Oh What a Tangled Web I Have Woven

As a developmental math instructor I am interested in how well I prepare my students for their next math classes.  This summer I traced the math class history of every student I have taught here at SOU.  I thought to use a graph visualization tool for the analysis and downloaded gephi.  My nodes represented classes and the edges indicated students going from one class to the next.  It turned out that gephi doesn’t handle multiple edges well and/or my graph model wasn’t the right one so I eventually turned to EXCEL pivot tables and bar graphs.

In the course of messing around with gephi I did get this cool graphic.

Graph Representation of Student Math Classes

Graph Representation of Student Math Classes

Each node represents a math class.  Colors represent the same course, Math 111, Math 112 etc.  The radii are ordered by term proceeding clockwise with the first term I taught being the four class arm near  one o’clock.  At the end of each radial arm are the classes which I taught.  The edges represent students going from one class to another.  The center node is the terminal node indicating that the student did not take any more math classes.  The thickness of the edge represents the number of students.

I now have a visual representation of my “math influence.”  I think I will pin the image on my bulletin board as a reminder of the seriousness of my task.


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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