Author Archives: bfinegold

Mathemagical Thinking

So maybe you’ve seen the Flash Mind Reader.  If not, go ahead and try it!  I wouldn’t dream of depriving you (especially as this is year’s MAM theme is mathematics, magic, and mystery awareness).  What you are asked to do … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics and Computing, Mathematics and the Arts, people in math, Recreational Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Awesome K-12 Math Teachers Exist! And they have blogs.

I sometimes get tired of hearing about how “teachers (meaning K-12 teachers) just don’t understand this or that, or won’t try doing something new,” or are deficient in some way or another.  We often advise teachers to let go of … Continue reading

Posted in K-12 Mathematics, Math Education, people in math, Theoretical Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Top Ten Issues in Mathematics Education

What are your “top ten”?  Sue VanHattum, a full time faculty member at Contra Costa College inspired me with her wonderful top ten list . Below are my top ten Issues in Mathematics Education.  While this is my opinion, I do … Continue reading

Posted in Issues in Higher Education, K-12 Mathematics, Math Education, people in math, women in math | 9 Comments

How to get your friend to like math: A multipronged approach

In Math with Bad Drawings, the author Ben Orlin calls the query in my title the most adorable ever, and I have to agree.  Now math is so awesome that it’s hard to believe that we actually have to develop … Continue reading

Posted in Math Education, Mathematics and the Arts, Recreational Mathematics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Job Security Calculus: Reasoning about our futures

Most academics have a love/hate relationship to teaching, and especially teaching Calculus.  Prior to the first exam of the semester, it seems that everyone in the class is there for learning’s sake, discussing ideas, engaging in problem-solving.  But we worry … Continue reading

Posted in Applied Math, Issues in Higher Education, Math Education, people in math, Theoretical Mathematics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The best math in life is free? Help gather the data!

Over at the Secret Blogging Seminar , Scott Morrison is championing a new project to analyze this year’s mathematics publications and draw attention to freely accessible papers.  The Mathematics Literature Project  is looking for your help in categorizing published articles … Continue reading

Posted in Publishing in Math, Statistics | 1 Comment

I’ve always resonated with Mobius bands — but now I know signals do too!

So here I am, trained as a topologist and geometric group theorist, starting a job that involves mainly digital signal processing. Today I was perusing the magazines on the shelf at my new job, and what do I see?  The … Continue reading

Posted in Applied Math, Math Education, Mathematics and the Arts, Recreational Mathematics, Theoretical Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

See Math, See Math Run

To me, the formula for the volume of a cone says “Did you know that 3 copies of the same cone occupy the same space as the smallest cylinder that contains one of them?” This fact relates (see picture) to … Continue reading

Posted in Applied Math, Math Education, Mathematics and the Arts, Recreational Mathematics, Theoretical Mathematics | 1 Comment

Ta Da!

This exclamation we commonly associate with magic, but also sometimes feel like uttering at the end of a proof. We strive to manufacture anticipation right before the final result is revealed. We hope that our presentation of the problem itself … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Math Education, Mathematics and the Arts, Recreational Mathematics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Minimal-Adequate Teacher helps students learn in polynomial time

As an undergraduate, one of my favorite card games was Mao, named after the infamous chairman.  The main rule of the game is that there is only one rule, and it is that no one tells you the rules!  You … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment