Slippery Rock Professor Encourages Students to 'THINK' of Math Differently

Jeremy Lynch and co-researcher (and wife) Sararose Lynch will test a program they designed to help pupils meet the State Department of Education's math standards.

Photo by Brian Turner


SRU professor tests strategy for new common core math standard
A Slippery Rock University research project will test a program designed to help students meet state educational requirements. Assistant Professor of Education Jeremy Lynch designed “I-THINK” based on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, which emphasize critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Sararose Lynch, his wife and an assistant professor of mathematics education at Westminster College, worked as Jeremy’s co-researcher. Two undergraduate education majors also are involved in the project. Earlier this year, SRU earmarked a $4,567 grant for the program.I-

THINK requires that students solve problems by applying math to real-world situations and explaining how they’ve gotten their answers. A controlled study of 150 elementary students at Connoquenessing Valley Elementary School in Butler County will test the program over a six-week period; there also will be a training session for teachers on using the materials. Jeremy Lynch says he hopes to start in October. Test groups will include students with disabilities and those whose primary language is not English. 

—Gideon Bradshaw, PM Editorial Intern

Pitt researchers investigate potential treatment for mosquito-borne virus
Viruses mutate. The flu is one of the most common to do so, but others also could pop up in new ways; for example, a polio-like virus recently disabled five children in California. But a new University of Pittsburgh virus study has great potential to treat another deadly virus on the rise.

Center for Vaccine Research Associate Professor William Klimstra and a group of other Pitt researchers are investigating a hopeful way to stop a deadly mosquito virus called eastern equine encephalitis virus, which sickens five to 30 people annually and kills about half of those infected. The virus is becoming more common, moving from swamp-infesting, bird blood-sucking mosquitoes to the more common human-feeders. UPMC reported in December that EEEV inflames the brain, causing “sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills and vomiting, and can quickly progress to disorientation, seizures and coma … It has a 30-to-70-percent fatality rate, the highest of any North American mosquito-borne virus, with significant brain damage in most survivors.” What’s worse, the virus “hijacks” one of the body’s regulatory systems by stopping certain cells from signaling the immune system. Treatment and prevention are nonexistent at the moment. Klimstra and his peers aim to change that by exploring a way to block the virus from suppressing the body's capacity to detect and fight the infection.

—Krystal Hare, PM Fact-Checker

March brings conferences, award-winning stage productions and college exploration.

Allegheny College
March 7-8 around Meadville and in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre; free
In partnership with Ohio University, Allegheny College will hold a two-day photojournalism conference called “The Story Next Door.” Students will explore Meadville Friday and create a documentary; they’ll present finished works on Saturday. All conference events are open to the public.

Seton Hill University
Through March 9 in the William Granger Ryan Theatre; $16
What would your town do if water was a scarce resource and you were forbidden to use your toilet? Seton Hill’s Theatre and Dance Program presents Tony Award-winning “Urinetown: The Musical” by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis. Call 724/552-2929 or click here for tickets.

Grove City College
April 5 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Physical Learning Center; free
GCC hosts its annual Junior Crimson Day for high-school juniors and their parents. Take a campus tour, meet current students and faculty, gain insight into the school’s social concepts and admission process, and explore 50 academic programs through GCC’s Major Fair. The college will provide morning refreshments and lunch.

Categories: Great Minds