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Some updates

December 21, 2009, 1:13 pm

Greetings, everybody. Is anybody still out there? It’s been a while. What started as a simple drop-off in the number of posts I was making here at Casting Out Nines turned into a five-month sabbatical from blogging at all. The peace and quiet was nice. But now I think I’m ready to get back into things. I just wanted to take this post to announce this, and to point out a few changes here at the blog and give a rundown of some of the things you can expect to see here.

If you’re reading this on the actual web site as opposed to an RSS reader, you will see a new layout and theme for the blog that should make it easier to find things and browse content. You will get a different set of stuff in the right sidebars if you are focusing in on a single article rather than looking at the main blog page. Among the new features I’ve activated is the ability to rate individual blog posts; to do this, just click on the link to a post and you’ll get it in a new page with a five-star rating option at the top. It’s much easier to get email subscriptions to this blog than it used to be; look at the “Email subscription” section in the middle sidebar. I’ve also revised the About page.

Also, please be advised that the old web address http://castingoutnines.net no longer works. If you have that bookmarked, change it to http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com.

I’ve just finished a semester at my work where some interesting things took place in terms of education, math, and technology. I will try to catch up on those in due time. But right now I am looking ahead to next semester, where a lot of new things are going to happen and a lot of things I’ve been working/playing with will come to fruition. These include:

  • The launch and management of our new MATLAB course for freshmen.
  • My attendance at the ICTCM in Chicago in March, and what I learn there.
  • My continued use of Wolfram|Alpha and Excel in calculus.
  • Introduction and use of MATLAB and Wolfram|Alpha in my linear algebra class.
  • I’d like to focus more on mathematical topics and the kinds of things I am into these days, meaning finite fields, coding theory, cryptography, and general algebra and number theory.
  • I’m working my way through four iTunesU courses — biology, statistics, computing, and linear algebra. I’m learning a lot, not just about the subjects but about how effectively to teach them.
  • I’m playing around with Sage and loving it.
  • And I’ll probably write something about Linux just to keep my pageviews up. The last time I did was in July, and six months later I am still getting comments on it. (It’s by a wide margin my most commented-on post ever, currently at 51 comments, many of which are coherent.)

My family and I are heading out of town for the holidays, so I expect to get things really ramped up around or after New Year’s. Thanks for your patience if you’re a longtime reader; welcome if you’re not.

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