Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Victor J. Donnay

vdonnay's picture
Victor J. Donnay
Professor of Mathematics
Bryn Mawr College

I am a mathematician; my research area is chaotic dynamical systems. I have always been very interested in teaching (cooperative learning, use of computers in teaching, student projects, linking math with issues of civic engagement) and over the past decade have gotten involved in math and science education. I was a Co-PI of the Math Science Partneship of Greater Philadelphia (MSPGP) part of the  Math Science Partneship program of the NSF. As part of that project, I co-developed and taught a course for math and science majors called "Changing Pedagogies in Math and Science Education". The course  tries to interest math and science majors in education by exposing them to the exciting recent develops in learning theory and cognition and how these ideas are being applied in inquiry oriented, student centered teaching approaches. I am the PI of the joint Bryn Mawr - Haverford Noyce Scholarship Program (which gives scholarship to math and science majors who plan to get certified and then teach in high needs districts) and of the Philadelphia Regional Noyce Partnership which involves the 6 institutes in the Philadelphia region with Noyce grants. These projects apply social network theory (key connectors, Tipping Point) to try to bring about educational change.

One of my present activities is working to connect math and (environmental) sustainability. In spring 2012, I taught a quantiative reasoning course on this topic in which the students also had a service learning component in which they carried out a 'green project'  with a community partner. I will lead a two week institute for secondary teachers on Math and Sustainability in July 2012.

Subject Areas of Interest:
  • math

Education Areas of Interest:
  • math content-specific pedagogy courses
  • science content-specific pedagogy courses
  • interdisciplinary approaches
  • project-based learning
  • recruitment
  • retention
  • support structures
  • organizational culture