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Dana Ernst
Works at Northern Arizona University
Attended George Mason University
Lives in Flagstaff, AZ
36,772 followers|916,861 views
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Dana Ernst

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David Bressoud's second post in the "Calculus at Crisis" series.
I began this series last month by explaining how recent economic conditions are sending more students into the primary STEM fields (engineering and the physical, biological, mathematical, and computer and information sciences...
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My boys are excited that today is the second to last day of school before summer break. 
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I just reviewed an awesome article about inquiry-based learning in mathematics. Looking forward to its future publication.
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good point.
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Grading for the Spring 2015 semester is complete.  
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No specs grading (yet) for me. 
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Riding bikes and catching lizards in Mother's Day. 
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Duh. 
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I used to know a guy who said coffee is nature's perfect food. I like this one better.
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Cycling the highest road in the world.  Amazing (7 min) video!
When you begin riding bikes you are constantly bombarded with new challenges – your first mountain, your first puncture or even the first time you get lost. Like anything though, after a certain period of time these challenges become less stimulating. You can always push yourself harder or ride ...
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Great interview with Victor Piercy about his perspective on inquiry-based learning (IBL).
 
New at CO9s: A new 4+1 interview with Victor Piercey of +Ferris State University on his thoughts about IBL and what he and his students have learned from it. This is the first of three planned 4+1's with some of the organizers of the Legacy of R.L. Moore/IBL conference coming up next month in Austin. 
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It took me about a minute to detangle from this crash. I was mostly hanging from bike and could only touch ground with one hand. Oh, I was riding in opposite direction that I took pic. I guess I was tired near the end of my 50 mile ride. #biff
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I am glad you were able to walk away from this!
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An oldie but goodie.
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After dinner fun at the park. 
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"How I’m surviving my first year of grad school (and still enjoying it)"

A recent +American Mathematical Society Grad Student Blog post by my former student +Sarah Salmon.  Good advice for first year grad students and 3rd year tenure-track folks like myself.
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In his circles
1,091 people
Have him in circles
36,772 people
Mark “Xtlman” Dunton's profile photo
Alagu Vel's profile photo
Krat sanwe's profile photo
Aleksandar Ivanovski's profile photo
Jennifer Frazier's profile photo
Octavia Marsh's profile photo
Paul Thompson's profile photo
Eric Rineer's profile photo
Tae Keun Jeon's profile photo
Education
  • George Mason University
    BS, Mathematics, 1993 - 1997
  • Northern Arizona University
    MS, Mathematics, 1997 - 2000
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
    PhD, Mathematics, 2003 - 2008
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
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Father of two boys, husband, mathematician, cyclist, trail runner, rock climber, and coffee drinker.
Introduction

My name is Dana Ernst and I am an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ

My primary research interests are in the interplay between combinatorics and algebraic structures. More specifically, I study the combinatorics of Coxeter groups and their associated Hecke algebrasKazhdan-Lusztig theory, generalized Temperley-Lieb algebrasdiagram algebras, and heaps of pieces. By employing combinatorial tools such as diagram algebras and heaps of pieces, one can gain insight into algebraic structures associated to Coxeter groups, and, conversely, the corresponding structure theory can often lead to surprising combinatorial results. The combinatorial nature of my research naturally lends itself to collaborations with undergraduate students, and my goal is to incorporate undergraduates in my research as much as possible. See my scholarship page for more information.

Furthermore, I am passionate about mathematics education. In particular, I am interested in inquiry-based learning (IBL) and the Moore method for teaching mathematics. This educational paradigm has transformed my teaching. I am currently a Special Projects Coordinator for the Academy of Inquiry-Based Learning and a mentor for several new IBL practitioners. Moreover, I actively give talks and organize workshops on the benefits of IBL as well as the nuts and bolts of how to implement this approach in the mathematics classroom.

I am also interested in utilizing technology to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics. Specifically, I choose free and open-source software and technologies when appropriate. For example, I have been incorporating Sage and GeoGebra into my teaching. Sage is a free open-source mathematics software system licensed under the GPL. It combines the power of many existing open-source packages into a common Python-based interface.  For examples of a few of the cool things you can do with Sage, check this page. According to their webpage, GeoGebra is free and multi-platform dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education that joins geometry, algebra, tables, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use package. There are tons of awesome GeoGebra examples located here.

In addition to using free and open-source software, I am inspired by the recent open-source textbookmovement and I strongly believe that educators should choose free, open-source, or low cost textbooks when a viable alternative exists. For a list of open-source textbooks, go here and here.

Angie Hodge and I are coauthors for Math Ed Matters, which is a (roughly) monthly column sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America. The column explores topics and current events related to undergraduate mathematics education. Posts aim to inspire, provoke deep thought, and provide ideas for the mathematics—and mathematics education—classroom. Our interest in and engagement with IBL color the column's content.

I also maintain a personal blog, which is part of the Booles' Rings network of academic home pages/blogs.  On my blog, I typically write about topics related to mathematics, education, and technology.  In addition, I occasionally post about my cycling, trailing running, and rock climbing adventures on my Elevation Gain blog

Lastly, I am a husband and a father of two incredible sons. Oh, I enjoy drinking copious amounts of coffee, too.

Work
Occupation
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Employment
  • Northern Arizona University
    Assistant Professor, 2012 - present
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
    Graduate Student/Teaching Assistant, 2003 - 2008
  • Front Range Community College
    Math Faculty, 2001 - 2003
  • Northern Arizona University
    Graduate Student/Instructor, 1997 - 2001
  • Plymouth State University
    Assistant Professor, 2008 - 2012
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Flagstaff, AZ
Previously
Williamsville, NY - Fairfax, VA - Flagstaff, AZ - Boulder, CO - Plymouth, NH
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