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.

  • Amusing calculus book?

    The pseudonymous Rudbeckia Hirta writes about “the most amusing book ever written about calculus”: The Historical Development of the Calculus, by C.H. Edwards. I know, you don’t think the competition for most amusing calculus book is very stiff, but I’m… Read More ›

  • The TeachScheme conference

    The TeachScheme conference (see my post of 5/22) went very well. Because of some changes in the program, we actually were granted 15 minutes for our talk! I came away with quite a number of interesting ideas, both for the… Read More ›

  • Representations

    Dennis and I were talking about multiple representations. Multiple representations are one of the Big Ideas that wend their way through all our math courses. A table and a graph and a function machine and a mapping diagram are all… Read More ›

  • Awards

    Is Weston High School the only school that gives out too many awards? Probably not. I counted 14 awards for one of our seniors, and 14 for another as well! And, of course, there were hundreds of others for seniors…. Read More ›

  • Numb3rs

    Please read Graham Cormode’s review of the TV show, “Numb3rs” (which he claims is pronounced “Numbthreers” rather than “Numbers”). Brief excerpt: Given low initial expectations, it was probably one of the better attempts to show mathematical topics within the context… Read More ›

  • Literature & math: imaginary gardens with real toads

    This week’s New York Times Book Review contains a fascinating Literary Map of Manhattan, preceded by an explanatory article written by Ethicist Randy Cohen. Quoting Meg Wolitzer, Cohen defines his (their?) “cartographic motto”: a strong sense of specificity, even though… Read More ›

  • What math has taught him

    Sam Hughes is the author of the Venn Diagram cited in my previous post. I also recommend his list of “Things mathematics has taught me”: That there are such things as unanswerable questions — indeed, provably unanswerable questions That Occam’s… Read More ›

  • Don’t confuse England with Britain

    Perhaps a Venn Diagram would help.

  • Statistics for kids

    Do check out the NCES Students’ Classroom site. Good stuff — even though a lot of it is in Comic Sans (see yesterday’s post).

  • Ban Comic Sans!

    In a column in this week’s Boston Phoenix, Mike Miliard reports on the worldwide campaign by Dave and Holly Combs to ban the Comic Sans font: …It’s Comic Sans, the goofy, ungainly typeface, meant to mimic handwriting that’s somehow proliferated… Read More ›