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.

  • 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 ›

  • High-school math in the 21st century?

    What math applications are taught in high school? Principally parabolic arches and widget-manufacturing, of course. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but the principle holds. We teach applications like those rather than cryptography and models of voting. At the… Read More ›

  • Martin Gardner for pennies

    The Mathematical Association of America is selling a CD containing 15 Martin Gardner books (the entire collection of his Scientific American columns) for a mere $55.95 — or $44.95 if you’re a member!

  • Where are the girls?

    Why do so few girls sign up for computer programming courses in high school? High school may be too late. The problem might be starting much earlier. Even in fourth grade at The Saturday Course (see my post on 5/21),… Read More ›

  • Math license plates

    Winners and other entries in the Math License Plate contest.

  • Harvard does a good deed

    In addition to my day job at Weston High School — and my Saturday job at The Saturday Course — I teach during the summer in an extraordinary program known as the Crimson Summer Academy at Harvard University. In its… Read More ›