Finals awareness month

Ok, it’s not that. But many students across the US are aware of finals. So are many mathematicians, those in academia who are teaching…. One way that math and science and other fields have changed with the advent of the internet is the coalescence of the blogging community. There are academics from many fields blogging, […]

One month — Math Awareness month

It’s math awareness month! It’s also a month of midterms, homeworks, projects, and articles for those in the academic milieu. And now we’re heading for the end of the semester… I have three more classes in which to cover the multivariable central limit theorem and Brownian motion. Ambitious. Check out an NPR piece on Martin […]

People love math (but they don’t know it)

The recent viral hit game 2048 is one reason I have not posted in a little while. (The other factors are midterm grading for two classes and a great week-long research binge with a collaborator.) 2048 is a simple and hauntingly addictive game — you just move pieces left, right, up, down, until two 2s combine to […]

Recent reading

We recently had a (small) in-person LIMIT institute meeting, and a big topic of discussion was Making Math. This is a company that came out of the work UIUC has been doing in online and distance math education, discussed briefly in a previous post. I owe you all a longer write-up about this. If you’re […]

As form changes, does function?

Today a few observations on journals and tech: Scholastica is a company promising easy easy open-access journal publishing and management. Seems like a lot of law reviews use it currently. I like the pricing scheme, at $10 for each submission — this is something even a grad student can afford by planning ahead a week or […]

Interactive math exploration: RSK and other combinatorics

For a year and a half I have been musing about what kinds of technological experimentation with pure math concepts could be truly different on a smartphone or tablet, as opposed to ye old piece of paper, and combinatorial games that check for mistakes are one of the things I’ve come up with. I want […]

Math online: links to textbooks and resources

I almost forgot to mention another set of conversations I had at the Joint Math Meetings, about open textbooks. Textbook prices are a real factor in the affordability of college; since in college I paid for textbooks through money I earned waiting tables I certainly paid attention to options cheaper than buying new. I still […]

Last musings from JMM

To finish up on reporting from the Joint Mathematics Meetings, Eric Friedlander, former president of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), gave an address on changes in the profession. A few interesting points: Among other things, he highlighted the changes that the “open access” movement brings. In particular, journals in math used to publish papers for free […]

Other players in online education

Just a collection of things I learned about at the 2014  Joint Math Meetings: There’s an organization called ITHAKA that is working on helping academics use digital technologies. It’s the folks behind JSTOR, the online journal storage organization. These are non-profit groups. On my first visit to ITHAKA’s webpage I found the link to William […]

MOOC panel in Baltimore

I’m at the Joint Math Meetings in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended the panel “Online courses: benefits and pitfalls” organized by Patricia Hersh and Dan Abramovich. It was moderated by Abigail Thompson from UC Davis, and included panelists from a variety of institutions: Robert Ghrist from University of Pennsylvania, whose MOOC on calculus has been called […]