# Month: March 2006

## Turning back the clock

One of the many virtues of writing in a wiki is that previous versions of a document are always readily available. I’m still trying to get used to this. Want to turn the clock back to the way your document… Read More ›

## The Murder Room

Just finished listening to the audio CD version of The Murder Room, by P.D. James. It makes an interesting contrast to the Greg Bear novel that I discussed in yesterday’s post. (No, I don’t find it confusing to listen to… Read More ›

## Darwin's Children

I’m currently reading the last chapter of Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Children, the sequel to Darwin’s Radio, which I read last month. I wish I liked this one better than I do. You know how sometimes you have the experience of… Read More ›

## Not surprised by model railroading

One of my students was surprised — not to mention perplexed and amused — to hear that one of my hobbies was model railroading. “Why are you surprised?” asked one of his classmates. “He’s a math and computer science teacher… Read More ›

As you’re sitting there figuring out your taxes, take a look at what the quadratic formula would look like if the IRS had discovered it.

## A billion is a substantial number

According to an Associated Press article, dated yesterday, “a billion is a substantial number.” I don’t think we can disagree with that. But the context is, shall we say, a bit implausible: Federal authorities investigating a man who smuggled money… Read More ›

## Pi Day

Today, of course, was Pi Day. One of my mathematically devoted students not only baked brownies decorated with the digits of pi — only a small fraction of them, alas 🙂 — but also brought in a CD of “Mathematical… Read More ›

## George Bush, student of English

One of my students is having great difficulty understanding the abstract ideas of additive and multiplicative inverses and identities, especially in the context of matrix algebra. Finally he’s so frustrated that he exclaims, “I feel like George Bush in an… Read More ›

## Wiki values & learning curves

Why am I finding it so difficult to get used to be a writer on a wiki, not merely a reader? There’s something about the whole process that still feels alien to me. Somehow the learning curve seems unnecessarily steep…. Read More ›

## Skepticism is a virtue

One of my tenth-graders gleefully tells me about a CS professor at the University of Wisconsin who held a contest in which he challenged others to “hack” into his Mac, and someone did so in 30 minutes. At least that… Read More ›