Thursday, June 12, 2008


Release date: June 12, 2008

News & Public Affairs contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
U.S.-Sino Math-Science Workshop co-chair contact: Dr. Diane Miller, 615-898-2881


(MURFREESBORO) — MTSU and Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, People's Republic of China, will co-host a workshop on mathematics and science education on MTSU’s campus the week of June 22-27, Dr. Diane Miller, the event’s organizing committee co-chair, said recently.
Participation is by invitation only and will include 125 scholars, 50 confirmed from 20 universities in China and 75 confirmed from 40 universities in the United States, Miller said.
Four plenary lectures and 48 topic session papers will be given by both U.S. and P.R.C. scholars. Participants will be divided into research working groups, or RWGs, whose objective is to identify common priorities that promote collaborative research. Topic session papers will cover six broad areas: curriculum, assessment, teacher preparation, professional development, integrating technology into the teaching and learning of mathematics and science, and strategies for reaching underserved populations.
The week’s activities will begin Sunday, June 22, with a dinner event during which U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon will deliver the opening address. Plenary lectures will be delivered by:
• Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, division director, National Science Foundation;
• Dr. Liping Ma, author of “Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics” and currently with The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching;
• Dr. Guo Shaoqing, professor at NWNU and member of several projects funded by the United Nations Development Program; and
• Dr. Wan Minggang, NWNU professor and member of several projects sponsored by the European Union Commission and the United Kingdom government that focus on improving basic education in the remote areas of Gansu Province and western China.

The speaker for the closing luncheon will be Dr. Xue Yanqing, a division chief for the China Education Association for International Exchanges in the P.R.C.’s Ministry of Education.
“The purpose of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for researchers from the United States and China to meet, discuss and identify common priorities that promote collaborative research,” Miller said. “The most important unit of the workshop will be the research working groups, which will be developing professional relationships that will sustain a collaborative research agenda over a period of time.
“A primary interest of the Office of International Science & Engineering at the National Science Foundation is the process through which the research working groups are formed and organized to conduct collaborative research that will benefit mathematics and science education in both countries. The size of a research working group is not being defined prior to the workshop. The only guideline is that the membership of a research working group must contain both U.S. and P.R.C. scholars.”
Miller said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee suggested the workshop to NWNU President Wang Limin during McPhee’s visit to NWNU in 2006.
“The partnership between MTSU and NWNU dates back to 2003, when I and Deng Hualing, NWNU’s vice president who is serving as the other co-chair, participated in a Sino-American Leadership Training program sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the China Education Association for International Exchanges.
A number of MTSU faculty and students will serve as translators and help transport the Chinese guests to and from Nashville International Airport, Miller said.
The event is being funded by the National Science Foundation, Texas Instruments and MTSU’s Offices of the President, Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice Provost for research, the Colleges of Basic and Applied Sciences and Education and Behavioral Science, the Department of Mathematical Sciences, the McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, the Tennessee Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Center, and MTSU alumnus Paul W. Martin Jr.
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