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.

  • 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 ›

  • Don’t do this

    From this morning’s Boston Globe: A public school teacher fed up with his students’ behavior found a way to berate them in the context of a class assignment. The Jefferson Parish teacher wrote and distributed a two-page essay to his… Read More ›

  • Do department names matter?

    As in most high schools, computer science courses at Weston High School are taught under the aegis of the Math Department. (One of the first exceptions to this rule was Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, where we spun off a separate… Read More ›