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 no longer works. If you have that bookmarked, change it to

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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