Dynamic Numbers with Sketchpad

Elementary and middle school students can use Sketchpad activities to learn about relationships between numbers and early concepts of algebra. The following video shows an interesting activity which asks students to figure out the missing values of the shapes by using just their inequality relationships. The downloadable Sketchpad activity as well as related information can be found at: http://dynamicnumber.org/balance__reasoning_with_inequalities Sketchpad… Read more →

Math Equations in Google Sites

Math Equations in Google Sites

I use Google Sites for most of my course related materials, since it is part of university’s Google Mail account. MathJax – a system for writing math on the web – does not work with Google Sites, since MathJax uses Javascript.  After some time googling this issue, I found that Google has its own way to enter math. For example,… Read more →

Web based Excel

It is now possible to run a limited version of Excel completely on the web. Click on the post title to see an Excel web app that I created. It’s interactive – you can change numbers and the results will change. More Excel material can be found at my website, http://www.mymathspace.net

MOOCs as course supplements

I’m teaching an Intro to Proofs course this Fall, and am planning to have students also sign up  online for a course called Introduction to Mathematical thinking, a free massively open online course (MOOC) offered by  coursera . The course will be delivered by Stanford professor Keith Devlin, and looking at the online course outline, it looks like a perfect supplement… Read more →

Writing Math in Word 2007

In the past, I have not required my students to typeset math in their homework. They had the option of using Equation Editor or doing it by hand within their word processed documents. I have also encouraged them to use Google Docs, which has a TeX-like interface for math equations. I recently started using the MS Word 2007 equation editor,… Read more →

Online math courses and academic integrity

For the past three years, I have been teaching an online math course every semester. To ensure that the students taking the class are really the ones who signed up, I have always used in class midterm and final exams. I check their ID and my grading system system reflects a heavy weighting toward the in-class tests. I encourage students… Read more →

Counterexamples in Calculus

One way I motivate critical thinking in my Intro to Proofs class is by using counterexamples. The book, Using Counter-examples in Calculus by Mason and Klymchuk, provides an accessible set of ideas to think about. Producing counterexamples is an important step to thinking about proofs in general, especially for students who are used to computations. What I really liked about… Read more →

The paradox of higher math standards in high school

Those of us who regularly deal  with entering college freshmen are all too familiar with their inadequate math preparation. But in fact, high school mathematics has been ramped up quite a bit in terms of content. What happened? An article in the American Physical Society discusses this paradox. The author of the article, Dr. Joseph Ganem,  is a professor of… Read more →

Teaching Reading in a Math class?

An often asked question from my students is “but this is a math class – and you want me to read and write?” When teaching my upper division Intro to Proofs class, I find a certain discomfort among students in extracting information from a math text. Most students are used to skimming over some examples and finding one that matches… Read more →