Monthly Archives: November 2011

Test Instructions

A student in my intermediate algebra class suggested this improvement to my tests – Put more written instructions on it.  My tests tend to be austere.  For example, I might say “Simplify” followed by ten problems or more like or … Continue reading

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Volumes of Rotation as Double Integrals

Yesterday one of our math tutors, Christian Paterson, who was helping both Calc I and Calc IV students asked me if it was possible to find a volume of rotation using a double integral.  I flippantly said yes.  We independently … Continue reading

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How To Be a Wizard – In Ancient Egypt

A thought experiment:  What if a college student was transported to the time of King A-user-Re (See note 1)?  What skills and knowledge would such a person have that would be seen as wizardry by the ancient Egyptians? Let’s do … Continue reading

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Algebra in Practice

The steps we teach in our algebra courses are not  the same steps that skilled practitioner use.  I have already alluded to the utility of “criss-cross applesauce” when adding and subtracting fractional expressions and how to solve proportion problems quickly.  … Continue reading

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Mountain Bike Inflection Points

I rode my mountain bike up to Bull Gap last Sunday.  The ride is about ten miles with a  fairly steady climb of around 3000 feet.  After a few miles I started to get impatient.  I wanted to arrive at … Continue reading

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Word Clouds – Analyzing My Writing Quirks and Topics

A glimpse of a word cloud in Time magazine  has resulted in this attempt to understand my prose.  I used Wordle to produce the images below. First a few comments.  Wordle is capable of making beautiful word clouds with an … Continue reading

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