In the past decade, several different long-range imaging systems were developed working in the optical range (in visible as well as infrared spectral bands). A direct consequence of imaging distant scenes is the effects of the atmosphere, especially the presence of turbulence, which becomes non-negligible and affects the final resolution, limiting the efficiency and making it difficult to detect and identify possible targets. For this project, Dr. Gilles plans to continue his previous work on image restoration and target detection.

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**A National Science Foundation grant
supports a new approach for STEM degree hopefuls.**

“There is clear and growing evidence that we can improve math learning and retention for all students through active learning that promotes cognitive engagement.”

Challenging introductory mathematics courses are the most common roadblock to earning undergraduate degrees in the STEM fields. In an effort to help students get past this roadblock, San Diego State University and 11 other universities across the nation announced they will scale up the adoption of “active learning” skills for undergraduate pre-calculus and calculus instruction.

Active learning, explained SDSU mathematician **Chris Rasmussen**, refers to a broad range of instructional approaches that provide students with opportunities to engage in the learning process with meaningful mathematical activities. Active learning also improves skills such as communication and teamwork, which are highly valued by employers.

“There is clear and growing evidence that we can improve math learning and retention for all students through active learning that promotes cognitive engagement,” he said.

**Three SDSU faculty involved**

Over the past year, SDSU has worked with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to better understand how math departments can increase and sustain the use of active learning in introductory mathematics courses. Co-principal investigators Rasmussen, **Mike O’Sullivan** and **Janet Bowers** in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at SDSU are leading this initiative.

Eight other institutions will join the effort to further study and develop practical models applicable to virtually any institution. Those additional partners include: California State University, East Bay; California State University, Fullerton; Kennesaw State University; Loyola University; Morgan State University; Ohio State University; the University of Maryland; the University of Oklahoma; and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is supporting the project, known as SEMINAL: Student Engagement in Mathematics through an Institutional Network for Active Learning, with a $3 million, five-year grant. The initiative will place particular emphasis on helping underrepresented minority students succeed in introductory math courses that are the foundation of STEM fields.

**Research-based effort**

Far too many students hoping to pursue careers in STEM fields get tripped up by introductory math courses right from the start, explained **Howard Gobstein**, executive vice president of the APLU and one of the principal investigators of the NSF-funded initiative.

“With a persistent shortage of skilled workers in STEM fields and unequal access to all students, we have a tremendous opportunity to broaden participation and address the biggest hurdle for students’ success,” he said. “We are thrilled to scale an approach that we know works to help more students realize their dreams in STEM fields.”

Research has shown that introductory math courses provide the cornerstone for success in STEM majors and fields, and active learning has proven highly effective in helping more students succeed in such core courses. For example, the largest study of undergraduate STEM education literature to date—a meta-analysis of 225 studies published by the National Academies in 2014—found that undergraduate students in classes using active learning methods had higher course grades by half a letter grade, and students in classes with traditional lectures were 1.5 times more likely to fail.

“In response, the presidents of the professional societies in the mathematical sciences have called for the incorporation of these practices into all mathematics courses,” said **David M. Bressoud**, director of the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences. “But most faculty are not conversant with how to do this effectively, and most departments do not know how to foster the changes that need to be made. SDSU, APLU and their partnering universities through SEMINAL are demonstrating how departments can enable and support these innovations.”

By Jill Esterbrooks

http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news_story.aspx?sid=77079

January 25, 2018

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**LUDWIG SIEGERT: **I finished my undergraduate study in mathematics and management at the University of Ulm in Germany and continued with a master’s degree in the same area of studies. I appreciate the opportunity to continue my studies at the SDSU in the next year. The SDSU is accepting students with a mathematical background from Ulm for years and I am glad to participate in this exchange program that led me to the SDSU. After completing my graduate studies at the SDSU I plan to go back to the University Ulm to finish my master’s degree there.

My interests in mathematical topics have a wide range, from topics in numerics, over optimization and graph theory to insurance related topics. I try to get insights in many different areas of mathematics, to broaden my knowledge and gain insights in many different topics. Here at the SDSU, I can hear courses in various areas that enrich my mathematical knowledge.

I’m very grateful to receive the Presidential Graduate Fellowship and a scholarship from Talanx Foundation. With this help, it became possible for me to attend the SDSU.

**MARC SCHNEBLE: **The last five years I was studying mathematics and management at Ulm University in the south of Germany – thereof, three years in the undergraduate program and the last two years in the graduate program. I began early to deepen in actuarial sciences and probability theory obtaining profound knowledge in insurance mathematics/economics and stochastic processes. My master’s thesis covered a stochastic capital market model and one of its applications in life insurance.

To attend more applied classes I chose the graduate statistics program at San Diego State University. In particular having knowledge in applied statistics is essential for an actuary which is my desired profession. This semester, I’m attending three courses (STAT 580,673,700) plus a seminar. In all of them the main objective is how to apply the theoretical knowledge learned in the lecture with the statistics software R.

I’m funding my studies at SDSU being a teaching assistant for STAT 250. Therefore I’m the instructor for two lab sessions and am offering office hours in the statistics learning center. Additionally I’m grateful to have received a Fulbright Grant and a Presidential Research Graduate Fellowship from SDSU. In order to receive my master’s degree in statistics at SDSU, I’m writing a thesis in the area of climate research. After having graduated next year, I will go back to Germany and pursue the aim to make a PhD at Ulm University.

**MAXIMILLIAN AUTENRIETH: **In general, I was always fascinated of detecting logical conclusions under given conditions and assumptions. Therefore, I did my undergraduate study in mathematics and management at the University of Ulm in Germany and I have almost finished my master degree in mathematics and management. Participating in the exchange program of Ulm University, I chose to attend SDSU, since my one-year program in San Diego not only allows me to achieve both, the American and German master’s degrees, but it rather gives me the opportunity to gain highly valuable experience and deep insights into the field of statistics and the practical analysis of data. In the context of data science, the versatile applicability of statistics and stochastic models caught my interest. In particular, the development of machine learning algorithms and hereby the detection of existing and prediction of further patterns allow intriguing opportunities.

I’m very grateful to receive a Fulbright Grant, the Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship from the SDSU and a scholarship from the Foundation of German Business (sdw). Thereby, in conjunction with my Teaching Assistantship at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, my stay at SDSU was made possible. In addition to my academical education I consider the year in California related with the immersion in the local culture as a significantly enrichment of my personal development.

After my year in San Diego, I am planning to earn my master degree in mathematics and management and my goal is to pursue a PhD or to apply my study in an international operating company.

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As Program Chair, Rich will play a leadership role on the American Statistical Association Committee on Meetings. He will organize the JSM Round Table Luncheons at the 2018 JSM in Vancouver, and then Chair a 44 person Program Committee of Society and Section representatives to organize the scientific program for the 2019 JSM in Denver, Colorado.

National statistics organizations from many countries participate in the JSM including

• American Statistical Association

• International Biometrics Society

• Institute of Mathematical Statistics

• Statistical Society of Canada

• International Chinese Statistical Association

• International Indian Statistical Association

• Korean International Statistical Society

• International Society for Bayesian Analysis

• Royal Statistical Society

• International Statistical Institute

For more information see

http://ww2.amstat.org/

Chris’s most prominent research is on a very practical and extremely important area, improving the student experience in first year calculus, and he is having a substantial impact in this area. He is a Co-Principal Investigator on three ground breaking 5 year NSF-funded grants that seek to understand programs and practices that support student learning and to communicate the results of the research and propagate successful innovations by partnering with the Mathematical Association of America and the Association of Public and Land-granting Universities. Chris has led the effort to improve San Diego State’s calculus program, working closely with the Department Chair, the Mathematics Learning Center Director and the course coordinators as chair of the Calculus Task Force. The innovations introduced are based on findings from his NSF-funded projects.

** **

* start: 09/01/16 * Duration: 3 years * total amount: $129,990 |

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