Plenary Speaker Profile (2016)
David Bressoud
DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics
Former President, Mathematical Association of America
Macalester College
Report on the MAA National Study of College Calculus

Since 2009, the Mathematical Association of America has conducted a national study of mainstream Calculus. For the first five years, Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus (CSPCC, NSF DRL #0910240) undertook a large-scale national survey of students and instructors in Calculus I with follow-up case study visits to 20 of the colleges and universities that had interesting and promising programs.

We are now embarked on an expanded study begun in 2015, Progress through Calculus (PtC, NSF DUE #1430540). This project broadens our study to the entire Precalculus through Calculus II sequence while focusing on cataloging the efforts currently underway to improve student success through this sequence and documenting what does and does not work in the actual implementation of these efforts.

This will be an overview of what we have learned and what we hope to learn.

David Bressoud is DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics at Macalester College, a former President of the Mathematical Association of America, and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He served in the Peace Corps, teaching math and science at the Clare Hall School in Antigua, West Indies before studying with Emil Grosswald at Temple University and then teaching at Penn State for 17 years. He chaired the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Macalester from 1995 until 2001. He has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Minnesota, Universite Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg, France), and the State College Area High School.

David has received the MAA Distinguished Teaching Award (Allegheny Mountain Section), the MAA Beckenbach Book Award for Proofs and Confirmations, and has been a Polya Lecturer and a Leitzel Lecturer for the MAA. He is a recipient of Macalester's Jefferson Award. He has published over sixty research articles in number theory, combinatorics, special functions, and mathematics education. His other books include Factorization and Primality Testing, Second Year Calculus from Celestial Mechanics to Special Relativity, A Radical Approach to Real Analysis (now in 2nd edition), A Radical Approach to Lebesgue's Theory of Integration, A Course in Computational Number Theory (with Wagon), and Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic (with Finney, Demana, Waits, & Kennedy).

David has chaired the MAA special interest group, Teaching Advanced High School Mathematics as well as the AP Calculus Development Committee and has served as Director of the FIPSE-sponsored program Quantitative Methods for Public Policy and PI for two NSF-sponsored national studies of Calculus: Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus (NSF #0910240) and Progress through Calculus (NSF #1430540).