Smart People, All of Them

People, need I say students, are smart in different ways.  They might be smart (expert at) playing a particular video game or shopping online or dog training or horse riding or the internal affairs of Poland or basketball or short story writing.  I am reminded of this and humbled by it, every time I get to know a new set of students.

The graphics below are my attempt at depicting this reality.  Consider each person (point in space) as an amalgam of traits.  Each trait is normally distributed among all people.  The length of the colored line represents the “accomplishment” for that particular trait, defined by direction and color.  The diversity of lengths of expertise is evident.

People Traits in Space

Closeup: People Traits in Space














Now we enclose each person (point) in a bubble with a two standard deviation radius.  We can see some trait spikes sticking out.  These represent an exceptional measurement, a ninety-fifth percentile of accomplishment.

They say everyone has a story. Also everyone has an exceptionality.


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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