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Thesis Submitted to Reading Committee Today
And then I went out to tango. Feeling pretty good.
Murder on Gilligan’s Island
I went to a linguistics lecture in college to hear a speaker talk about how they had written Dr. Seuss type books for kids. One gem from that talk that always stayed with me is that there are three topics that are immediately interesting [...]
What skills do you need in order to teach well?
I often stress the perspective that the first thing you need do be a great teacher is love: love of your subject, love of teaching, love of learning. The skills you need to actually teach come naturally from the fundamental interest, [...]
On Not Teaching Mathematics
A huge thank you to Jade, who referred me to this compelling argument for not teaching mathematics (or teaching less mathematics, or teaching it in a different way). Should we, as Gray argues in the link, dispose with the teaching of [...]
I wish I was special
There’s a great story in the beautiful, tragic, triumphant story of Ramanujan. Ramanujan emerged from India in the early 1900s (out of nowhere as far as Western mathematicians were concerned), and quickly emerged as the greatest natural [...]
“I am a mathematician, and I would like to stand on your roof.”
Link: “I am a mathematician, and I would like to stand on your roof.” Speaking of excellent talks, you should definitely watch this one. This is a look at African fractals, which are surprisingly ubiquitous throughout Africa, and which [...]
Confessions of a Converted Lecturer
Link: Confessions of a Converted Lecturer This is an absolutely excellent talk, which I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s not just that he talks about the problems with lecturing and the benefits of using other methods. What’s [...]
A Timely Comic
Link: A timely comic Given my recent talk and blog on the Collatz conjecture, it’s fun to see xkcd mock it here.
The Art of Asking Questions
“In mathematics, the art of asking questions is more valuable than solving problems.” – Georg Cantor
Data Tells Stories if you present it right
Link: data tells stories if you present it right For those who doubt the power of graphs to tell a story, I just received this graph from Obama’s group, Organizing for America. This is a very nice example of how to highlight the [...]
3n + 1
This weekend I gave a middle school version of a keynote lecture at the local Mathcounts tournament, as a group of 5th to 8th graders finished slices of pizza and waited for the contest results to be posted. The talk actually went quite [...]
Steve Strogatz explains math for the Times
Link: Steve Strogatz explains math for the Times I seem to be falling further behind, as my opinion that the public at large is ready for actual mathematics in their lives is adopted by more and more capable people. The latest is Steve [...]