GMU’s STEM Accelerator Honored by Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition

Padmanabhan Seshaiyer

Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, George Mason University

George Mason University’s STEM Accelerator has been named one of Virginia’s “2015 Programs that Work” by the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition, GMU announced Jan. 20 in a press release.

The Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition is a private nonprofit that’s dedicated to improving math and science education for Virginia students from kindergarten through college.

“We are happy that the STEM Accelerator program has been recognized to be a transformational change agent that has had a great impact in promoting the much needed awareness of STEM in the state of Virginia through innovative student programs at all levels,” GMU mathematical sciences professor Padmanabhan Seshaiyer said, who directs Mason’s STEM Accelerator program. “We are truly honored to receive this recognition.”

Mason’s STEM Accelerator program started in 2011 to keep students in the STEM fields, reduce their time to graduation and help them land jobs. Mason professors from across disciplines participate in the program.

The program includes Mason faculty from Mathematical Sciences, Undergraduate Biology Program, School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Sciences, Forensic Sciences, AOES and Chemistry. The accelerator also works closely with the Prince William Governor’s School @ Innovation Park high school program.

The program uses innovative teaching techniques, such as “oral reviews” for calculus, which move beyond memorizing answers to helping students understand the concepts behind the problems. Boot camps and peer-to-peer tutoring through learning assistants also help students succeed in their course work.

“The STEM Accelerator program is trying to play a major role in this by advancing Mason’s position on taking the value and meaning of STEM education to a much higher level in the state of Virginia,” he said.

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