Virginia Tech’s Math Emporium, housed in the Department of Mathematics, earlier this fall received an Innovator Award at the 2021 Wolfram Technology Conference. The award was presented by computer, web and cloud software company Wolfram Research.

Located on University Boulevard, the Math Emporium serves nearly 8,000 students per semester in courses ranging from precalculus to geometry and mathematics of design, according to the  nomination descriptor at Wolfman’s blog page. “Founded more than 20 years ago, many peer institutions have adopted the emporium model, which uses computer-based resources and emphasizes active learning and retention,” it continues.

The Emporium uses Wolfram Research’s Mathematica modern technical computing software. The Emporium serves students both in-person and on Zoom.

“Mathematica has served as the foundation for Virginia Tech’s Math Emporium,” according to the nomination. “Quiz questions are created as modules, allowing for thousands of variations for a single ‘question.’ An in-house package has been built and expanded over the years, housing thousands of functions, from formatting to building XML files, for use in the Math Emporium testing system. Additionally, Mathematica has been used to create portions of the Math Emporium’s online textbooks and to conduct assessments for the department of mathematics.”

The award was accepted by Jessica Schmale, senior mathematics instructor.

Managing the Emporium are Nicholas Robbins, Josh Clemons, and Sarah McDearis.

Full list of winners

Video of the ceremony