Topics of interest to the MSOR community: evidence from the first 20 years of MSOR Connections

Peter Rowlett, Alexander S Corner


Topic modelling, an automated literature review technique, is used to generate a list of topics from the text of all articles published in previous issues of MSOR Connections. There are many topics of consistent popularity, including assessment, employability, school-university transition and the teaching of specific subjects and skills with the mathematics, statistics and operational research disciplines. We identify some topics that have waned in popularity, especially following the demise of the MSOR Network, including organised book and software reviews, conference and workshop announcements and reports, and articles focused on staff development. In its present form as a fully peer-reviewed practitioner journal, there appears to be a shift in focus from personal reflection to evidence-based research. There is a high focus on innovative practice using technology in the publication, though with less focus on specific software over time. Similarly, more nuance appears to be entering the discourse over maths support and e-assessment as these topics mature. We note a rise over time in student-centred approaches and a sudden rise in the previous issue of digital and remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We speculate about future trends that may emerge, including an increased focus on digital and remote learning and an increase in content on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion.


topic modelling; review; history of mathematics education

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