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 News & Events

IEEE ISEC 2022 (Integrated STEM Education Conference)

This paper is available in its entirety on IEEE Xplore.

March 26, 2022

“Building Student Engagement in Mathematics with Interdisciplinary Study of Voting Systems”


Abstract – Many students perceive mathematics as an unpleasant,

abstract discipline with little relevance to other studies, or practical

use in the real world. This perception, though pervasive, does not

reflect reality. What can educators do to encourage students to

explore ways math plays a significant role in their lives?
Seymour Sarason, a noted child psychologist, wrote extensively

about the need for creating contexts of productive learning to foster students’ curiosity and interest in challenging subject matter, and mathematics in particular. A productive learning environment is
active and hands-on, and encourages students to ask questions and express opinions freely. With this in mind, this paper presents

suggestions for interactive, interdisciplinary classroom activities that explore voting systems. The goals are to: i) Increase student

knowledge of voting systems and their respective pros and cons; ii)
Encourage students to consider how solutions to seemingly non-mathematical problems may be aided by mathematical thinking, iii) Introduce concepts of algorithms, decision-making, model-building, testing, and validation as applied to real-word problems, iv) Prepare students to use basic math concepts in increasingly sophisticated 

ways, by incorporating historical precedents, traditions, cultural

mores, conflicting goals, and varied perspectives into model

formulations and solution choices, v) Foster students’ appreciation

of math literacy and their role in a democratic society.

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