Monthly Archives: December 2012

George, Martha, and Me

Warning: No math and slight reference to teaching.  I just wanted to get this off my chest. My favorite play and minor obsession is Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee. A new Broadway production got rave “don’t miss” reviews … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Visit to the Math Museum

I made a flash trip to New York City to see my favorite play, twice, (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf).  The MoMath Museum of Mathematics had opened a few days before, so I walked down Broadway to take a look. … Continue reading

Posted in Math and Me, Math Explorations | Leave a comment

Not “Why Algebra?” But “What Algebra?”

The struggling student’s question, “Why do I have to study algebra?” has escalated to the New York Times. My response: Of course you need to take algebra – some algebra.  Every effective modern person needs to know certain mathematical concepts- the … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, Rants, Teaching | Leave a comment

Rationalizing the Denominator

Imagine you have never seen a root sign, , in your life.Consider the problem: .  This means that for some reason you want the denominator to have only integer exponents.  So .  If we start with , then  and even if we … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, Pedagogy, Teaching | Leave a comment

Multiplying Mixed Fractions Using Distribution – Why?

Carole Garfield in a comment asked for help with teaching the multiplication of mixed fractions using the distributive property.  If I just want to teach students how to multiply mixed fractions I would not use distribution as in this example. … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum, Math Explorations, Pedagogy, Rants, Teaching | Tagged | Leave a comment