College Math Teaching

July 28, 2015

J. H. Conway, Terry Tao and avoiding work

Filed under: advanced mathematics, algebra, media — Tags: , , , , , — collegemathteaching @ 7:48 pm

The mainstream media recently had some excellent articles on two mathematical giants:

John Conway and Terrance Tao. I’ve never met Terry Tao though I do read (or try to follow) his blog.

I did meet John Conway when he visited the University of Texas. He is a friend of my dissertation advisor and gave some talks on knot diagram colorings.

I had a private conversation with him at a party, and he gave me some ideas which resulted in three papers for me! Here is one of them.

Yes, I am avoiding studying a book on the theory of interest; I am teaching that course this fall and need to get ahead of the game.

Unfortunately, when I don’t teach, my use of time becomes undisciplined.


July 12, 2013

Just for fun: NO PROFESSORS!

Filed under: calculus, media — Tags: , , — collegemathteaching @ 9:55 pm


This photo appeared in this College Misery post.
So, I ask you the following questions (professors are disqualified from answering):

1. What is the math on the top line “supposed” to be about?
2. What transcription error is there on the board?
3. Why are the “equals signs”, as they appear, nonsense?

Bonus question (more subtle):
if one erases the first equals sign, and move the “work” in the “vector like” object off to the side where it belongs, why is the resulting equality still (technically) incorrect?

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