# Posts

### January 31, 2015

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1:15 AM | Feedback Opportunities

Last week I took part in a Twitter conversation about feedback. Specifically a few educators were discussing how important feedback is in the classroom. The discussion evolved into why direct feedback is often more efficient than vague “good job” teacher responses. Most of us agreed that feedback and exploration is often the cornerstone in having students […]

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12:00 AM | On This Day in Math - January 31

Joost Bürgi nich at Kepler monument on the market-place in the city Weil der Stadt in Baden-Württemberg*Zeugnisse zu Mathematikern The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.~Antoine-Thomson d' AbbadieThe 31st day of the year; 31 = 22 + 33, i.e., The eleventh prime, and third Mersenne prime, it is also the sum of the first two primes raised to themselves.
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### January 30, 2015

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11:15 PM | Marking over

So, the marking is over. Once I recover I will start writing my feedback document for the students. As usual, I will embed quite a lot of comments in the model answers, because I know that the model answers document … Continue reading →

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11:15 PM | icefalls on Ben Nevis

The seminar invitation to Edinburgh gave me the opportunity and the excuse for a quick dash to Fort William for a day of ice-climbing on Ben Nevis. The ice conditions were perfect but there was alas too much snowdrift to attempt Point Five Gully, one of the mythical routes on the Ben. (Last time, […]

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Once again, here are the multiple-choice problems with explanations for today's New York State Geometry Regents exam. Since I typed this up as quickly as I could, there are no images, graphs or diagrams included. I'll edit them as I am able to. A common theme: there were several questions involving the equation of a circle, as there always are, as well as several questions which not only involved the Pythagorean Theorem, but very specifically a 3-4-5 triangle or a multiple of it. Link to Part
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10:51 PM | Two weeks of average teaching

My classes for most of the month of January have been kinda boring. Sure, students listened, took notes, stayed organized, practiced concepts and demonstrated understanding on assessments, but save a game day or two and a Socrative Space Race, things haven't been fun. We haven't even added to our digital portfolios!Excuses:1. Grades and comments were due January 212. Polynomials3. My husband, two kids and I got the flu for a week4. I had to go to meetings5. Not enough class time (yes, I always […]

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10:11 PM | EdcampLA and Sudent Blogging Action

I have gotten behind on updating my blog. I will get more into my excuses in my next post.I know I am almost two weeks late, but I must join the bandwagon of those proclaiming the awesomeness of Edcamp. I went to EdCampLA on January 17th and ended up leading two discussions. My most recent experience giving a session at a conference had been presenting at UCLA Mathematics Department's Philip C. Curtis Jr. Center for Mathematics and Teaching Conference last February. It was a complete flop
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10:10 PM | Big buts for factoid about lying

At StatsChat, we like big buts, and an easy way to find them is unsourced round numbers in news stories. From the Herald (reprinted from the Telegraph, last November) But it’s surprising to see the stark figure that we lie, on average, 10 times a week. It seems that this number comes from an online […]

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A Different Type of Number Talk There is a different type of number talk which I recently saw on a video by The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. In this video second grade students are talking about subtraction. I posted the video a few weeks ago. The framework for the discussion […]

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I'm not blogging much these days here, partly because the old reasons: too little time and energy for that (as I have other projects for greater success), and partly because I'm getting more and more faith in God which requires serving God's interests more, and my selfish interests less. However, there is still some ethical things to do in Mathematics that may be also considered the interest of God: namely, to find errors in the Mathematics of humankind in order to prevent the spread of
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9:14 PM | Repeat Offender: The NFL’s Salary Cap

Both of this year's Super Bowl participants, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, are unusual not just for their ability to defeat all comers during the playoffs, but also their ability to do so despite the headwinds posed by the salary cap.

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Recurring questions about relations, especially triadic relations and sign relations, prompt a return to Peirce’s core papers on the logic of relative terms and the mathematics of relations in general. I began a study of his 1870 “Logic of Relatives” … Continue reading →

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8:53 PM | Press Publish Tickets

It is with great excitement that I announce the opening of ticket sales for the Press Publish conference series we teased here earlier this month! After scouring the web for bloggers with inspiring stories, successful blogs, and unique voices, we’ve confirmed the speaker lineups, and are thrilled to be including popular WordPress.com bloggers …

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8:30 PM | Big Hero 6: the komplexified script

[ We open in the city of San Fransokyo, which looks exactly like the city in Blade Runner, except with more sunlight and fewer homicidal Rutger Hauers. ] Hiro Hamada: I’m a 14-year-old Asian wunderkind who makes money in back-alley … Continue reading →

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8:12 PM | On Super Bowls and Puppy Bowls

This weekend marks the culmination of blood, sweat, and, oh yes, tears (Deflategate, anyone?) from months of struggle: Super Bowl XLIX. For those of you who are interested, Wolfram|Alpha possesses a wealth of sports stats so that you can get all the cold, hard facts about the Patriots and the Seahawks. And if you can’t [...]

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7:27 PM | Synchrotron radiation

References: Griffiths, David J. (2007), Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd Edition; Pearson Education – Chapter 11, Post 16. One common instance of an accelerated charge is a charge moving in a circle. In this case the particle’s instantaneous velocity is always perpendicular to its instantaneous acceleration . This is known as synchrotron radiation, since it is […]

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This creature gets the instructions to grow 5 limbs and it does, it’s therefore a pentapod. (live version) When is instructed to grow four limbs, it becomes a quadpod. (live version) But when is told to grow three limbs, it doesn’t. It grows instead a tubular body with only one pod, like a mollusc. (live … Continue reading I see pentapods, quadpods, who ordered the unipod? →

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7:24 PM | A Surprise

The weekend is by the corner and I feel a little tired after this long week. This post is more like an update for me and you. Practical the second semester of my 4th year started and I feel so strange that this is my last semester as an undergraduate student. I feel strange: happy […]

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The prize, awarded annually by the American Astronomical Society and the American Institute of Physics to mid-career scientists for outstanding work in astrophysics, is one of the most significant honors in the field.

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My younger son and I are going through the section in Art of Problem Solving’s Introduction to Number theory book about linear congruences. This is a pretty advanced topic. I actually skipped it with my older son, but my younger son absolutely loves it. He’s totally captivated and I love hearing his ideas about how…

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6:55 PM | On Super Bowls and Puppy Bowls

This weekend marks the culmination of blood, sweat, and, oh yes, tears (Deflategate, anyone?) from months of struggle: Super Bowl XLIX. For those of you who are interested, Wolfram|Alpha possesses a wealth of sports stats so that you can get all the cold, hard facts about the Patriots and the Seahawks. And if you can’t [...]

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6:31 PM | Twined Arcs, Defying Euclid

The English language has adopted into current usage many terms from other languages. French terms like coup de grace and haut monde have for many years been found in English dictionaries. Recently, computer terms such as bite and captcha and google have achieved widespread use. In addition, those of us who are fluent in the language of mathematics find that its terms sometimes offer a concise best way to describe a non-mathematical phenomenon.
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References: Griffiths, David J. (2007), Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd Edition; Pearson Education – Chapter 11, Post 15. For an accelerating charge that is instantaneously at rest, the power radiated is given by the Larmor formula: where the acceleration is a function of time. Griffiths shows in his section 11.2.1 that the Larmor formula is the […]

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6:07 PM | 5 Things Everyone Forgets To Ask For When Negotiating The Ideal Faculty / Postdoc Position

Landing a tenure track job or postdoc is a long process and by then end of it, we’re ready to accept any offer that comes our way, even if it requires our first born child in the fine print. But, … Continue reading →

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5:57 PM | Creating Time for More Engagement

Sometimes we teach in situations where we cannot use a full IBL approach. Perhaps the class is too large or there are "coverage constraints" that are outside of your control. Despite such restrictions due to environmental factors outside of the instructor's control, there exists strategies that be used to create time to engage students. Think-Pair-Share (TPS) is a core piece. What's nice about TPS is that one can expand or contract the size of the TPS task so that it fits into […]

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(The question won’t get answered in this post, but it has been bugging me sufficiently that I may as well throw the question online, admit my ignorance, and see if anyone has any suggestions or critiques.) Recently, on MathOverflow, I offered the following example of an adjunction that comes up in the theory of commutative […]

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One of the papers from a massive heart disease study in China, published in the Lancet, has been retracted and republished after the authors noticed a major statistical error. The article, by authors from Peking Union Medical College in China, Yale University, and elsewhere, presented the results of the China PEACE-Retrospective Acute Myocardial Infarction Study, part […]The post Lancet retracts and republishes cardiology paper with admirable notice appeared first on Retraction Watch.

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Fact-checking the Conservatives' employment claims; the price of milk; unhappy teachers; how to use maths to find your life partner; baby due dates; teen pregnancies.

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4:39 PM | Football and statistics, on HBR!

I was asked to adapt my earlier post for the HBR audience, and the new version is now up on HBR. Here is the link. I'm happy that they picked up this post because most business problems concern reverse causation. A small subset of problems can be solved using A/B testing, but only those in which causes are known in advance and subject to manipulation. Even then, Facebook got into trouble for running such an experiment (not in my eyes though). Thanks to the editing team at HBR. I like the new […]

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4:30 PM | 'nother Week, 'nother Potpourri

I collected these, so you wouldn't have to ;-):
1) "Reflections on Paul Erdös" from AMS in this his centenary year:
http://www.ams.org/notices/201502/rnoti-p121.pdf
2) A film made based on the Twin Prime conjecture work of Subway sandwich maker, and mathematician ;-) Yitang Zhang:
http://aperiodical.com/2015/01/counting-from-infinity-a-film-about-yitang-zhang/
http://www.zalafilms.com/