Author Archives: Jonas Reitz

Congratulations Janet Liou-Mark, recipient of the MAA Metro NY’s Distinguished Teaching Award

City Tech professor Janet Liou-Mark was presented with the Distinguished Teaching Award by the Mathematical Association of America’s New York Section at their annual meeting on May 3rd.   As her colleague, I can confirm that her creativity, positivity, enduring belief … Continue reading

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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

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Who needs me, anyway? Khan Academy and the re-imagining of education

Damn you, Salman Khan, for seeing what nobody else (apparently) could see. It all seems so simple in retrospect — we have the internet, we have youtube, we have cheap videocameras.  Mini-lectures on focussed topics,  the screen just shows the … Continue reading

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Everything Right is Wrong Again: the death of discovery-based learning?

I have never had any formal training in “how to a teach” — my own graduate studies, for better or for worse, were purely mathematical — and although I do expend a little energy towards keeping up with the world … Continue reading

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My monumental ignorance: proofs I wish I knew, and the challenge of negativity

As with most things, the farther you go in mathematics the sharper your sense of ignorance becomes.  There is just too much math out there, and too little time to follow every thread that crosses your path.  I’d like to … Continue reading

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The great search for the 16-clue Sudoku: computers, math, and the nature of proof

Sudoku (rules can be found here) has always had a problematic association with mathematics.  A first reaction by the ‘man-on-the-street’ to all those numbers is that it’s “too math-y” —  ironic, since the numbers are just employed as placeholders and could easily … Continue reading

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Community-making in the world of online math

There is a general feeling that the internet and our new “connectedness,” have tremendous power to foster new communities.  However, sometimes the internet can feel like a very lonely place (in the same way, I suppose, that New York City … Continue reading

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Light fields and the vector camera

Sometimes I see something in the news that just makes me excited about math.  This is the kind of development I would love to explore with a class if I had a few days or weeks to spare!  On the … Continue reading

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A Too-Modest Proposal (and a case against algebra)

The original A Modest Proposal, written in 1729 by Jonathan Swift, was one of the most scathing and viciously ironic pieces of political satire ever (if you are unfamiliar with it, he proposes the Irish poor sell their 1-year-old children to … Continue reading

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Disturbing violations – mixed numbers, PEMDAS and more

1. Mixed numbers, the spittle on the front steps of our oh-so-coherent-and-sensible mathematical edifice I learned to loathe mixed numbers, such as , after dealing amicably with them for thirty years or so.  It was on the Appalachian Trail, I … Continue reading

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