Author Archives: Luke Wolcott

ODEs and the meaning of life

What life lessons can you take away from an introductory ODE class? Does mathematical content implicitly promote a worldview? As a TA or instructor, to what extent is it appropriate to wax philosophical during class? Recently, a friend sent me … Continue reading

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Contemplative education; math and meditation

“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will. . . An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.”  -William James, 1890 … Continue reading

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My summer doing math on the beach in Thailand

I took a leave of absence in the spring quarter, in order to focus on my graduate research. So from March to June I stayed put, and averaged 38 hours per week of productive math – on a beach in … Continue reading

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The virtue of verbosity

Doing math has trained me to communicate concisely, tersely even.  As I became more and more socialized into my math department, my email correspondences became shorter and denser.  At some point, friends in other departments (e.g. Gender Studies, Communications) started … Continue reading

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How to: organize a seminar or reading group

Here are some tips, garnered from my experience organizing a seminar (on “The Mathematical Experience” – the experience, not the book) a few years in a row. They supplement Asher Auel’s comments in an older post. I encourage anyone else … Continue reading

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