Monthly Archives: September 2012

On Creativity (in mathematics).

This post is in collaboration with Prof. Vrunda Prabhu from BCC who discovered Koestler’s Act of Creation for the teaching of mathematics. One of the central problems to be solved by us in the courses of algebra is the absence … Continue reading

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A course I like

I like teaching “math for poets” classes and I have taught many. There are so many fascinating things students don’t know about. Many years ago, at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, the textbook I chose for the course … Continue reading

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Polls, Observational Studies, and the Meaning of “Random”

Last week, Chancellor Goldstein posted a very interesting piece related to the Central Limit Theorem (CLT).  I think experienced statistics instructors will concur that few students truly grasp the essence of the Theorem.  I myself did not fully appreciate the … Continue reading

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On Understanding (in Mathematics)

The urgent need to rethink the meaning of “understanding” in general, and in particular of “understanding in mathematics” has arisen in the context of specifying the Student Learning Outcomes in remedial and entry college level courses of mathematics. The template … Continue reading

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The Ubiquitous Normal Law

When students are first taught (as undergraduate math majors or as graduate students) about the Central Limit Theorem (CLT), they are often in awe of how all-encompassing this remarkable result is. They have up to this point been introduced to … Continue reading

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Is Algebra Necessary?

Algebra is a problem; in schools, in colleges, in the society. One of the most recent proposals to solve that problem by eliminating elementary algebra from the school curriculum altogether came from our colleague, Andrew Hacker, a retired political scientist … Continue reading

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Mathematics and General Education

Some of our colleagues insist that all college students should be required to take a calculus class. It is a wonderful thought and not as outrageous as it may sound. My last year of high school in Poland in the … Continue reading

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What to blog about?

I find the new web based culture both fascinating and a bit scary. It is huge and one can get lost there easily. There is so much out there and it sometime feels like a huge party at which everyone … Continue reading

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