After our luxurious treatment of 1-d manifolds, we turn to 2-d manifolds.
My story of surfaces starts in a beautifully weird morning when I got up to realize that life in the usual Euclidean plane had changed dramatically. Vectors had shortened, areas had shrunk, and infinity was just a few feet away!
Continue reading “What is a Manifold? (4/6)” »
Welcome back to this month’s mathematical riddle (and can you believe it’s almost December)! Today we have a neat logic puzzle with an amusing twist on the traditional knight-or-knave problems that are popular in the literature.
Continue reading “Riddle of the Month (November)” »
About a week after their first test, during the first round of midterms of the semester for undergraduate students, mid-semester complacency came swooping into my classroom. My once invigorated students suddenly started going through the motions of class rather than actively engaging with me and the material during class. Worried that I was going to lose them to this complacency for the rest of the semester, I frantically wracked my brain for ways in which I could grab their attention and help them refocus on the material at hand.
After a particularly grueling example involving a word problem and a piecewise function, I asked my students, “What questions do you have regarding the process that we just went through?” and gave them a couple of minutes to review their notes and formulate questions. Gripped by the mid-semester complacency, my students lethargically looked through their notes and shook their heads indicating to me that there were no questions. Instead of taking their word and moving on, I was inspired to not move on and instead ask a question that would lead to discussion and had the potential to pull them out of the complacency that they were experiencing. Continue reading “Conquering Students’ Mid-Semester Complacency” »