“You learn something new every day of your life,” my dad used to say to me. He was right, of course. A week ago I learned a concept that is, apparently, familiar to economists and philosophers but was for some… Read More ›

# Math

## “We don’t work with greasy machines!”

“In the Mathematics Department we don’t work with greasy machines,” replied one of my undergraduate math professors with a sneer. “You’re going to have to go to the Applied Math department if that’s what you want to do.” That was… Read More ›

## Feedback from 46 years ago

Going through some old papers, I came across a summary of student feedback from Relations & Functions, a course I team-taught at Lincoln-Sudbury (L–S). This was more-or-less equivalent to today’s Honors Precalculus, and it’s instructive to consider the similarities and… Read More ›

## Awesome!

I can’t help keeping track. Four restaurant meals ago, at the Menotomy Grill, our young server said “Awesome!” four times during our meal. I foolishly thought that would be some kind of record. Lower Mills Tavern was better: just two… Read More ›

## How to succeed in high-school math by paying attention to stereotypes.

At the high-school level, a student can’t be expected to understand the concepts behind the math; you’re just expected to be able to do the math. So says a commenter from Old Field, NY, objecting to a wonderful article in… Read More ›

## This is a democracy. Whoever gets the most votes wins… right?

Here we are, one day after primary elections in Massachusetts, and we see that whoever got the most votes in each race won. Right? Well, it’s not so simple. In the first place, one tenet of democracy is majority rule,… Read More ›

## Who on earth counts in base six?

All cultures count in base ten, because humans have ten fingers. That’s common knowledge — so common that it isn’t even true. It is, of course, true that most cultures count in base ten, with some obvious and well-known exceptions… Read More ›

## The golden meanie

Fellow math nerds: check out Sandra Boynton’s pet, Fibonacci. Of course he’s a golden meanie: She describes him thus: The Golden Meanie is a mythical beast of pleasing proportions but unpleasant temperament. Oh well. You can’t have everything.

## Thinking (back) about Trig?

Why did somebody recommend to me a blog called A Portrait of a Math Teacher as an Aging Man? Are they trying to tell me something? I’m not sure that I should be thrilled about that 😀. Nevertheless, the recommended blog… Read More ›

## τ > π.

Happy Tau Day! Argh, I was supposed to post this yesterday, of course. If you don’t know what tau (τ) is, I could just tell you that it’s C/r, which is approximately 6.28, hence 6/28 is Tau Day. But that… Read More ›