Month: June 2005

Cantor's proofs

A lot of my precalculus students today didn’t like and/or didn’t believe Cantor’s proofs of the denumerability of the rationals and the non-denumerability of the reals. A few articulated their disbelief; most were quiet and attentive, but how many of… Read More ›

Beware the Algebrator

Yes, there really is a product called The Algebrator. Their slogan is, “You Type in Your Homework Problem. Algebrator does the Rest!” Here is an excerpt from one of their ads. What’s wrong with this picture?

Too hot to think

It wasn’t a great day for taking math exams. I opened up the windows and doors in my classroom at 7 AM to get some cross-ventilation, but when the exam started at 7:35 it was already 83 degrees in my… Read More ›

Amusing calculus book?

The pseudonymous Rudbeckia Hirta writes about “the most amusing book ever written about calculus”: The Historical Development of the Calculus, by C.H. Edwards. I know, you don’t think the competition for most amusing calculus book is very stiff, but I’m… Read More ›

The TeachScheme conference

The TeachScheme conference (see my post of 5/22) went very well. Because of some changes in the program, we actually were granted 15 minutes for our talk! I came away with quite a number of interesting ideas, both for the… Read More ›

Representations

Dennis and I were talking about multiple representations. Multiple representations are one of the Big Ideas that wend their way through all our math courses. A table and a graph and a function machine and a mapping diagram are all… Read More ›

Awards

Is Weston High School the only school that gives out too many awards? Probably not. I counted 14 awards for one of our seniors, and 14 for another as well! And, of course, there were hundreds of others for seniors…. Read More ›

Numb3rs

Please read Graham Cormode’s review of the TV show, “Numb3rs” (which he claims is pronounced “Numbthreers” rather than “Numbers”). Brief excerpt: Given low initial expectations, it was probably one of the better attempts to show mathematical topics within the context… Read More ›