College Math Teaching

November 29, 2016

Facebook data for a statistics class

Filed under: statistics — Tags: , , , — collegemathteaching @ 6:04 pm

I have to admit that teaching statistics has kind of ruined me. I find myself seeking patterns and data sets everywhere.

Now a national election does give me some data to play with; I used 2012 data for those purposes a few years ago.

But now I have Facebook. And I have a very curious Facebook friendship (I won’t embarrass the person by naming the person).

She became my FB friend in January of 2014. Lately, we’ve been talking a lot, mostly about the 2016 general election. But we went a long time without conversing via “private message”.

I noticed in the first 560 days of our FB “friendship” we exchanged 30 private messages. Then we started to talk more and more. t is time in days since we started to talk (March 2014) and NMSG is the cumulative number of private messages that we exchanged:


So I figured: this has to be an example of an exponential situation, so I ran a regression r^2 \geq 0.99 and got: N = .1248e^{.010835 t} where N is the number of messages and t is the time in days.

Of course, practically speaking, this can’t continue but this “virtually zero” for a long time followed by an “explosion” is a classical exponential phenomenon.

September 19, 2013

Modern college teaching: social media

Filed under: academia — Tags: , — oldgote @ 5:44 pm

Here is another difference between current college teaching and college teaching at the time I started (1991): social media.

As a rule, I do NOT:

1. accept friend requests on Facebook
2. accept Linked in connections
3. accept any social media connections whatsoever

from current undergraduate students at MY institution.

Personally, the social media is my playground and my time, and I’d rather not have to walk on eggshells there.

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