UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Probability Educators Appendix C

All professional education content courses leading to certification shall include teaching and assessment of the Wisconsin Content Standards in the content area.

In this column, list the Wisconsin Content Standards that are included in this course. The Standards for each content area are found in the Wisconsin Content Standards document.

In this column, indicate the nature of the performance assessments used in this course to evaluate student proficiency in each standard.

The structures within the discipline, the historical roots and evolving nature of mathematics, and the interaction between technology and the discipline.

Calculators and computers are used to generate random variables and simulate random processes.

Facilitating the building of student conceptual and procedural understanding.

Students are tested on concepts and methods of probability.

Helping all students build understanding of the discipline including:

. Confidence in their abilities to utilize mathematical knowledge.

. Awareness of the usefulness of mathematics.

. The economic implications of fine mathematical preparation.

Applications of probability are stressed in the problem assignments.

Homework and exam problems require an understanding of background courses such as calculus and discrete math.

Exploring, conjecturing, examining and testing all aspects of problem solving.

Students are encouraged to try different problem-solving strategies and not to rely on memorized formulas.

Formulating and posing worthwhile mathematical tasks, solving problems using several strategies, evaluating results, generalizing solutions, using problem solving approaches effectively, and applying mathematical modeling to real-world situations.

In homework and exam problems, different approaches are utilized. Students work on probability models involving "real-world" situations such as dice, cards and coin-tossing, then generalize this to a more abstract setting.

Making convincing mathematical arguments, framing mathematical questions and conjectures, formulating counter-examples, constructing and evaluating arguments, and using intuitive, informal exploration and formal proof.

Students are required to prove basic results using the axioms of probability and such concepts as independence and conditioning. When results are not true, students are expected to find counter-examples.

Expressing ideas orally, in writing, and visually-, using mathematical language, notation, and symbolism; translating mathematical ideas between and among contexts.

In homework and exam problems, students are encouraged to use informal intuitive reasoning as a first step in the development of rigorous mathematics.

Connecting the concepts and procedures of mathematics, drawing connections between mathematical strands, between mathematics and other disciplines, and with daily life.

Many problems are based on "real-life" applications, such as games of chance, insurance, sports, biomedical research.

Selecting appropriate representations to facilitate mathematical problem solving and translating between and among representations to explicate problem-solving situations.

Homework and exam problems require geometric visualization, counting techniques and calculus-based methods.

Mathematical processes including:

. Problem solving.

. Communication.

. Reasoning and formal and informal argument.

. Mathematical connections.

. Representations.

. Technology.

Homework and exam problems require various problem-solving techniques based on discrete math and calculus.

Calculators and/or computers are occasionally used for simulations and generation of random variables.

Number operations and relationships from both abstract and concrete perspectives identifying real world applications, and representing and connecting mathematical concepts and procedures including:

. Number sense.

. Set theory.

. Number and operation.

. Composition and decomposition of numbers, including place value, primes, factors, multiples, inverses, and the extension of these concepts throughout mathematics.

. Number systems through the real numbers, their properties and relations.

. Computational procedures.

. Proportional reasoning.

. Number theory.

The axiomatic development of probability is based on set theory ("events" are subsets of the sample space of all possible outcomes), and students are tested on this.

Throughout the course, numerical calculations are important. Students are encouraged to check whether their solutions "make sense" (e.g., probabilities below 0 or above 1 make no sense.

Mathematical concepts and procedures, and the connections among them for teaching upper level number operations and relationships including:

. Advanced counting procedures, including union and intersection of sets, and parenthetical operations.

. Algebraic and transcendental numbers.

. The complex number system, including polar coordinates.

. Approximation techniques as a basis for numerical integration, fractals, and numerical-based proofs.

. Situations in which numerical arguments presented in a variety of classroom and real-world situations (e.g., political, economic, scientific, social) can be created and critically evaluated.

. Opportunities in which acceptable limits of error can be assessed (e.g., evaluating strategies, testing the reasonableness of results, and using technology to carry out computations).

"Real-world" applications of probability (odds, insurance risks, expected payoffs, etc.) are stressed throughout the course.

Many homework and exam problems are based on advanced counting techniques learned in discrete math.

Geometry and measurement from both abstract and concrete perspectives and to identify real world applications, and mathematical concepts, procedures and connections among them including:

. Formal and informal argument.

. Names, properties, and relationships of two- and three-dimensional shapes.

. Spatial sense.

. Spatial reasoning and the use of geometric models to represent, visualize, and solve problems.

. Transformations and the ways in which rotation, reflection, and translation of shapes can illustrate concepts, properties, and relationships.

. Coordinate geometry systems including relations between coordinate and synthetic geometry, and generalizing geometric principles from a two-dimensional system to a three-dimensional system.

. Concepts of measurement, including measurable attributes, standard and non-standard units, precision and accuracy, and use of appropriate tools.

. The structure of systems of measurement, including the development and use of measurement systems and the relationships among different systems. Measurement including length, area, volume, size of angles, weight and mass, time, temperature, and money.

. Measuring, estimating, and using measurement to describe and compare geometric phenomena.

. Indirect measurement and its uses, including developing formulas and procedures for determining measure to solve problems.

Geometric models of probability (based on uniform random variables) are used throughout the course. In homework and on exams, students are required to interpret probabilities as lengths, areas or volumes, depending on the context.

Mathematical concepts, procedures, and the connections among them for teaching upper level geometry and measurement including:

. Systems of geometry, including Euclidean, non-Euclidean, coordinate, transformational, and projective geometry.

. Transformations, coordinates, and vectors and their use in problem solving. Three-dimensional geometry and its generalization to other dimensions. Topology, including topological properties and transformations.

. Opportunities to present convincing arguments by means of demonstration, informal proof, counter-examples, or other logical means to show the truth of statements and/or generalizations.

Counter-examples, theorem proving, and clear mathematical exposition are assessed through homework and exams.

Statistics and probability from both abstract and concrete perspectives and to identify real world applications, and the mathematical concepts, procedures and the connections between them including:

. Use of data to explore real-world issues.

. The process of investigation including formulation of a problem, designing a data collection plan, and collecting, recording, and organizing data.

. Data representation through graphs, tables, and summary statistics to describe data distributions, central tendency, and variance.

. Analysis and interpretation of data.

. Randomness, sampling, and inference.

. Probability as a way to describe chances or risk in simple and compound events.

. Outcome prediction based on experimentation or theoretical probabilities.

Throughout the course, in exams and homework, students are assessed on their ability to derive probabilistic results and employ probabilistic reasoning in solving "real-world" problems.

Mathematical concepts, procedures, and the connections among them for teaching upper level statistics and probability including:

. Use of the random variable in the generation and interpretation of probability distributions.

. Descriptive and inferential statistics, measures of disbursement, including validity and reliability, and correlation.

. Probability theory and its link to inferential statistics.

. Discrete and continuous probability distributions as bases for inference.

. Situations in which students can analyze, evaluate, and critique the methods and conclusions of statistical experiments reported in journals, magazines, news media, advertising, etc.

Students are expected to understand how random variables are used, and how they are generated for stochastic simulations.

Homework and exams test students' ability to employ methods from discrete math and calculus (for continuous random variables).

The importance of probability as an essential tool for statistical decision-making is examined, and "real-life" applications are emphasized.

Functions, algebra, and basic concepts underlying calculus from both abstract and concrete perspectives and to identify real world applications, and the mathematical concepts, procedures and the connections among them including:

. Patterns.

. Functions as used to describe relations and to model real world situations.

. Representations of situations that involve variable quantities with expressions, equations and inequalities and that include algebraic and geometric relationships.

. Multiple representations of relations, the strengths and limitations of each representation, and conversion from one representation to another.

. Attributes of polynomial, rational, trigonometric, algebraic, and exponential functions.

. Operations on expressions and solution of equations, systems of equations and inequalities using concrete, informal, and formal methods.

. Underlying concepts of calculus, including rate of change, limits, and approximations for irregular areas.

Students need to employ algebraic and calculus-based methods in solving probability problems.

Mathematical concepts, procedures, and the connections among them for teaching upper level functions, algebra, and concepts of calculus including:

. Concepts of calculus, including limits (epsilon-delta) and tangents, derivatives, integrals, and sequences and series.

. Modeling to solve problems.

. Calculus techniques including finding limits, derivatives, integrals, and using special rules.

. Calculus applications including modeling, optimization, velocity and acceleration, area, volume, and center of mass.

. Numerical and approximation techniques including Simpson's rule, trapezoidal rule, Newton's Approximation, and linearization.

. Multivariate calculus.

. Differential equations.

Concepts of calculus reviewed and applied include

  1. derivatives
  2. chain rule of differentiation
  3. exponential functions
  4. the fundamental theorem of calculus
  5. definite vs indefinite integrals
  6. integration techniques

Discrete processes from both abstract and concrete perspectives and to identify real world applications, and the mathematical concepts, procedures and the connections among them including:

. Counting techniques.

. Representation and analysis of discrete mathematics problems using sequences, graph theory, arrays, and networks.

. Iteration and recursion.

Homework and exam problems require students to use counting techniques from discrete math (multiplication principle, combinations, binomial coefficients, etc.)

Mathematical concepts, procedures, and the connections among them for teaching upper level discrete mathematics including:

. Topics, including symbolic logic, induction, linear programming, and finite graphs.

. Matrices as a mathematical system, and matrices and matrix operations as tools for recording information and for solving problems.

. Developing and analyzing algorithms.

Besides basic counting techniques, discrete math concepts such as recursion (for calculating probability) and induction (for proving results) are examined.