Open Maths

First Open Maths course: 2018/2019

Radboud University

The experimental instance of the Open Maths course will be given at the Radboud University. All classes will take place in room EOS 00.220. Additional material is available in Brightspace.

  1. 5 November 2018, 15:30-18:30 - "Mathematics and you"
  2. 19 November 2018, 15:30-18:30 - "What is mathematics?"
  3. 3 December 2018, 15:30-18:30 - "Learning mathematics"

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Open Universiteit

You can download the presentation slides here from the presentation at the Informatica studiedag in Eindhoven on 24 November.

Open Maths course at the Open University
Mathematics is often seen as a dry and distant subject with many symbols and formulas. Students who see maths like this have a hard time to learn it.
Mathematics is, in fact, a beautiful and powerful human endeavour, which affects almost all aspects of our lives. Perhaps more importantly, recent research shows that everybody is able to learn mathematics at a high level: You can enjoy and be good at mathematics! In the Open Maths course, a new, optional subject (free this year!), you will experience the real, exciting and useful mathematics. As a result, you will be able to learn maths more successfully at the university.
The Open Maths course will take place in the third quarter and this talk will give more information about it.
The talk is given in English.

The Open Maths course at the Open Universiteit will be given in a blended fashion. The first class will be in-class in OU Eindhoven study centre on 16 February 2019. The rest of the course can be followed via yOUlearn.

Zie de leerdoelen van de cursus onder.

Als u vragen heeft dan hoor ik het graag via e-mail.


As technology is developing at an ever increasing pace, new kinds of learning and teaching strategies are necessary, especially in the higher education and beyond. Technology changes the job market. Old jobs become obsolete as computers are taking over the tasks from humans and new jobs are rising to satisfy novel needs. Future generations need to find their places in this volatile environment with willingness to develop and with life-long learning capacities. Not only the demand changes on the job market, but the possibilities that the Internet, a flagship technological invention itself, provides. New communication means allow people to be always connected, MOOCs give great opportunities to learn based on intrinsic motivation. Also, great resources, including tutorials and catchy videos, are freely available. All these advances are intertwined with mathematics. The new jobs hold problems that we cannot yet define, requiring mathematical openness and flexibility. YouTube is full of videos that offer lovely material for those who are willing to think and embrace the creative nature of mathematics. These resources are just too good to not include them in future higher education and life-long learning. The only missing element is to release students' own potential to learn real mathematics. That is what Open Maths provides.

Background information

Teaching mathematics-related topics at universities, I notice two important yet contradictory aspects. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects require deep mathematical understanding and actual problem solving skills. However, university students often lack proper mathematical knowledge, using instead cookbook-like recipes to solve problems. Consequently, the skill set that students learn from mathematics throughout their education is often inappropriate for their later careers.

Open Maths is a new university-level teaching method, based on state-of-the-art research results from neurosciences (e.g. neuroplasticity), psychology (e.g., positive psychology, fixed and growth mindset) and mathematical didactics (e.g. mathematical mindsets, active learning). The main pillars of Open Maths are (1) demonstrating positive messages about mathematics and individual potential; (2) developing mathematical sense making by low-entry, high-ceiling problems and by great online resources; (3) establishing an encouraging atmosphere for effective teamwork.

(Excerpts from the Comenius Open Maths proposal by Greg Alpar, 2018.)

Course objectives

(Nederlands volgt Engels.)

At the end of the course you will:

Leerdoelen in het Nederlands

Na de cursus kun je: