Mathematics Department seminar asks: ‘What’s Math Got to Do with It?

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department will host its first monthly Mathematics Seminar of Winter 2013 on Wednesday, January 23, 3:00 – 4:00 PM in 107 Cook.  Our speaker will be former GRCC mathematics student and current GRCC Director of Learning Assistance and Adjunct Instructor Yumi Watanabe.  The title and abstract for Yumi’s talk are at the bottom.

This talk will survey the beauty and utility of mathematics, and should appeal to a broad audience.  Knowledge of mathematics at the Pre-Calculus level will be helpful, but much of this seminar will be accessible to anybody who is curious about mathematical thinking.  As always, everyone is welcome to attend.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.

What’s Math Got to Do with It?

In this talk we will explore the world of mathematics.  Beginning with our ability to sense quantities, we will survey various aspects of ideas and concepts that make up the world of mathematics, including numbers, algebra, calculus and areas of modern mathematics.  Along the way we will ask and attempt to answer questions such as, “What is mathematics, anyway?”, “What is it good for?”, “Why is it so hard?” and  “Does mathematics have anything in common with disciplines such as language arts and social sciences?”  At the end of the talk, borrowing words of Sir Isaac Newton, a definition of mathematics (perhaps an unconventional one) will be given.

GRCC In the News, 1-22-13

Students celebrate MLK Day at GRCC
January 21, 2013; WOOD TV
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Grand Rapids Community College honored Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday at its “Uniting the past with the present” program, featuring hundreds of students from around Kent County.

West Michigan Celebrates MLK Day
January 21, 2013; FOX 17
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Despite the snow and blustery cold, many people in our West Michigan kept Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.s dream alive this Monday.

Annual GRCC Peace March Cancelled
January 21, 2013; FOX 17
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. In what may be a first, the annual Peace March sponsored by Grand Rapids Community College, was cancelled Monday due to the weather.

GRCC offers variety of job-training programs

Learn more about GRCC’s job-training programs:

  • Automotive Technician — This program prepares students for an entry-level position as a state-certified automotive technician. They will receive a combination of group, hands-on, and individual training for automotive and light trucks in braking systems, suspension and steering systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and electrical systems. As each module of training is completed, students will take Michigan certification tests for licensing.  To learn  more, click here.
  • Computer Support Technician — This program prepares students to begin a career as an entry-level computer support technician and prepares them to pass the two CompTIA A+ certification tests: Core Hardware and Operating System Technologies. CompTIA’s A+ certification is the international, industry standard for computer support technicians. This training program is offered at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center. To learn more, click here.
  • Construction Electrician — This program will provide the basic knowledge and skill required to become an electrician and be placed into an apprenticeship program. Students will be required to participate in job site, lab area, field trip, and classroom settings. They will receive hands-on training in the following areas: electrical employability skills, construction and electrical safety, hand and power tool safety, construction and electrical math, electrical history, electrical theory, the National Electrical Code and electrical material identification.  To learn more, click here.
  • Green Construction Remodeling — This program will take place at the construction site, where students will be remodeling a home. They will have hands-on learning and application about the entire process of residential building, including blueprint reading, site layout, concrete, carpentry, door/window installation, roofing, siding, wiring, plumbing, and interior finishing. Graduates will be qualified for employment in the residential construction industry. To learn more, click here.
  • Introduction to Construction — This program focuses on the fundamental skills needed for entry into the construction industry. These include blueprint reading, measuring, math, safety, wall layout, roofing, drywall, basic electrical, basic plumbing, finish carpentry, and cabinet making. This training program is offered at the Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC.  To learn more, click here.
  • Machinist/CNC Technician — This program teaches students how to set up and operate manual and computer-controlled metal machining equipment. Blueprint reading, precision measuring, and layout may also be covered. Graduates successfully completing this training enter jobs in the tool and die industry, machine trades, and as CNC operators. This training program is offered at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center. To learn more, click here.
  • Residential Construction — This program will prepare students for an entry-level position in carpentry and related positions in the construction industry. Students in this program will receive training in safety, site layout, blueprint reading, excavation, foundation, framing, roofing, flat concrete, siding, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, insulation, drywall hanging, painting and wood finishing, trim work, landscaping, installing cabinets, floor covering, construction math, business, and finance. To learn more, click here.
  • Welding/Fabrication Technician — Students in this program are trained in all production and fabrication welding applications. Blueprint reading, metallurgy; math and problem solving are also covered. Employment opportunities include production welding, fabrication and skilled trades. To learn more, click here.

Networks Matter 2.0 begins February 12, 2013

Networks Matter 2.0 is designed to help those wanting to advance professionally, the unemployed or under-employed, and people with low to moderate technology skills. It provides the tools to build stronger professional relationships through communication, social networking and technology, and it also helps develop a strategy for developing a professional network.

The sessions feature group meetings, presentations, online activities and attendance at community events.

Classes run 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, starting February 12, 2013, at Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC. They cost $155 for the entire series or $49 for each module.  Click here to register.

Work to start this week on College Park Plaza’s ‘chiller units’

Steel work on College Park Plaza’s roof for the new chiller units is scheduled to start January 23, 2013.

Here’s what else is happening with the construction work:

  • Fireproofing patch work of the steel and metal deck is complete on the fourth and fifth floors; the third floor is scheduled to be finished on January 23.
  • Installation of the HW process piping continues on the fourth and fifth floors and  in the ramp mechanical room.
  • Dry-wall, metal stud, and patch work continues on some walls on the fifth and sixth floors.
  • The mechanical contractor is installing new ductwork on the fourth and fifth floors.


DLIT creates Blackboard website focused on accessibility

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has awarded Blackboard Learn™, Release 9.1 with a Nonvisual Accessibility Gold Certification, making it the first learning management system to achieve this certification. Additional information about Blackboard’s accessibility commitment along with more resources such as the “VPAT” documents for conformance with accessibility standards are available on the Blackboard accessibility web page.

Related to accessibility, the Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Department has created a Blackboard Accessibility Website with additional information about accessibility.  This page highlights resources for faculty that can be used as recommendations to make course materials accessible which is a requirement under the Assistive Technology Act, Section 508.

Additional information about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is also available that highlights principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn.

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for sessions offered this Winter through the Center for Teaching Excellence related to creating accessible materials for your courses.