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.

  • Weston alum on treating depression

    One of my former Weston students has just published “Treating depression takes much more than serotonin,” a fascinating article in Popular Science. The author, Grace Huckins, class of 2012 and erstwhile co-captain of the award-winning Weston High School Math Team, has written this… Read More ›

  • Greek to Me

    The best book of the year! Yes, I know that the year is only half over, but I’m still going to nominate Mary Norris’s Greek to Me as the best book of the year. Equal parts travelogue, memoir, mythology, and… Read More ›

  • Machines Like Me

    What? Ian McEwan writes science fiction? News to me, but I had to give this book a chance. It’s Ian McEwan, after all. Machines Like Me falls into the alternative-history subgenre, in which the author postulates that one or more… Read More ›

  • Bella Luna

    It may not look like much in the picture, but it sure was yummy: grilled sea scallops with fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, and peaches (that’s a peach, not an egg yolk, in the picture), all served over parsnip puree. This… Read More ›

  • Virginia Woolf: “On Not Knowing Greek”

    What did I know about Virginia Woolf? Not much. I knew that she wrote about needing “a room of her own,” and that she had written something about a lighthouse, and I had long ago seen Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid… Read More ›

  • The most commonly spoken language in your state

    What’s the most commonly spoken language in your state? (We’ll exclude the two obvious ones, of course — English and Spanish.) This map shows the surprising answer, at least if we trust Business Insider: Absolutely fascinating, but I’m not completely… Read More ›

  • Barcelona (the restaurant, not the city)

    Four out of five stars, IMHO, for the Barcelona restaurant in Brookline. Barbara and I went there last night as a change of pace for our anniversary dinner. A major motivator was that we both love Barcelona, the city, and… Read More ›

  • “Why Chinese is so damn hard”

    I just read a provocative essay by David Moser entitled “Why Chinese is so damn hard.” Is it really that hard? And are we talking about speaking Chinese or reading it? Hard compared to what? Hard for a foreigner or… Read More ›

  • Not a very large fraction of the whole world

    By the way, MapLoco, someone should tell you that Puerto Rico is part of the United States and not a separate country, no what what Donald Trump thinks. Other than that (and a couple of other similar gaffes), this is… Read More ›

  • Yellow Door Taqueria

    Barbara and I had an excellent dinner last night at Dorchester’s Yellow Door Taqueria, easily found by looking for… of course… the yellow door. I know that many people consider this a bar rather than a restaurant, but it’s successfully… Read More ›