Learning and Teaching Innovation

Listed on this page are current research projects being offered for the Vacation Scholarship Program.

Visual blocks to help students learn syntax

Learning mathematical syntax is essential for understanding and communicating mathematics, but it is something students often find hard to master. Maths Blocks (www.mathsblocks.com) is a system of visual blocks intended to help students with mathematical syntax. This project will investigate ways to extend Maths Blocks to support additional areas of mathematics, such as functions and their inverses, sets, or other topics. It will involve some mathematics (such as formal language theory and type theory), some learning theory, some software design, and (potentially) some programming.

Contact Anthony Morphett a.morphett@unimelb.edu.au

Mathematical modelling of a classroom disease epidemic simulation

The 'Handshake game' is a classroom simulation of an infectious disease outbreak, which can be used in teaching infectious disease modelling. In this project, we will model the progression of the handshake game using ODE (ordinary differential equation) models. In particular, we will investigate how well the classic SIR model describes the progression of the handshake game, and explore variants of the SIR model which may give a better fit. This will involve some mathematical modelling, numerical solving of ODEs, and model fitting using MATLAB, Python or similar software.

Contact Anthony Morphett a.morphett@unimelb.edu.au

Analysis of student sampling strategies in an activity with chocolate

Chocs and Blocks is a statistical sampling activity where students try to choose representative samples from a population of chocolate pieces to estimate a population mean. There are several popular strategies for selecting a sample, such as selecting a mix of small and large pieces. This project will investigate the sampling distributions of several common strategies, and attempt to model data sets of samples from large lecture classes.

Contact Anthony Morphett a.morphett@unimelb.edu.au

For more information on this research group see: Learning and Teaching Innovation