Kurt Maurer: Vancouver East Rotary Graduate Scholarship in Education (PhD)

Kurt Maurer was passionate about education and community service. The Vancouver East Rotary Undergraduate and Graduate Bursary Funds at Simon Fraser University were created with funds gifted by him, from the sale of his Cessna airplane. 

This bursary provides financial support to a student pursuing a PhD in the Faculty of Education. Such gifts are critical to the university and they help ensure that students with few financial resources have the opportunity to access post-secondary education.


Harpreet Kaur

I am writing this letter to thank you and the donor for Vancouver East Rotary Graduate Scholarship that I was awarded. Your support has kept me from worrying so much about the cost of tuition and other expenses. I truly value my education here at Simon Fraser University, and this award had afforded me the opportunity to continue with my educational pursuits. With the help of this award, I need not to worry about working long hours for the finances and I can devote more time to my study.

I have always looked forward to a career in the field of mathematics education. I have done M.Sc. (Mathematics), 2007 and M.Ed., 2009 from India. I attended SFU as exchange student for Fall 2009 during M.Ed. program and came to the conclusion that Simon Fraser University has the quality education I was seeking for. So I decided to pursue my Ph.D.(Mathematics Education) here at the Faculty of Education and came back for same in Fall 2010. The faculty and staff are really very supportive and helpful. I am receiving diversified research skills here. I hope that my research will contribute in making mathematics teaching and learning more interesting.

I am studying about young children’s understanding of angle in a dynamic geometry environment. Word ‘dynamic’ can be characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress. A dynamic environment consists of changing surroundings in which the agent navigate. Within a computer environment, the geometrical objects created on the screen can be manipulated by the help of mouse, which is generally called ‘dragging’ with mouse. In dynamic geometry environment (DGE) when elements of a construction are dragged, all the geometric properties employed in constructing the figure are preserved.

Thus, DGE such as The Geometer’s Sketchpad enable the creation of dynamic representations of various mathematical shapes such as triangles, rectangles, circles, etc.. The DGE can enhance the learning of angles as they enable learners to build a rich set of examples of angle drawing with different angle measures and different orientations. DGE enable to see the dynamic turns visually as well as provide the measure of angle.

The goals of this research are to investigate the effect of dynamic geometry environments on children’s understanding of the concept of angle. Some sketchpad models for concept of angle are designed and used in the classroom. Data is obtained through videotaping lessons focusing on the instruction of angle using Sketchpad as well as paper pencil tests and sketchpad-based tests of angle tasks. I would be analyzing this data during this term.

I really thank the Vancouver East Rotary Club for its support from the bottom of my heart. It will really help me to realize my dreams of being a math educator.

Harpreet Kaur