Guidelines for Working Group proposals

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Working groups are formal or informal groups of individuals working together to pursue or support research in a particular area or topic of interest.  Since 2009, the SIGMAA on RUME has encouraged networking, mentoring, and research collaboration by hosting working groups and supporting the development of new working groups at the annual RUME conference.

RUME hosts both new and ongoing working groups by providing pre-conference meeting space and time slots.  Hosted working groups will be provided with a room, A/V equipment, and mid-morning refreshments for their meeting on Thursday, 25 February 2016, from 8:00 am – noon (additional time might be available during the conference if requested).

Each working group is considered independent from the RUME organization.  Therefore, RUME takes no responsibility for the leadership structure and ongoing activities of any such group.  Each is responsible for its own goals, duration, scope, activities, and organizational structure. Therefore at its own prerogative, a group may meet for a single event or conduct longitudinal work.  Questions regarding involvement in an existing working group should be directed to that group's organizers.

It is anticipated that working groups hosted by RUME provide a unique opportunity not met by the regular conference presentations.  While differing in area of focus and interest, each working group should work to accomplish the following goals:

1. Increase, strengthen, and expand research efforts in the particular area of interest.

2. Foster networking by creating or enabling research collaborations.

3. Be open and accessible to new members, providing mentoring opportunities for new or transitioning researchers.

In these ways, working groups are expected to provide a unique opportunity for involvement and growth that is not met by regular conference sessions.

Working group slots at the annual RUME conference are limited by considering funding, space, community support/interest, and follow-up from prior years.  Individuals or groups interested in having a working group slot at the RUME conference are encouraged to submit a working group proposal, as outlined in this document's Conference Submission Requirements.

Working group organizers are responsible for planning, organizing, and facilitating their sessions so that they meet the specified goals as well as providing required post-conference reports.  Throughout the planning, facilitating, and reporting process, organizers are also responsible for: a) ensuring participants professionally benefit from participation, and b) protecting participants by guarding against plagiarism.

2016 Working Groups


TITLE: Education Research at the Interface of Mathematics and Physics:  Integration in Multivariable and Vector Calculus

ORGANIZERS: John Thompson, Joseph Wagner, & Michael Loverude


     The working group focus this year will be integration beyond single variable calculus, covering multivariable scalar and vector calculus. As before, the aim of this group is to educate and broaden the depth of understanding of research on the learning and teaching of mathematics and physics within the middle/upper-division of those disciplines.

     We will involve researchers in both undergraduate mathematics and physics education to contribute to the working group.  Activities will include discussion of the mathematics content itself and its application in physics, discussions of relevant research literature on learning and teaching of the content, and discussions of current research projects, as well as implications for theoretical studies, empirical studies, and instruction.

     While the focus of the working group will be limited to specific topics, the methods and ideas discussed will be broadly applicable to research within either field (RUME or PER) and across most any content within either discipline.

     Participants who wish to present briefly on their own relevant research during the working group should contact the organizers at least two weeks prior to the session.



TITLE: Research on College Mathematics Instructor Professional Growth

ORGANIZERS: Natasha Speer, Shady Hauk, & Jessica Deshler


     Formerly the Working Group for Research on Novice Teachers of College Mathematics, in the last several years we have extended the focus of the group to include research on the professional development of all college mathematics instructors regardless of their level of experience or expertise. The group meets online monthly throughout the year and once face-to-face at the RUME conference annually. We solicit proposals from researchers in all areas of the professional development of college mathematics instructors across institutional types (e.g., community college, university). This includes, but is not limited to, research on factors that shape instructional practices and the experiences of instructors as they attend to student thinking in their instruction. The group’s goals, historically and as they have evolved, continue to drive the focus of annual meetings. They include interaction that offers (1) informed idividual support and feedback for researchers, (2) opportunities for networking and collaboration among mathematics educators interested in research and development of materials, processes, and theories to support the professional development of collegiate mathematics instructors, (3) continuing discussion of issues central to the field and ways to address them. The intended participants of this group include researchers in all of these areas, whether new to the field, to research in general (early career researchers) or experienced in both. Researchers need not present their work to participate in the group or provide feedback to others. Group meeting time is structured to allow feedback on research projects that are in progress. The working group is not meant to be a forum for presenting completed studies, but rather an opportunity to get feedback from peers on projects in any stage; from the refinement of research questions to study design, data collection and analysis to discussion of venues for future presentation and proposals for funding of projects. We also discuss strategies for sharing our work with the practice-oriented college mathematics instructor professional development community, the needs of the working group, and ways of sustaining collaborations and communication among group participants during the year.



TITLE: Equity in Undergraduate Mathematics Education Working Group

ORGANIZERS: Aditya Adiredja & Luis Leyva


     There remains a need to explore equity issues in undergraduate mathematics education, and consider ways that such perspectives complement existing research in the RUME community. To address this need, this working group serves as a collective of scholars and practitioners aimed at advancing the equity agenda in undergraduate mathematics education by exchanging constructive feedback on related scholarly work, instructional and curricular resources, and other artifacts from their professional practice. Particularly, the group aims to address the following questions: 1) In what ways can equity considerations conceptually and methodologically enhance the quality of research in RUME?; 2) Alongside the broader policy changes in higher education at large, how do we see issues of equity in the day-to-day teaching and learning experiences across undergraduate mathematics classrooms and other related learning contexts? 3) How can we leverage insights from K-12 mathematics education research to further advance the equity research agenda and inform more equitable teaching and learning opportunities in undergraduate mathematics? Informal and sustained mentorship will be encouraged within the working group considering the variation across members’ stages of academic and professional development.



TITLE: Research on Community College Mathematics

ORGANIZERS: Clairs Wladis, John Smith, & Vilma Mesa


     Currently, national attention on community colleges, especially in mathematics, has provided a necessary spotlight for investigating mathematics education. President Obama’s 2010 White House Summit on Community Colleges was preceded by a flurry of papers related to community college mathematics (e.g., Bailey, 2009; Rosenbaum, Stephan, & Rosenbaum, 2010; Stigler, Givven, & Thompson, 2010). Most of these authors are outside the field of mathematics education research and most have little, if any, experience teaching mathematics at community colleges. In addition, this scholarship refers to aspects of community colleges that, even though important (e.g., finances, access, retention) leave unexplored the one aspect that may have the greatest impact upon students’ success: their experiences in the classroom

     Supported through past working group sessions at RUME and committee work within AMATYC, a cadre of researchers has been collaborating to advance a national agenda and create a web of community college mathematics education research. We propose to leverage the RUME working group session to continue mapping the territory for research that focuses exclusively on community colleges. We will further the research agenda created in past working group sessions, with the aim of generating research products that will foster an understanding of community colleges as fundamental player in post- secondary education. In order to advance teaching and learning of mathematics at the community college level, we need a more coherent body of researchers and research across demographic, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and other institutional and individual identities that capture evidence-based instructional practices.

Conference Submission Requirements

Group Proposal

Complete and submit the application 2016RUME-WkGpProp.docx (as a Word document) by Mon., 12 Oct. 2015.

Conference Reports

After the conference, submit the following by Mon, 14 Mar 2016:

o Participant Report: An Excel sheet (as a .xls file) providing each participant's name, email address, and role(s) during the working group (i.e. facilitator, presenter, participant, observer).

o Proceedings Report: A 3-7-page report (as a .pdf file) for the conference proceedings, summarizing the work done or findings presented during the session.  Appropriate citations and credit should be provided in these reports to avoid plagiarism.

All files should be sent as attachments by email to, with the subject line: RUME 2016 Working Group.  Please keep other questions, queries, and correspondence separate from e-mail submissions.

Reviewing Guidelines

All complete proposals received by the deadline will receive full consideration.  The review process will proceed as follows:

1. Each proposal will undergo an initial, cursory review to assure that it is appropriate the working group venue (i.e. the plans meet the goals and expectations of a RUME working group) and that it is pertinent to the RUME conference.

2. In the event that there are more proposals than can be accommodated, appropriate proposals will be presented to the community for support and interest. The proposal's abstract and description will be posted as a potential working group. Support and interest will be solicited and collected from the RUME community for a specified period of time.

3. Proposals will be grouped, reviewed, and ranked within two categories using the following criteria:

Proposals for New Working Groups will be evaluated and ranked based on: a) the clarity and plausibility of its plans with regard to each of the working group goals, and b) the interest and support provided by the RUME community.

Proposals for Returning Working Groups will be evaluated and ranked based on the criteria for new working groups and the following additional criteria: c) tangible outcomes of the group's research work, d) ongoing networking, mentoring, and opportunities for collaboration created by the group, e) persistence or expansion of group involvement and membership, and f) completion of prior years' obligations (e.g. mandatory report).

4. Based on available space and community interest, the top proposals from these two categories will be hosted at the upcoming RUME conference.

The SIGMAA on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education presents its Nineteenth Annual

February 25 - 27, 2016  |  Pittsburgh, PA

General Information


     Plenary Speakers

     Conference Program

     Working Groups

     Submissions / Guidelines

Registration & Accommodations

     Conference Registration

     Hotel Reservations




     Program Committee