Baseball and Not Baseball

What I Learned This Week

Still More Geogebra


Geogebra has also added easy to use statistics demonstration software. It does far more than I need it to do in Math 131, Math for the Modern World, but it is better than the current demonstration applets I use in class when discussing the Normal Distribution.

From the picture you can probably get the idea of how it works. It is very intuitive.

Geogebra Probability and Statistics

Geogebra Probability and Statistics

Geogebra Revisited


The Geogebra website has added some nice features since the last time I used it. It is easy to make models of 3-dimensional shapes. The video below shows the steps I followed to make a cone and shade the base and lateral area with different colors.

There are lots of false starts (losing the axis and not being able to stop the spinning was not clever) as I do this, but within about 4 minutes I had a shape ready to be screen captured. Here are some other images I made earlier today.

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Post for Math 080 Chat on December 2


The computer in G207 does not have Jing installed. My laptop has HDMI out and the tech set up in G207 does not have HDMI in. My lap top does not have a VGA out. So we have to fake it. If the group is small enough we can do a live Jing on my laptop.

To use Jing:

  1. Download Jing
  2. Launch Jing (It will probably set it up to launch on start up)
  3. Click on the yellow sun.

    Capture on the Jing Sun

    Capture on the Jing Sun

  4. Select the window you want to use and resize the window.
  5. Select video (you can also use it for screen captures).
  6. Start your video. When you press stop it goes to a screen where you can save it. Press pause instead to temporarily halt the recording. Here is Jing’s demonstration. And here is their entire list of help videos.
  7. You can either save the video or upload it to (You create a Screencast account when you set up Jing.) Here is the video I made and uploaded. You save in .swf format and not in MP4 so it takes some work to move the file to other sites (a whole ‘nother session). You can also buy Camtasia which includes other file formats and longer video times.

Another Placement Session


Highland College shared their literature review and initial changes to placement.

  • “Placement should be educative (sic?) and participatory” (kind of mocked the 7 Steps) – There students meet with advisors first and pick classes based on career goals
  • They have brush up workshops with a faculty member from math available. 
  • They also ask affective and result questions about prior courses. They have sample review problems so students can see whether they should review before the test. 
  • Measures: table based on info about background tells which of multiple measures to use. Testing is a last resort. Their table was not part of the handout so hopefully the Power Point is online. 
  • Brush up is a MOOC. This and the embedded faculty member are grant funded and on quarters. Their college funded it one year before they got the grant. 

Their hand out will be available on the proceedings. I have a poorly scanned copy now. I will try to remember to link it later. 

I left early since I had the idea. I caught the last few minutes of a dyscalculia session. 

Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street and the Ritz-Carlton


5 HFC folks took a walk to Muriel’s restaurant and then to Frenchmen’s Street. We decided not to stay at a bar called DBA for the 10 PM show and instead walked back to the Ritz-Carlton for some cover jazz.

Stoked by the fresh air, relaxing music and 3, or 4 Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecans in some cases we began to talk about take aways from the conference. In addition to our individual ideas two broader ideas appeared.

One small idea to follow up on right away is that one of my students has said he would like to tutor for free for Liberal Arts Math. Our Learning Lab director has said he would like to restart Supplemental Instruction at our campus. It seems if a student would tutor for free then he would also would lead review sessions for a small stipend. I will talk to the Lab Director when we return.

A bigger idea that may help a lot of students is to look at the Statway material authored by the Dana Center. We could replace Math 081 with the Statway materials. That course could then be a one semester path for students to go from developmental to College-level stats. I think it would probably also serve as an OK prerequisite for Math 131, Liberal Arts Math. This would let more students get to their college-level statistics class sooner and help with the low enrollment problem in Math 081 by having two groups of students in the pool of eligible students for the class. Of course all this depends on Statway being a satisfactory course for both 131 and 141, but we plan to investigate when we get back to Dearborn.

I wish I had drawn this on a napkin, but it looks sufficiently rough for a good idea.

Strategic Planning Brought to You by Jazz and Southern Pecan

Strategic Planning Brought to You by Jazz and Southern Pecan

And, don’t worry about that other photo, Mike. You can trust us.

A Common Vision for Undergraduate Math Education


The hand out is available in Guidebook and it will be in the proceedings. The main point is that AMATYC, MAA, ASA, AMS, and SIAM have agreed to work on a 10 year vision.

Student pathways, faculty training, and data mining (predictive analytics) are all included.

Release Schedule of Open Stax Free Books



Reflections on Good Calculus Questions


Since I’m teaching calculus in the winter I thought I’d attend a calculus session. Basically they turned common misconceptions and errors into “when is that true questions.” They have turned some of these into student projects. I have a hand out and one is in Guidebook so I imagine it will be in the proceedings.

RSA Cryptography


There didn’t seem to be a session with high value added for the College at 8AM and I was awake so I went to a session on RSA cryptography.

It was OK. Provided you teach modulo arithmetic briefly you can use this as an extra topic in teacher math, liberal arts math, or algebra.

The Power Point and hand out are on the Guidebook app site and so they should be on the conference proceedings eventually.

Faculty Mentoring in Quantway


I hoped this training might help me develop a way to train new teachers for Math 081 and Math 131. There are some broad ideas that were important here, but nothing surprising. 


  • Tell about the curriculum
  • Tell about the pedagogy
  • Tell about how to start strong
  • Tell about the online homework system


  • How to teach the first two weeks
  • How to contact your mentor
  • How to contact your cohorts


  • What if a student does (does not) do xxx?
  • Where is material yyy?

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