MATC Mathematics Club
Lecture #159

Madison Area Technical College
Madison, Wisconsin

Spring 2017 Presentation #159 (April , 2017)

Jen & Steve Szydlik, UW-Oshkosh


Previous Lectures: (What Will Euclid Let Us Build?), ( The Problem with the Junk Food Problem ), ( Recalling the Recall: Statistical Sampling and the 2012 Petition Drive)


A basketball player hits her first free throw but misses the second. From then on, the probability that she hits a subsequent free throw is the number of free throws she’s hit so far divided by her total number of shots. Now suppose she takes 100 free throws. What is the probability that she hits exactly 50 of those shots? Is it more or less likely that she makes exactly 10 shots (or are the probabilities the same)? Would it be wise to bet that she hits her 100th shot? Would you make the bet if you know that she hit her 50th free throw? We will investigate these questions and more.


• Professor of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (1995-present. I was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2006.). I teach a variety of courses for prospective teachers including Number Systems, Fundamentals of Geometry and Measurement, Data Exploration and Analysis, Probability and Statistics, Infinite Processes, Modern Algebra (abstract algebra), Modern Geometry (Euclidean and non-Euclidean) and the Senior Seminar for Elementary and Middle School Programs. I do research in the field of undergraduate mathematics education, and I serve the university community and the community of practicing teachers and educators.
• National Author with the McGraw-Hill Companies for a series of textbooks for prospective elementary and middle grades teachers. Summer 2008 – present.
• Mathematics Department Tutor Lab Director. I hire and supervise approximately twenty undergraduate tutors and the graduate student coordinator of the lab. We serve students in mathematics courses through Calculus III, and the lab logs approximately 3000 tutoring visits each academic year. Fall 2007 – present.
• Mathematics Department Graduate Program Coordinator. My work includes planning graduate offerings, advertising and promoting the program, and advising the graduate students for the Master of Science in Mathematics Education. Fall 2008 – present.
• Faculty Athletic Representative for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. The FAR checks and validates eligibility of student athletes. Fall 2005 – Spring 2008.
• Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Director for Wisconsin, 1999 to 2001. This program is designed to support new mathematics faculty members in their roles as teachers and scholars. Each year I recruited participants and I organized two events: a three-day fall workshop and a spring luncheon and panel discussion.

Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. June 2002–Present. Courses taught include Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometry, Calculus, Discrete Mathematics, Linear Algebra, Topology,Geometry and Measurement for Elementary Teachers, Data Analysis and Statistics for Elementary Teachers, Business Calculus, Liberal Arts Mathematics, Precalculus, College Algebra. Visiting Scholar, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, California. Fall 2004. Participated in part of a semester-long program on Hyperplane Arrangements through University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Sabbatical. Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Fall 1996–June 2002.


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