Monthly Archives: May 2012


I was wandering in my neighborhood bookstore this morning, when I came across a new edition of The Greek Myths, by Robert Graves.  Attracted by the cover, and my love of the Claudius series, I decided to bring it home.   … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Mysterium Cosmographicum

Why study mathematics? This is a catechism of mathematics education. The correct answer has something to do with the prevalence of mathematics, its applicability, its beauty, and its power. What kind of person studies mathematics, and why? Again, there are … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 73 Comments

Thinking ahead.

At the end of her Kindergarten year, my daughter’s teacher decided to introduce the concept of dimensions to the students. She explained the difference between the three-dimensional objects, like a piece of fruit, for example, and two-dimensional ones, like a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

About the header image, part 3: New results!

There is often a feeling that anything truly new in mathematics must, of necessity, be obscure, arcane, and require several years of study to understand.  I’d like to talk about a result that was published in the most recent edition … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

How do you teach “understanding”?

In music, when someone learns to play an instrument, it’s very important to learn what the proper position for the hands is (When playing the piano, for example, your wrist is not supposed to be very low or very high; … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Ramanujan and G S Carr

In every semester there are times when certain topics arise, and anyone now teaching (or enrolled in) Calc II must be dealing with infinite series. Two things I like to present are Leibniz’s “arithmetic quadrature” of the circle: and Ramanujan’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Some problems with Standardized Tests problems

The Standardized Test season is finally over for us, NYC public school students and parents. I don’t really want to discuss the pros and cons of the standardized tests here, but, rather, show the two math problems from my daughter’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments