Gender should be consensual — you cannot force my gender on me no more than I can force you to use correct pronouns. (Though I’m more than happy to stop talking to you if you do not respect me.) So I support the use of a blank box for gender, if that information is necessary. If you just need to know how to address a person in terms of pronouns, ask that question directly.

You will get better answers if the person answering understands what you really want to know. I have no qualms with writing in my own answers on paper forms, and indeed it is one reason I am still quite a Luddite and usually prefer paper over forced computerized forms.

]]>Finally, you need to convince students that they need to work together in order to solve the problem. It helps if the task really requires working together, of course. You can explain to them the different kinds of abilities they will need to solve the problem and tell them that although everyone is good at some of these, none of us are good at all of these. This is called a multiple ability orientation (or multiple ability treatment) and i will discuss this more in future blog posts.

Do others have ways in which they encourage students to work together? Feel free to post a reply.

]]>For example, I had asked them to use their calculators and by experimenting decide how sensitive the area of a circle of radius 10 is to cutting the radius right. (This was phrased in a nicer way for them though.) This required some one to do the calculations, another to record them, and a decision making by the group based on data. No! This did not happen — they just did not work together.

I will recommend sharing practical, real-life examples of success and failure stories from real classes. This can help those who do want to put an end to the lecture-only math education.

]]>I think I found the perfect odd number.

What should I do?

Best regards, ]]>

Question #1 (to A): Is at least one of these things true: B is the lying oracle, C is the truth-telling oracle?

Question #2 (to B if answer was yes, to C if answer was no): Are you the oracle who answers randomly?

Question #3 (to same as #2): Is A the oracle who answers randomly?

Question 1 allows us to conclude that B or C is not the random oracle (depending on the answer). Knowing this, question 2 will positively ID this oracle as the liar or truth-teller. Knowing this, question 3 will let us deduce the identity of A, which solves the puzzle.

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