Project MOSAIC

Project MOSAIC is a community of educators working to develop a new way to introduce mathematics, statistics, computation and modeling to students in colleges and universities.

News from Project MOSAIC … New directions and activities.

From 2009 to 2016, Project MOSAIC was supported by a grant from the US National Science Foundation (NSF DUE-0920350).  As we move forward with the goals of MOSAIC, we have embarked on new initiatives:

  • statPREP … In conjunction with the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the American Statistical Association (ASA), and the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC) in September 2016 we received additional funding from the US National Science Foundation (DUE-1626337) for one of the successors to MOSAIC: “Professional Development Emphasizing Data-Centered Resources and Pedagogies for Instructors of Undergraduate Introductory Statistics (StatPREP),” co-PIs: Douglas Ensley (MAA), Kathryn Kozak (Coconino Community College), Daniel T. Kaplan (Macalester College), Jenna P. Carpenter (Campbell University), Michael Brilleslyper (USAFA).  Recognizing that most statistics education in the US is provided by mathematics faculty with little background in statistics per se, this project, which runs through Sept. 2021, aims to help mathematics faculty develop data, computing, and statistical skills.
  • New resources … Our paper on the mosaic package was published in the RJournal, new textbook resources are available in the CRAN vignette, and Spanish language translations have been created for the Little Books.
  • The workshops continue … we’re continuing our popular series of workshops at venues such as the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM), the United States Conference on Teaching Statistics (USCOTS), and the International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS). The fifth of our data wrangling and visualization workshops, supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, was held at Macalester College in summer 2017.  A sixth is planned in 2018 at Grinnell College.
  • Online courses … Through the online tutorial platform, we are transforming some of the MOSAIC resources into online short courses, accessible to instructors and students worldwide. The first two of these courses, Statistical Modeling I & II, went live in September 2016. More, including a calculus course, are planned for the future.
  • Books … Many of the books associated with Project MOSAIC are now available in printed form through Project MOSAIC Books. (Those books associated with the mosaic package are also available in electronic form as package vignettes.)
  • The mosaic package … along with the companion mosaicData, mosaicCore, and ggformula packages, continue to be maintained and improved. We estimate that approximately 50,000 students have used mosaic, with roughly that number of newcomers each year.

Our goal: Provide a broader approach to quantitative studies that provides better support for work in science and technology. The focus of the project is to tie together better diverse aspects of quantitative work that students in science, technology, and engineering will need in their professional lives, but which are today usually taught in isolation, if at all.

  • Modeling. The ability to create, manipulate and investigate useful and informative mathematical representations of a real-world situations.
  • Statistics. The analysis of variability that draws on our ability to quantify uncertainty and to draw logical inferences from observations and experiment.
  • Computation. The capacity to think algorithmically, to manage data on large scales, to visualize and interact with models, and to automate tasks for efficiency, accuracy, and reproducibility.
  • Calculus. The traditional mathematical entry point for college and university students and a subject that still has the potential to provide important insights to today’s students.

The name MOSAIC reflects the first letters — M, S, C, C — of these important components of a quantitative education. Project MOSAIC is motivated by a vision of quantitative education as a mosaic where the basic materials come together to form a complete and compelling picture.

The purpose of the MOSAIC community is … (read more)