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2011
Friday, April 15th
4:00 PM

K-12 FACTORS THAT AFFECT A STUDENT’S DECISION TO OBTAIN A MATHEMATICS DEGREE

Brittany Wolf

UC 333

4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

Over the years, the number of students seeking a career in mathematics (and STEM fields in general – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) has decreased in proportion to other comparable countries (US House of Representative’s Committee on Education and Labor, 2009). This means that as a nation we are falling behind in the technical world, and need to start finding out why. Specifically, if it is known what happens during K-12 grades to impact (positively or negatively) a mathematics major choice, teachers, administrators, counselors, and policy makers will be able to understand what they need to do to successfully encourage students to pursue a degree/career in mathematics.

The purpose of this research is to determine different factors that affect a students’ decision to pursue a mathematics degree at The University of Montana. Of particular interest are the factors relevant to K-12 education, such as curriculum, teacher’s relationship with the students, participation in extracurricular math and science related activities, overall grades, etc.

Surveys were used to collect data. Anonymous surveys were given to students who enrolled in, and attended one of following mathematics courses (M 135, 136, 105, 151, 171, 326, and 429) in the spring of 2011 at The University of Montana. These different mathematics courses were chosen to target different majors – mathematics majors, elementary education majors, non-mathematics & non-education majors (Humanities, Liberal Arts, etc). Descriptive and linear regression was used in data analysis SPSS software.

4:20 PM

SOCIAL DESIRABILITY BIAS EFFECTS ON THE UNDERREPORTING OF TRANSPHOBIA

Brandon Stewart, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 333

4:20 PM - 4:40 PM

Hill and Willoughby (2005) questioned whether self report questionnaires could accurately measure attitudes and behaviors related to transphobia. Because self report measures are susceptible to social desirability bias, it is unclear if individuals underreport transphobic attitudes and behaviors. Using an experimental design to control for social desirability bias, it is predicted that a significant difference will exist between two groups of college age participants in the reporting of transphobic attitudes and behaviors. A total of 160 undergraduate students will participate in this study, with approximately half randomly assigned to an experimental condition designed to minimize social desirability bias. A deceptive paradigm, known as the bogus pipeline will be used to incentivize participants to be truthful in their reporting of transphobia. Participants will complete a standard demographic questionnaire and the Genderism and Transphobia Scale. Previous data collected from 170 undergraduate students indicated that participants in the experimental condition reported more homophobic behaviors (M = 20.74, SD = 3.67) than participants in the control condition (M = 19.80, SD = 2.64), a difference that approached statistical significance (p = .082). For this study, we will enhance the saliency of the experimental manipulation, and we expect to find that participants in this condition will report significantly more transphobic attitudes and behaviors. The results are expected to show that social desirability bias may influence people’s reporting of transphobia. This is the first experiment to investigate the influence of social desirability bias on the reporting of transphobic attitudes and behaviors.

4:40 PM

SHOULD THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA USE FLASH DRIVES TO DELIVER INFORMATION TO INCOMING STUDENTS AT ORIENTATIONS?

Blake Fisher

UC 333

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

All students and parents who attend Orientation at the University of Montana (UM) are currently provided with a folder filled with paper pamphlets including an Orientation schedule, a description of meal plan options, an outline of the student conduct code, and a collection of other information submitted by multiple campus offices and departments. At many colleges across the country, this traditional approach to material distribution has taken a “greener”, or more environmentally friendly, route. Many have replaced these paper folders with flash drives. The purpose of this study is to determine if UM should also consider a switch to flash drives. Using case studies from other colleges, student surveys, and price quotes for both folders and flash drives, a recommendation concerning the potential switch will be made to UM. Case studies from Western Carolina University and Eastern Carolina University not only reveal potential challenges faced in the process of switching to flash drives, but also offer advice and ways to avoid such problems. Surveys given to random UM students evaluate the target audience’s feelings towards a switch from folders to flash drives. Comparing the price of the folders to that of flash drives reveals how cost-effective the switch could be: folder pricing is based on the actual folder, the pamphlets included, and the labor, while the price of the flash drives is based on quotes from various companies for 2GB drives with screen printing and various add-ons. With information from case studies, student surveys, and pricings, a recommendation will be made to UM regarding the switch from folders to flash drives.

5:00 PM

CRÉOLITÉ EXPRIMÉ EN MARTINIQUE

Ashley Mahoney

UC 333

5:00 PM - 5:20 PM

Many regions of the world have known colonization and felt its repercussions. Slavery, indentured servitude, and conquest included people from around the globe, Africans, Chinese, indigenous people and their conquerors were precipitated together under the colonial model. Albert Memmi addresses the consequences of colonialism in his novel, Portrait du colonisé, Portrait du colonisateur. He specifically discusses the repercussion on both the colonizer and the colonized. Although there is no formulated solution to overcome the problems that rise out of colonialism, Memmi draws from history and theory he considers useful to countries wishing to transcend colonial histories. Although Memmi is an African born writer his work addressing social, political, economic, cultural, and identity crises has global implications. I have taken his words and applied them to Martinique. Martinique has a problem-ridden past. Colonialism transplanted people of different worldviews and ethnicities to a foreign territory. Although such people have been coexisting for generations, social, political, economic, and cultural discontentment is still apparent. The oppressed, colonized people have been searching to place themselves in an island governed by the descendants of French colonizers. Current inhabitants of the island and their ancestors have struggled to find and equilibrium between the past and the future in searching for an identity. A literary movement stemming from the 1980’s has adjusted its priorities to address these discontentments. Authors Patrick Chamoiseau, Raphael Confiant, and Jean Bernabé wrote Éloge de la créolité (In praise of creole-ness) defining the movement they call ‘créolité’ as a movement of creativity. The authors propose creating a new future for Martinique; their objective is to transcend the aftereffects of colonialism, still present in their country, by embracing an amalgam of biological and cultural influences. A parallel exists between the words of Memmi and the words of the proponents of Créolité and is evident in both literary and the academic realms in Martinique literature. In drawing on these parallels, Créolité reflects Memmi’s philosophy regarding a colonial division between the colonizer and the colonized.