For every Epsilon there is a Delta: A Retirement Post

So, dear readers, the time has come for me to retire. Yes, epsilon is now a large positive number, and we all know that cannot go on unchecked. But don’t despair, I leave you in good hands. The blog will continue to be focused on the experiences of early career mathematicians, it’s just that I am no longer in that group. The new editors, ┬áSara Malec (from Hood College) and Beth Malmskog (Villanova University), will bring their own unique points of view and exciting spin on what it’s like to be at the beginning of your mathematical career. I am excitedly awaiting their posts and look forward to being on the other side of all this, as a reader! In this post, I just wanted to look back on my Epsilon years and share those memories with you.

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Talkin’ Bout A (Teaching) Revolution

I have always taken my teaching very seriously. Mainly because I believe that I am not just teaching my students mathematics, but general skills that will make them successful in life, regardless of whether that future life involves mathematics. This is why I think it’s important to teach them, among other things, the value of “productive struggle” (my new favorite buzz words), effective communication, and collaborative work. I strongly believe that these skills help students learn mathematics better, but they are still useful even without the mathematics. In fact, the mathematics provides a very good context for learning these skills. I also feel very strongly about creating an inclusive atmosphere in the classroom, and hopefully as a result increasing representation of minorities and women (who are still largely underrepresented in mathematics classrooms), and I believe the teaching goals I just outlined are also helpful in creating this atmosphere. But there is something I thought very little about until recently, because I bought into the myth that it doesn’t exist: mathematics in its socio-political context. This is something I just started thinking about with a very talented group of faculty during the Park City Math Institute a few weeks ago.

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Posted in active learning, inquiry-based learning, minorities in mathematics, teaching, women in math | 5 Comments

PCMI Weeks Two and Three: Selected Highlights

So, it’s been a week since I got back from PCMI, and it’s taken that much time to recover from it. I wrote about the first week, and in particular the general first impressions and experience in this blog post. A lot happened in the subsequent two weeks, and I just wanted to write about some of the highlights.

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Posted in IAS, PCMI | 1 Comment