Coming into grad school, I had little experience communicating mathematics to students who were not already committed to learning the material and minimal background in educational pedagogy. This post is all about how I dealt with one problem this semester.
For the spring term, I led recitation sections for a calculus class designed for students in business or the social sciences. Things I anticipated: derivatives, integrals, students asking why they need to learn this material, and probably a general disinterest in mathematics. Things I did not anticipate: their extremely narrow zone between boredom and anxiety.
Continue reading “My solution to a panicked classroom” »
“People you may know.” “Other products you may like.” “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” We’ve all seen these suggestions when browsing the web, be it on Facebook or Amazon or some other platform. But how do the sites come up with these recommendations? Sometimes they seem very far off (why should I become friends with someone when we only have one mutual friend?) to eerily tailored (how did you know my favorite band!?!?). This area of research falls under the broad category of recommender systems.
Continue reading “Online Recommender Systems — How Does a Website Know What I Want?” »
Created on http://nathanfriend.io/inspirograph/
This time of year, a new crop of math majors are stepping off college campuses and into the next phases of their lives. Some go to industry, some into teaching, and some into graduate school. Along any of these paths, one way to continue learning is to watch talks about and using mathematics from the internet, including sources such as TED.com and Vi Hart’s YouTube Chanel. Sadly, many of these talks leave a junior mathematician wanting more. In this post, you will find a sequence of interesting math talks that have been extended by further literature research by graduating seniors for your continued edification. The internet awaits – enjoy!
Table of Contents (Titles are jump-links in the post):
Continue reading “Bridging the Gap 2: Eine Kleine NachtMathematics” »
Picture acquired from Pixabay (free for comercial use // No attribution required).
As informed in an article published by the AMS , only 6% of mathematics PhD degrees conferred to U.S. citizens in 2013 were given to Hispanics, African-Americans, American-Indians and Native Hawaiian (more specifically 51 out of 857). Of those 857, women accounted for 231 (roughly 27%). Often we hear that we should improve such numbers. When reading the article the following question came to my mind. As graduate students, what can we do to help improve and promote diversity in mathematics? It will be tempting to say that we do not have the resources (at least not yet) to tackle this situation. However there are several things we can start doing that will later help us in our efforts towards having a more diverse mathematical community.
Continue reading “On our path towards a more diverse mathematical community” »
Photo acquired from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Birthdays are a fun tradition that you get to celebrate with your friends and family once a year…that is, if you tell them when your birthday is. In a logic puzzle that has been making the rounds on the Internet, Cheryl tells her new friends Albert and Bernard her birthday in a very unusual manner.
Continue reading “When is Cheryl’s Birthday?” »