October 1, 2012
SUNY Empire State College Opens Registration for “VizMath” MOOC
(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Oct. 1, 2012) Registration is open for VizMath, SUNY Empire State College’s second free, public massive open online course, or MOOC.
Free and open to everyone around the world, VizMath will focus on the visualization of math. College mentors Betty Hurley-Dasgupta and Carol Yeager are the VizMath creators and facilitators.
“Our new VizMath MOOC demonstrates how Empire State College is at the forefront of the rapid global changes and open-learning innovations now underway in higher education,” said Tom Mackey, dean of the college’s Center for Distance Learning. “This builds on our leadership in blended and online learning and provides our students, and the world, with a highly collaborative and enriching learning experience.
Betty Hurley-Dasgupta, at left and Carol Yeager
"VizMath is a place to discover both the beauty and usefulness of mathematics, focusing on its visible side," said Hurley-Dasgupta. "Through our weekly seminars, participants will have the opportunity to engage with mathematicians around the world who have agreed to share their particular passion for mathematics. And, through activities, they will be able to experience math for themselves. We hope through this MOOC to improve math's reputation as a dull, predictable subject."
“VizMath is not conducted in a single place or environment and has given me the opportunity to explore new dimensions of my personal learning,” Yeager says. "While the MOOC acronym alludes to this learning experience as a ‘course,’ I like to think of it more as a learning journey. It offers multiple opportunities for connective, personal-learning networks that grow knowledge and understanding via a more organic process methodology."
According to Wikipedia, a MOOC “is a type of online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the Web. MOOCs are a recent development in the area of distance education, and a progression of the kind of open-education ideals suggested by open educational resources.”
VizMath will include eight live sessions, which will run weekly beginning Oct. 18 at noon EST.
The topics will be presented through hour-long webinars, in addition to materials posted for reading and viewing within weekly topic pages. Presenters include mathematicians from traditional academic institutions from the U.S., as well as from Greece and England. The sessions will be recorded for later asynchronous viewing.
The dates and topics of the eight VizMath sessions are:
Math in narrative, Oct. 18
Hyperbolic curves through crocheting, Oct. 25
Symmetry in math, Nov. 1
Visualizing data through graphs, Nov. 8
Data crunchers, Nov. 15
Math and art, Nov. 29
EscherMath, Dec. 6
Origami and math, on Dec. 13.
The foundation for SUNY Empire State College’s two MOOCs, VizMath and Creativity and Multicultural Communication, is an educational theory known as “Connectivism,” initially developed and offered via MOOCs by Stephen Downes, George Siemens and Dave Cormier.
Additionally, both of Empire State College’s MOOCs have been constructed upon and conducted via an open-source platform and aggregator, gRSShopper, also developed by Downes.
Downes was a keynote speaker on “Connectivism” for the college’s Center for Distance Learning at its 2011 annual conference that honored the college’s 40th anniversary.
Media Contact: David Henahan, director of communications