Author Archives

I am entering my 21st year as a math teacher at Weston High School, the sole public high school in Weston, MA. It’s also my 44th 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; 2017 was our 14th 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.

  • Infinite pizzas

    An article in this week’s Somerville Journal gives free publicity to a pizza joint in Ball Square, the Urban Gourmet: …We offer about three dozen toppings with an infinite variety of combinations. .. Wow!

  • Numb3rs So Far

    Now that the first season of Numb3rs is in reruns, I’m finally getting around to watching this show and have seen three episodes at this point. So far, so good. I haven’t yet seen the episode referred to in the… Read More ›

  • What's wrong with UMass?

    Many — probably most — of my Weston students look down on UMass Amherst. Certainly it’s not the choice of our most successful students. I heard one junior disparaging it to the extent that he would consider his life ruined… Read More ›

  • Such a well-qualified ambassador

    It’s nice to know that our president appoints such well-informed ambassadors, isn’t it? Here is an excerpt from a CBC interview with our new ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins: Q: Have you ever been to Canada before? A: Ah, many… Read More ›

  • Neurological benefits of blogging?

    Neurologists Fernette and Brock Eide analyze the Brain of the Blogger. Here are some of their claims: …our mental activities actually cause changes in the structures of our brains — not only what we think, but how we think as… Read More ›

  • Blogs in the math classroom?

    Blogs are public writing. We want our students to publish their work — to take ownership of it, to take personal responsibility for it, to take pride in it. These goals apply not only to English class but also in… Read More ›

  • Radians

    From Trigonometry for Dummies, by Mary Jane Sterling: Measuring angles in degrees is easier, but measuring angles in radians is preferable when doing computations. The radian is more exact because the radius, circumference, or area of the circle is involved…. Read More ›

  • Adequate Yearly Progress

    A Boston Globe article on October 3, 2004, included Weston High School among the schools cited by the Department of Education for failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress on the No Child Too Far Ahead Act. Sorry, I mean the… Read More ›

  • The Achievement Gap

    Yesterday I wrote about the pressure to take honors math, but I didn’t even consider the reasons for this pressure. The implied one — which I tried to debunk — was that honors math is necessary in order to get… Read More ›

  • Misanalyzing textbooks

    The Washington Monthly publishes an interesting example of the lies about incorrect analysis of math textbooks by right-wing zealots. Not that I’m a fan of very many textbooks, but a little truth would help.