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 exam controversy continues

    A month ago, almost to the day, I posted an entry entitled, “Can exams reduce stress and be otherwise helpful?” I cited the following advantages to a dedicated final exam period: On a given day, students can focus on one… Read More ›

  • Miniature worlds

    Check out the great photos at <>. I wish I could read the Russian text, but maybe Boris can help. Anyway, the question for me is why this collection resonates for me at several different levels. For one, the miniature… Read More ›

  • Sel de la Terre

    Just got back from Sel de la Terre. Highly recommended for a wonderful birthday dinner with that Provençal flavor.

  • Graphing aids

    There are several blogs that I read regularly. One of my favorites is Learning Curves, by the pseudonymous math professor Rudbeckia Hirta. She goes to some lengths to hide her real name, as well as the the name of the… Read More ›

  • Bars, gates, & a ticket of admission

    Almost 25 years ago, my friend and colleague Phil Lewis wrote an article for Kaleidoscopes called (if memory serves) “Subject to Gates and Bars.” If I were better organized, I would be able to find that article; Phil always describes… Read More ›

  • No slow service from Apple

    Tuesday afternoon at 4:20 — I took my iBook to the Cambridge Apple Store, having made an appointment earlier in the day at the so-called Genius Bar. (CDs and DVDs were ejecting less than 50% of the time. Worse yet,… Read More ›

  • Win the lottery: what a good idea!

    All I can do is shake my head in amazement: About one out of five Americans believe that winning the lottery is the most practical way of attaining personal wealth, according to a survey released in January by the Financial… Read More ›

  • The Harvard Coup

    No, that’s not a typo. I don’t mean the Harvard Coop; I’m referring to the forced resignation of Harvard President Larry Summers, which Alan Dershowitz rightly calls a coup. Definitely read Dershowitz’s column! I do have a certain bias in… Read More ›

  • Finally TiVo

    So we finally gave in and got a TiVo box. I think it was a recommendation by Ira Glass that did the track. Most of the setup was painless, but it’s been very frustrating trying to connect it to our… Read More ›

  • The soul-stealing iPod and fuzzy math

    Does the iPod steal music’s soul? Do these numbers make sense? Here are the views of Tony Brummel, founder of Victory Records: iTunes “makes music disposable. It makes it a faceless impulse item. It steals its soul,” according to Macworld… Read More ›