Photo of Dr. Andrew Watkins

Dr. Andrew Watkins presented the results of faculty-student research on touch-screen technology for teaching mathematics.

Faculty-student research presented at regional conference

November 13, 2017

Photo of Dr. Andrew Watkins

Computer science professor Dr. Andrew Watkins recently presented the results of a faculty-student research project on touch-screen technology for teaching mathematics. The presentation, at the October Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) Eastern Division Conference, was based on the senior computer science thesis of Caleb Young '17.

Young, Watkins and education professor Dr. Gary Christie worked together on the project. Christie noted, "This was a true faculty-student collaboration as Caleb had the computer coding expertise and I the conceptual mathematics behind it."

Digital Building Blocks

The project, titled "Interface Design for a Math Manipulative Application," focuses on a touch-screen application that mimics the use of physical objects, such as blocks, used frequently by elementary school educators when teaching counting, addition and subtraction.

The goal of the study is to determine which of two touch-screen interfaces is more intuitive in order to assist in the development of early childhood educational software.

Collaboration as Academic Catalyst

Young, who currently lives and works in North Carolina, stated, "It was a wonderful experience. I learned a great deal through the process, including the fact that my initial assumptions were incorrect. Both Dr. Watkins and Dr. Christie were amazing to work with. They were very supportive and were excellent sources of information and assistance throughout the process."

"These partnerships play an invaluable role in the career development of students and faculty alike," Watkins added.