BARUCH COLLEGE RECEIVES THIRD GIFT FROM NATIONAL GRID FOUNDATION TO ADVANCE MATH COMPREHENSION

April 30, 2012 | Baruch College

Use of Online and In-Class Math Tutorials Increase Pass Rate for Incoming Zicklin School Students



NEW YORK, NY-April 27, 2012 – Baruch College announces that for the third consecutive year, the National Grid Foundation has provided a $15,000 grant to support the college’s Math Skills Enhancement Project, which has been expanded into the statistics department.

In an effort to utilize more technology-based instruction to improve students’ understanding of mathematics, the support from National Grid Foundation allows math and statistics faculty members to access specialized software to create videos or develop math tutorials that can be used during class or downloaded at home.  In addition, lecture notes can be projected from PC tablets onto the big screen in the classroom, allowing students to be actively engaged in the explanation and relieved of the burden of copying their own comprehensive notes.

Bob Keller, president, National Grid Foundation, said, “Math skills are essential for today’s competitive business world. Yet, many students lack the requisite skills to be successful. Through this innovative on-line tutorial system, students find the help necessary to catch up and advance to courses that will help propel their careers.”

On the heels of a successful two years in the math department in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, where professors have reported a significant student pass rate for required pre-calculus and calculus courses, this year the technology has been introduced to faculty members of the Statistics 2000 program, also a required course for entrance into Baruch’s renowned Zicklin School of Business.

Sarah Harney, mathematics professor at Baruch, explains that the use of the Table PC software allows the math and statistics classrooms to become essentially a 24/7 operation, accommodating Baruch’s disproportionally large number of students who work full or part-time.

“In addition to class use, instructors are able to quickly write up mathematical solutions to students’ questions. With regular e-mail, it is difficult and time consuming to type up mathematical symbols, graphs and tables,” Harney says. “With this software, the solutions can be annotated using colored pens. And, instructors are able to use Camtasia software to produce videos of an explanation or solution unfolding with time, accompanied by a track recorded by the instructor.”

Surveys of students in these classrooms revealed that students like having access to the day’s lesson at any time if they missed an explanation or had trouble understanding it. Esam Saidmuratov, junior finance major, says his performance on tests and assignments has improved since his statistics professor Ann Cohen Brandwein, PhD. began using the PC tablet.

“It’s great that she can write her notes using the tablet,” he said. “It made it a lot clearer to understand the formulas and the steps that are involved in each of the problems. I download my notes during class breaks and while I’m at home. It is so much easier to see the problem and to get access to it since the professor already wrote it down.”

With this third gift from National Grid Foundation, PC tutorial use is now available to more than 5,000 Baruch students, allowing them better access to individualized faculty help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

###

About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 3 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world.  For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.

About National Grid Foundation:

The National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life in areas where National Grid provides services. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December of 1998, the Foundation has provided more than $15 million in grants to hundreds of organizations.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141, manuel.romero@baruch.cuny.edu

Celene McDermott, (646) 660-6134, celene.mcdermott@baruch.cuny.edu