In 2018 I retired from Weston High School after my 21st year teaching mathematics there. This was also my 44th year as a teacher altogether. Although I’ve retired from Weston, I haven’t retired from teaching: I still teach at Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy each summer (this coming one will be the 18th!), and I supervise a student teacher through Simmons. For 21 years I taught at the Saturday Course in Milton, MA, and I used to serve on the board of the Dorchester Historical Society.
I read, cook, and spend a lot of time building my model railroad. For some reason I’m left with less free time than would be ideal, considering that I’m supposed to be retired, but somehow I also manage to devote time to my wife, Barbara, and to our excessive number of cats.
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 ›
A presentation in 10 minutes or less?
Dennis and Jim and I have been invited to present a paper at the TeachScheme Tenth Anniversary Workshop in Providence on June 11. At first we were allocated ten minutes! Not ten minutes apiece, but ten minutes total. But wait,… Read More ›
How to approach a probability problem
If you are dealt a hand of five cards, what is the probability that you have three diamonds and two clubs? There are (at least) two different approaches to this kind of problem: The chance the first card is a… Read More ›
Learning in fourth grade — on Saturdays
For about half of the Saturdays each year, I teach in a wonderful program called The Saturday Course. This is an enrichment program for gifted and talented public-school and parochial-school students in grades four through six. Small classes, dedicated faculty,… Read More ›
Risks and probabilities
We know that both adults and kids are notoriously bad at estimating probabilities. Bruce Schneier (one of the world’s leading experts on security, cryptography, etc.) has this to say concerning risks and probabilities: One of the things I routinely tell… Read More ›
Kids can’t concentrate? Don’t believe it!
Most exciting event of the week: I’ve been sitting here proctoring MCAS for the past two and a half hours. Actually, it isn’t exciting (surprise, surprise). But I’ve gotten quite a lot of work done. I don’t think I’m allowed… Read More ›