### A history of the development of the mathematics and statistics support community in the United Kingdom. Part 1: From alpha to sigma

#### Abstract

In terms of the history of mathematics higher education, mathematics and statistics support (MSS) is a very recent development, existing as a formal feature for less than 50 years. However, in this short time, MSS has displayed its own characteristics. A particularly notable feature of MSS in the United Kingdom (and in other countries) has been the way in which practitioners have collaborated with each other, almost from the outset. This collaboration has led to the creation of a community (the **sigma** network) with a written constitution and formal membership. This two-part article traces the history of the development of the MSS community in the UK from its earliest incarnations to the present day. The first part of the article reviews the period from the early 1990s to 2005 during which time the key events were the rise and demise of the Mathematics Support Association and the creation of **sigma**, Centre of Excellence in University-wide Mathematics and Statistics Support.

#### Keywords

#### Full Text:

PDF#### References

Barnard, T. and Saunders, P., 1994. Superior sums that don’t add up to much. The Guardian. 28 December 1994.

Beveridge, I. and Bhanot, R., 1994. An examination of maths support in further and higher education. Mathematics Support Newsletter, 1, p.13. Available at http://www.sigma-network.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/MSA-Newsletter-1-Spring-1994.pdf [Accessed 4 June 2020].

Bowers, D., 1994. Maths workshops do exist. Mathematics Support Newsletter, 1, pp.2-3. Available at http://www.sigma-network.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/MSA-Newsletter-1-Spring-1994.pdf [Accessed 4 June 2020].

Dzator, M. and Dzator, J., 2020. The impact of Mathematics and Statistics Support at the Academic Learning Centre, Central Queensland University. Teaching Mathematics and Its Applications, 39(1), pp.13-28.

Fuller, M., 2002. The role of Mathematics Learning Centres in engineering education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 27(3), pp.241-247.

Grace, J., 2016. Fluidised bed catalytic reactors. In: Z. Onsan and A. Avci, eds. Multiphase Catalytic Reactors. New Jersey: Wiley. pp.80-96.

Hawkes, T. and Savage, M., 2000. Measuring the mathematics problem. London: The Engineering Council.

Hymas, C., 1994. Engineers unable to bridge the maths gap. The Sunday Times. 20 November 1994.

Kent, P., Ramsden, P. and Wood, J., 1996. Maths support at Imperial College. Mathematics Support Newsletter, 4&5, pp.10-11. Available at http://www.sigma-network.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/MSA-Newsletter-45-Summer-1996.pdf [Accessed 4 June 2020].

Lane, J., 1994. Conference Proceedings. Mathematics Support Newsletter, 1, pp.14-16. Available at http://www.sigma-network.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/MSA-Newsletter-1-Spring-1994.pdf [Accessed 4 June 2020].

Lawson, D., Croft, T. and Halpin, M., 2003. Good practice in the provision of mathematics support centres. 2nd edition. Birmingham: LTSN MSOR Network.

Lawson, D., Grove, M. and Croft, T., 2019. The evolution of mathematics support: A literature review. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1080/0020739X.2019.1662120.

Lawson, D., Halpin, M. and Croft, T. 2001. After the diagnostic test – what next? Evaluating the effectiveness of mathematics support centres. Part 1. MSOR Connections, 1(3), pp.19-23.

Lawson, D., Halpin, M. and Croft, T. 2002. After the diagnostic test – what next? Evaluating the effectiveness of mathematics support centres. Part 2. MSOR Connections, 2(1), pp.23-26.

LMS, IMA and RSS, 1995. Tackling the Mathematics Problem. A joint report of the London Mathematical Society, the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications and the Royal Statistical Society. London: LMS.

Ramsden, P., 2012. A poor policy, poorly managed leaves little to show for £315m. Times Higher Education. 15 March 2012.

Samuels, P., 1995. Maths Support Handbook, Mathematics Support Newsletter, 3, p.22. Available at http://www.sigma-network.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/MSA-Newsletter-3-Summer-1995.pdf [Accessed 4 June 2020].

SQW, 2011. Summative evaluation of the CETL programme. Report for HEFCE. Available at: https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/13215/1/rd11_11.pdf [Accessed 4 June 2020].

Sutherland, R. and Pozzi, S., 1995. The changing mathematical backgrounds of undergraduate engineers. London: The Engineering Council.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21100/msor.v19i1.1118

### Refbacks

- There are currently no refbacks.