Author Archives

This is my 19th year as a math teacher at Weston High School, the sole public high school in Weston, MA. It’s also my 42nd year as a teacher altogether. In addition to my day job, I taught for 20 years at the Saturday Course in Milton, MA. I also teach at Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy each summer; 2015 was our 12th consecutive summer.

Sometimes I work on educational software. I also read, cook, and continue building my model railroad whenever I can. For some reason I'm left with less so-called free time than would be ideal. Nevertheless, I manage to devote time to my wife, Barbara, and to our excessive number of cats as well.

  • Another gender difference?

    My impression is that there are significantly more female teen bloggers than male ones, but maybe I’m wrong. A fascinating study by David Huffaker says that “BlogCensus randomly sampled 490,000 blogs to find 40% male and 36% female, with the… Read More ›

  • Homework considered harmful

    Homework can be counterproductive, according to an article on the physorg.com website. Here are a few excerpts: Instead of improving educational achievement in countries around the world, increases in homework may actually undercut teaching effectiveness and worsen disparities in student… Read More ›

  • Building learning communities

    A conference on Building Learning Communities — right here in Weston! I don’t know much about it, but it’s led by Wellesley’s distinguished former tech coordinator, Alan November, and the blurb looks interesting. Stay tuned for more info…

  • Chris Lydon redux

    Yesterday Christopher Lydon returned to NPR with his new show/blog called Open Source. Day #2 concluded a few minutes ago. Actually, of course, it was only the broadcast portion that concluded a few minutes ago. The Internet portion — the… Read More ›

  • An argument from continuity

    Two sophomores approached my colleague Josh with a question: “How can we construct a fair 5-sided die?” Josh posed a prior question: Is it even possible to construct such a die? He fashioned an interesting argument from continuity: Consider two… Read More ›

  • Intel, security, and Apple

    Paul Otellini, the new CEO of Intel, says that he “spends an hour a weekend removing spyware from his daughter’s computer,” according to a Wall Street Journal article about its recent All Things Digital conference. When asked whether a computer… Read More ›

  • The new SAT

    An interesting column by Mark Franek concerning the writing section of the new SAT includes the following observation: The writing section is entirely new — 70 percent of it is composed of pesky multiple-choice grammatical questions (where students aren’t writing… Read More ›

  • The view from college math

    Rudbeckia Hirta (a clever pseudonym for a math professor who carefully keeps her true identity hidden) observes: Due to reasons beyond my understanding, high school math and college math are completely unaligned. The K-12 system sends us students whose knowledge… Read More ›

  • William of Orange

    The newest member of our family: William of Orange

  • Where visuals fail

    Some of us couldn’t possibly forget the 1969 draft lottery, the new and supposedly “fair” system to pick who was going to be sent to Vietnam. My Algebra 2 class is studying probability and was remarkably interested in learning about… Read More ›