Free Multimedia Algebra Review

There are seemingly an infinite number of free math resources on the Internet. However, very few provide the comprehensive content that are usually found in textbooks. One of these rare sites is Hippocampus. It is part of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education and provides free multimedia ebooks for a variety of high school subjects and introductory college level… Read more →

Research meets teaching

When I was asked to give a talk on some aspect of the history of mathematics a couple of years ago at Suffolk County Community College, I tried to bridge my research and teaching interests by presenting on the history of numerical algorithms. My Ph.D. was in numerical analysis and this was an opportunity to use my research background to… 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 →

Explorations with Geogebra

I just started using GeoGebra, the open source dynamic geometry software, to create an exploration activity for my Intro to Proofs class. The activity itself was an extension of a discussion in class about the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra. It can also be used in a precalc class which stresses concepts. (Click here to see in a larger window.) Your… Read more →

Not so Elementary Mathematics

A thought provoking article on mathematics for elementary school teachers appeared in the recent issue of the American Educator. It was written by Dr. Hung-Hsi Wu, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at UC- Berkeley. He writes that the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division involve more conceptual processes than most people realize, and suggested that there should be separate… Read more →


My latest tool for interactive math is GeoGebra. Just started to explore it. A great resource outlining many possibilities is this wiki page by Dr. Linda Fahlberg-Stojanovska. I’m looking forward to using GeoGebra in my math for elementary teachers course as well as my graduate course for high school math teachers.

Connecting concepts with Wolfram Alpha

I posted earlier about using Wolfram Alpha to create worksheets with conceptual understanding. One of the most central ideas in college algebra and precalculus is the connection between zero, x-intercepts and factors of a polynomial. However, it is an idea that many students have trouble grasping. So I made a short worksheet using Wolfram Alpha that engages students in studying… Read more →

Wolfram Alpha

There has already been a lot of buzz about the online computational engine called Wolfram Alpha (WA). You can check out this article in the Wall Street Journal, for instance. My main interest in WA is to figure out how to integrate it into the classes that I teach, which range from developmental mathematics to graduate level numerical analysis. In… Read more →

Math in Art – kolams of South India

Math and art is always a fascinating topic in a math for liberal arts class. To broaden the students’ perspectives, one could include kolam designs. These are designs that women draw in front of their houses in southern India, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu. In northern India, a similar type of threshold design is called rangoli. Kolams are… Read more →