TCM 2024 Sessions & Speakers

Hollylynne S. Lee

NC State University

Plenary Session:  Data Science is Everywhere and for Everyone

As more careers require data skills and our everyday lives have become inundated with data, it is critical that students have opportunities to learn with and from data. Let’s come together to consider how data science is already in secondary education and steps we can take within our classrooms, schools, and communities to infuse data science education into learning experiences for all students in all disciplines. And yes, we will dig into some data and consider tools that can support data science for everyone.

Lauren Baucom,

Amplify Desmos Math

I AM→WE ARE→YOU ARE: Exploring Teacher and Student Identity Work in the Math Classroom 

In recent years, math education research has sharpened its focus on the need to support students’ developing a positive math identity. As teachers, we want students to develop a positive identity as math learners, yet when we ask students to identify as mathematicians, we often are asking them to mirror the identity of their teacher, requiring them to shed their own in order to be viewed as a “mathematician”. Do students need to think like, act like, or do math like their teacher to develop a positive math identity? In this session, we’ll investigate how math teacher identity informs the identity work of their students, and we will work towards embracing the full humanity of our math learners. 

Christine Belledin

NCSSM Durham


Come explore the artistic side of mathematics! Create some simple pieces of art that are based on mathematical ideas or objects. All projects use simple, readily available, and inexpensive materials so that you can use these ideas with your students. 

Chris Bolognese

Columbus Academy

Test Your Estimation Skills With An Estimathon!  

How do we get our students comfortable with making estimates with non-routine problems? Come to this session to have fun participating in a live Estimathon where you will collaborate with other participants to make and revise estimates. Then we will reflect on how to cultivate such activities with our students. Seriously, this session is going to be a blast! 

Floyd Bullard

NCSSM Durham

Three Inference Paradigms:  A Brief Introduction 

We'll contrast three inference paradigms (frequentist, Bayesian, likelihood), and participants will learn a little bit about the history of each. Using accessible problems and mathematics, all three approaches will be illustrated. This session is meant to expand teachers' breadth of knowledge about inference; the topic is beyond the AP Statistics syllabus. However, a classroom-ready handout will also be provided that can be used to introduce AP Statistics students to alternative inference approaches, which may make a good activity following the AP Statistics exam. 

Reed Hubbard

NCSSM Morganton

Standards Based Grading:  A Precalculus Case Study   

In this interactive session, we will discuss Standards Based Grading, and an attempt to implement it within the precalculus course at NCSSM-Morganton, along with successes and failures. 

Kevin Ji,

NCSSM Durham

Lauren Baucom,

Amplify Desmos Math

Jenny White,

Amplify Desmos Math

Desmos + 5 Practices:  A Perfect Pair for Getting Students to Talk Math

Our first of two Desmos-related sessions is aimed toward beginner-level Desmos users (newbies welcome!) and / or teachers looking for specific classroom strategies to get students talking about math. First, you’ll experience a Desmos activity as a student; next, we’ll debrief the activity through a teacher lens and discuss specific ways we as teachers can plan for and engineer moments of meaningful mathematical conversation. Strategies will include tools specific to the Desmos Classroom platform, general good questioning strategies stemming from NCTM’s 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions, and various ways the two supplement one another. Come to learn the basics of or to reinvigorate yourself around the use of Desmos, while also participating in conversations about good lesson facilitation for all levels of teachers. 

This will be an active session: bring your laptop and come ready to participate! Those who want to level up their skills with building custom activities in the Desmos Activity Builder tool ( are also welcome - but not required - to stay for our second session (“Desmos Jigsaw”) immediately after this one. 

Desmos Jigsaw:  A Collaborative Workshop in Desmos Activity Design

Our second of two Desmos-related sessions is aimed toward teachers with prior experience using, creating, and designing activities using the Desmos Activity Builder tool ( OR those who attended our first session (“Desmos + 5 Practices”) as a precursor and want to progress to the next level of teaching using Desmos. This will be an interactive workshop session: we’ll form groups based on comfort level and build a portion of a custom Desmos activity together with the help of peers, resources that we share, and us! (THINK: jigsaw / scavenger hunt / new Desmos tricks!) Since we expect Desmos stans of all levels in attendance, the tasks we’ll pose are differentiated and range from: basics of Desmos Activity Builder (screens, components, etc.); new ways to use the Desmos graphing calculator to make your activities more interactive and visual; introductory Computation Layer (CL) for those interested in engineering interactions between components and screens; and miscellaneous Desmos tips and tricks to make your life easier.

This will be an active session: bring your laptop and come ready to dive straight into some activity building with new people! Again, we strongly advise that you either attend our first session before attending this one OR that you have your own previous experience creating or editing custom activities using the Desmos Activity Builder tool. 

Michael Lavigne, PhD,

NCSSM Durham

Bio-systems Reveal Mathematical Gems in Netlogo 

Biology provides rich real-world contexts for math students to model. However, real-world biological data can be difficult to access and collect in a classroom setting. Netlogo is an free, easy-to-use modeling environment that allows biological experiments to be run in-silico.

We present some classroom ready Netlogo models of bio-system for use mathematics classrooms. These models provide meaningful context for topics such as curve fitting, exponential growth, Taylor series, and more.

Craig Lazarski,

Cary Academy

Is the Game Fair?  Developing the Big Ideas of Inference Through Simulation  

Explore dice fairness using a presenter-developed R Shiny app. Investigate various dice companies, assessing product fairness for gaming. The app illuminates key concepts: sample size's impact on inferences, the role of distributions in decision-making, and a nuanced exploration of potential errors and decision trustworthiness. Core theoretical foundations include the law of large numbers, chi-square distribution, p-values, and a comprehensive look at type 1 and 2 errors, alongside the concept of test power. 

Ron Patten,

NCSSM Morganton

Mathematics, Art, and History 

Mathematics, art and history are often thought of as being completely distinct disciplines; however, many beautiful objects in nature and art incorporate concepts from mathematics. For example, most wallpaper and tiling patterns rely on rotational, reflectional, and glide symmetries in order to create patterns that are pleasing to the eye. Also, it is important to understand the historical significance of events that influence the resulting mathematics. We will discuss ways that you can incorporate history and art into the classroom to help engage the students and hopefully make mathematics more realistic and relevant to students. 

Ryan Pietropaolo,

NCSSM Durham

A Rainbow of Random Digits 

We will analyze the distribution of the first non-zero digit of the ratio of two random digits. This topic will be relevant to students from Precalculus to Multivariable Calculus. Techniques will include geometric series and integration to calculate geometric probability. 

Ryan Severance,

NCSSM Durham


How can we use magic tricks to increase engagement in the classroom while introducing logic and proof techniques? We'll look at some of my favorite magic tricks to use in the classroom and show their underlying mathematical themes. These tricks are great ways to introduce proof writing in an engaging way as we teach our students to correctly logic their ways through different styles of proofs. 

Bryan Stutzman

NCSSM Morganton

Rational Tangles:  A Mathematical Dance for Audiences From Middle School to Abstract Algebra  

This presentation will use audience participation, movement, and problem solving to examine Rational Tangles. As the group manipulates ropes to form and change knots, connections to fractions, signed numbers, and more are developed together. This activity can work at middle school (arithmetic), algebra (slopes), high school (problem solving), or beyond (abstract algebra). 

Dan Teague,

NCSSM Durham

The Irrigation Problem:  A Precalculus Modeling Project

A linear irrigation system consists of a long water pipe, generally set on wheels to keep it above the level of the plants with nozzles placed at regular intervals along the pipe. The nozzles spray water uniformly in a circle of radius 22 feet. You have 220 feet of pipe and 19 nozzles to create a linear irrigation system for a rectangular field 200 feet wide and 400 feet long. How should you place the nozzles to create the most uniform distribution of water on that field? 

Panagiotis Andreou

Dawn Sanderson

Elyse Borgert

Kendall Thomas

Minji Kim 

Yifei Zhang 

Connecting Questions to Questions:  How to Translate Real-World Questions Into Deductible Insights

presented by PhD Candidates from the Department of Statistics and Operations Research, UNC - Chapel Hill

Asking relevant questions is often not the hardest part of real-world problem solving. Instead, the difficulty lies in translating these real-world questions into questions that can be answered by statistical methods. In this presentation, we provide a framework for guiding students through the process of casting their questions of interest as answerable statistical problems and demonstrate this framework with examples. 

Verónica Vázquez Zamora,

NCSSM Durham

Doru Hutanu,

St. Paul's School for Boys

Optimization Applications for Algebra 2 and Beyond!

In this presentation, we will be including a brief introduction of two algorithms- the simplex algorithm and TOPSIS- that can be accessible for students in an Algebra 2 classroom but also extended for more advanced learners, up to post-Calculus. In our examples, we focus on the problem of providing nutrition support to people who require food assistance as part of humanitarian aid.