algebra, analysis, math, physics, topology

Surviving Upper Division Math

It's that time of the year. Classes are starting up. You're nervous and excited to be taking some of your first "real" math classes called things like "Abstract Algebra" or "Real Anaylsis" or "Topology." It goes well for the first few weeks as the professor reviews some stuff and gets everyone on the same page.… Continue reading Surviving Upper Division Math

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ethics, literature, math, philosophy, statistics

The Infinite Cycle of Gladwell’s David and Goliath

I recently finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's┬áDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. The book is like most Gladwell books. It has a central thesis, and then interweaves studies and anecdotes to make the case. In this one, the thesis is fairly obvious: sometimes things we think of as disadvantages have hidden… Continue reading The Infinite Cycle of Gladwell’s David and Goliath

philosophy

The Myth of a Great Seminar

Sometimes I peruse the debates at Intelligence Squared to see if any catch my eye. There was one this time that seemed really interesting to me. It was a debate on whether or not MOOCs are reasonable replacements for actual in-class and campus college experiences. You can see the full thing here. This was interesting… Continue reading The Myth of a Great Seminar

math, philosophy

Thoughts on Nicholson Baker’s Case Against Algebra II

The debate over standards in high school math has been going on for a very long time, but things seemed to come to a pretty nasty head last year when the New York Times ran the article Is Algebra Necessary? Bloggers and educators were outraged on both sides and started throwing mud. In the most… Continue reading Thoughts on Nicholson Baker’s Case Against Algebra II