Social Justice in Jan Term
In this course, students learned about California Prison Realignment and used statistical methodologies for analyzing the related data. The class worked with data provided by the Marin County Probation Office, as well as from the dashboard of the Chief Probation Officers of California. Students summarized their analysis and findings in final reports, in which they outlined significant patterns in the data and the real life impact/implications of such patterns.
The focus of the reports included:
- how (and why) sentencing patterns are differ by regions,
- the relationship between risk assessment and recidivism among the realignment population, and
- the distribution of crimes among the realignment population.
This course had a big impact — mathematically, ethically, socially — on both the instructors and students, and we hope to offer another Jan Term course like it in the near future.
(SMC)2: Saint Mary’s College Summer Math Camp
In Spring 2010, Prof. Jones and Prof. Pan sought and were generously awarded a Dolciani Mathematics Enrichment Grant to establish a week-long residential summer mathematics enrichment program for high school students from the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding counties. Our program, Saint Mary’s College of California Summer Mathematics Camp, “(SMC)2”, aimed to serve mathematically-gifted high school students in the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding areas who are currently under-served by state and nationally-run mathematics and science enrichment programs. The goal of our program was to generate interest in mathematical ideas and processes through intensive study of mathematical topics outside of the standard high school curricula. Through our program we aimed to have a direct, positive and lasting effect on college bound students’ academic careers as well as on their perception of mathematics as a practice and a profession.
(SMC)2 2011 and 2012 ran on the campus of Saint Mary’s College of CA, each year with around 20 campers, two faculty members (Profs. Jones and Pan) and two undergraduate mentors. In both years, campers and camp staff were housed in Assumption Hall, Saint Mary’s College’s designated science living-learning community dormitory, and camp activities made use of a number of facilities on campus. During 2011, we were funded by our Dolciani Mathematics Enrichment Grant and Saint Mary’s College’s matching funds. During 2012, we were supported solely by Saint Mary’s College. In both year, we cover full costs for our campers.