered to assist in planning, teaching, and carrying out the modeling activity.

All these exciting Modeling Scenarios are FREE, downloadable, and customizable under the most generous Creative Commons license. Visit here to see them all. They are fully searchable by topics and area of interest to you.
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SIMIODE Minicourse at JMM in San Diego CA USA - 10-13 January 2018

Under the title, "Starter Kit for Teaching Modeling-First Differential Equations Course," the minicourse will support colleagues who wish to start using rich modeling resources to teach differential equations. Our method uses actual experience with classroom materials and discussions on how to initiate such practices in participants’ courses. Participants will be placed in the role of students early in a differential equations course in which modeling is the driving force. The minicourse offers tested and successful modeling scenarios which engage students and bring forth differential equation notions and concepts through modeling.

The Minicourse will be in two parts, Part A on Thursday, 11 January 2018, 9:00 - 11:00 AM, and Part B on Saturday, 13 January 2018, 9:00 - 11:00 AM. You can still register for this Minicourse #7 at JMM2018 Registration.
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FREE Online Differential Equations Texts

We offer annotated listings of FREE online differential equations texts. This is one of the more popular sections when colleagues visit our site. There are over two dozen such texts. Colleagues have shared their materials in complete text form, often with traditional course structure, as well as rich sets of resources from which to teach. Most texts offered cover the basics of technique and offer exercises. Many offer modeling applications. Your students will appreciate a FREE text and you might enjoy the fresh approaches taken in such presentations. Try it!

Ideally we believe one could save student lots of money by using a FREE online text along with SIMIODE Modeling Scenarios. Make the move for your students and enjoy the excitement of using modeling to motivate learning in your differential equations course.
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Sources for Your Own Modeling Scenarios

SIMIODE offers potential modeling scenario ideas. There are hundreds of these!  These are materials, thoughts, pointers, summaries, articles, etc. to encourage and support your modeling scenario ideas. You must be registered and signed in to view these resources. Consider these ideas and use them to design your own modeling scenarios for your students and then publish this material in SIMIODE. 

Of course, you can publish your own source materials, perhaps ideas you have not been able to get to, but want to or wish to engage with others in producing a Modeling Scenario. Just upload them for all to see. Use the "Start a new Potential Scenario Idea" button and contribute.
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Words from the Director

SIMIODE is a community which is alive, vibrant, and rich in resources and individual talents to assist colleagues who wish to teach differential equations using modeling to motivate students.

There are a number of ways you can add to the community:

Contribute materials -- You can learn more about this at our Author Information section and get even more details once you have signed into SIMIODE. There you will find types of materials and instructions on how to contribute and begin the process leading to publication in SIMIODE.

Please register to referee and review submitted materials. -- Good scholarship merits attention and our double-blind, peer-referee system affords quality reviews of submitted materials. Please, visit our Manuscript Management system and register as a referee.

Post slides from your presentations or talks. -- When you give a talk you can post your slides, details of the talk or meeting, and comments at Resources: Presentations. Now that you have spread the word beyond the SIMIODE community bring it back home for your fellow SIMIODE members to see.

When you attend a talk -- on an application of differential equations encourage the presenter to consider sharing these ideas with the SIMIODE community. Encouragement helps young faculty expand their reach.

As always please let us hear from you with your concerns, your news, and your activities. Contact us at
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