Month: December 2010

Doodling in math class

And the award for coolest math video ever goes to…Vi Hart, for her Doodling in Math Class series. These videos are “subversive,” as one of my colleagues (approvingly) labels them. The common theme appears to be that math classes in… Read More ›

Negative attitudes

Quotation from one of my students: “I hate it when people don’t like negative attitudes.” (Context: He had been solving a problem at the board and made a negative remark, causing one of his classmates to say that he was… Read More ›

Themes in precalculus

A course ought to tell a story. If it doesn’t, it’s just a collection of topics, not a course. Honors Precalculus at Weston definitely does tell a story. I was thinking about the themes of that story today, and I… Read More ›

Missing Justice

Although it was published over six years ago, I’ve just gotten around to reading Missing Justice, a worthy early contribution to Alafair Burke’s Samantha Kincaid series. Actually, I didn’t read it; I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Betty Bobbitt…. Read More ›

Names of polygons

Why do so many of my students use incorrect names for various polygons? They claim that they are merely recalling what they have been taught; maybe this is so, maybe not.  I suppose there are two major possibilities: They are… Read More ›


I just finished listening to the audiobook version of Faye Kellerman’s latest novel, Hangman, beautifully narrated by Mitchell Greenberg. While I liked it a lot, I can understand why some people might not. In the first place, this book is… Read More ›

Born to Kvetch

So what’s not to love about this book? Just don’t expect Leo Rosten’s The Joys of Yiddish, which is a much lighter and less consequential work. Michael Wex’s Born to Kvetch is a serious, in-depth, expert analysis of conversational Yiddish… Read More ›