Month: March 2012


Read this book! Presidential candidates, and anyone who expects to vote for a presidential candidate, should also read this book. Its subtitle explains the Colbertian word of the title…or does it? Oddly enough, the subtitle changed between the first (hardback)… Read More ›

Predicting answers

Before you start solving a problem, predict what the answer will be. Not necessarily the exact answer; an estimate will do. One strategy that I like (but don’t use as often as I should) is to get students to do… Read More ›

London Under

I first picked up this fascinating book by Peter Ackroyd because I thought it had something to do with the London “Underground,” otherwise known as its subway system. And indeed several parts of the book do concern the Underground. But the… Read More ›

The Last Samurai

Don’t you just hate it when someone writes a book review without having actually read the book? Of course I’m not going to do that…but I do need to give a preliminary comment about Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai (not… Read More ›

The distance formula

What are the pros and cons of teaching the distance formula? I can think of two of each: Pro #1: It’s useful and convenient. Pro #2: Future teachers may expect your students to know it. Con #1: It’s nothing but… Read More ›

Khan Academy revisited

Khan Academy used to be a good idea. Maybe it still is; I haven’t made anything like a thorough review of their hundreds of offerings, so it’s impossible for me to tell. But I’m skeptical. Before examining the reasons for… Read More ›