Category Archives: Casting Out Nines

August 20, 2011, 1:34 pm

Changes coming for Casting Out Nines!

Photo by adam*b, http://www.flickr.com/photos/atbartlett/

My family and I are all settled (well, mostly) here in Michigan, and pretty soon I’ll be in full swing in my new position at Grand Valley State University. I can’t overstate what a delight it’s been, getting situated at GVSU. It is a dynamic and forward-thinking university full of great people and exciting ideas. I haven’t met a single person who isn’t excellent at what they do and generous with their expertise.

I am officially taking CO9s off hiatus, and I intend to pick up the pace on blogging as the semester kicks off. That seems wrong — shouldn’t I blog more when it’s less busy? — but I’ve always seen blogging as both an overflow mechanism (to think more about what I’m doing) and an incubator (to kick off new things by rehearsing them here).

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June 23, 2011, 7:11 am

Taking a break

The Cook Carillon Tower, Grand Valley State Un...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s been pretty quiet around here at Casting Out Nines lately. This is mainly due to two things. First, I’m spending five days a week home with my oldest two kids — the youngest joins us on Wednesdays — and keeping the kids active and engaged doesn’t leave much time for blogging. Second, as you all know, I’m starting a new position at Grand Valley State University in the fall and our big move to Michigan takes place in two weeks. We’re totally uprooting in this move, and preparing for it consumes a lot of time and emotional energy.

I’ve decided that, in light of all this, that I might as well declare the blog to be on hiatus for a month or so until we’re settled. There are a couple of posts that might go up soon — one of them being the last entry in the How I make screencasts series — but…

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April 21, 2011, 3:16 pm

News of the day: I'm moving

I wanted to announce to all you readers of this blog that some big changes are coming up soon for my and my family. This doesn’t really affect the blog, but you might like to know. I’ll be leaving Franklin College, my place of employment for nearly ten years, after this semester to accept a new position as Associate Professor of Mathematics at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. My first official day at GVSU will be August 8, and we’ll be moving up to the Grand Rapids area probably in mid-July.

This has been a truly gut-wrenching decision to make, since Franklin has been extremely good to me for the last 9+ years, and I hope that I’ve done some good for the college and its students as well. It’s also a decision that’s been cooking for months, but for obvious reasons I couldn’t blog about it. In the end, though, I made the choice to go to GVSU for three reasons.

  1. I was…

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March 8, 2011, 10:50 pm

Why I am giving up Twitter and Facebook for Lent

I don’t often write on CO9′s about my faith, so I hope you’ll indulge me for a bit. Since this is also a post about technology, I figured it fits. This has to do with Lent.

In the Christian church year, Lent is a season in which believers participate in acts of personal sacrifice to help us prepare for Holy Week. Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter, which is on April 24 this year. I haven’t always given something up for Lent, but this year I’ve decided that I am giving up Twitter and Facebook.

It may seem silly to use abstinence from social media to commemorate the sufferings of Christ, but there’s a serious twofold purpose to my choice.

First, in giving up Twitter and Facebook, I am seeking to recover time that I am spending in 15–30 second increments and re-invest it elsewhere. If you took all the little bursts of time I spend checking Facebook and Twitter in…

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January 4, 2011, 8:41 pm

Bound for New Orleans

Happy New Year, everyone. The blogging was light due to a nice holiday break with the family. Now we’re all back home… and I’m taking off again. This time, I’m headed to the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans from January 5 through January 8. I tend to do more with my Twitter account during conferences than I do with the blog, but hopefully I can give you some reporting along with some of the processing I usually do following good conference talks (and even some of the bad ones).

I’m giving two talks while in New Orleans:

  • On Thursday at 3:55, I’m speaking on “A Brief Fly-Through of Cryptology for First-Semester Students using Active Learning and Common Technology” in the MAA Session on Cryptology for Undergraduates. That’s in the Great Ballroom E, 5th Floor Sheraton in case you’re there and want to come. This talk is about a 5-day minicourse I do as a guest lecturer in our…

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June 23, 2010, 6:00 pm

Just so you'd know

…I’m all done with the ASEE and headed off on vacation in nearby Holiday World. Whatever it is I’ve left out about ASEE, I hope to fill in once I’m back home. If there’s something specific you’d like to know about what I’ve seen here, let me know in the comments.

March 19, 2010, 9:06 pm

Content theft

This blog used to have two different URL’s — castingoutnines.wordpress.com as well as castingoutnines.net. The latter was a holdover from the days I self-hosted this blog, and when the domain name registration period drew to a close in December of last year, I opted not to renew, since I think most people come here from an RSS feed or otherwise use the WordPress.com domain.

Well, that might have turned out to be a mistake, because as JackieB on Twitter informed me earlier this evening, someone has purchased the castingoutnines.net domain name and is using it to plagiarize content from here. I’ve spent about 90 minutes just now going through the “fake” CO9′s site, and all totalled, there were 53 blog posts copied in their entirety from here, and the “About” and “What is Casting Out Nines?” pages. Of course I was not given attribution for any of this.

WordPress.com has this helpful page

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January 15, 2010, 9:00 am

Unexpected kudos

Last night I received this email from my colleague Dan Callon, who is at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco:

Robert,
I went to a session at the national joint meetings tonight on Wolfram|Alpha, sponsored by the MAA Special Interest Group on Mathematics Instruction Using the Web, with speaker Bruce Yoshiwara of Los Angeles’ Pierce College.  He cited the blog of the best-known expert (outside of Wolfram itself) in the country on using Wolfram|Alpha in education: Robert Talbert.  Congratulations!
Dan

I would have to rank Maria Andersen way above myself both in terms of her expertise with W|A and in terms of how well-known she is, but still, I’m honored by Prof. Yoshiwara’s mention. And I’ll keep trying to crank out relevant posts about Wolfram|Alpha in the future.

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December 21, 2009, 1:13 pm

Some updates

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, …

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July 27, 2009, 11:37 am

Blogging Indiana

blogindianaJust a programming note: I’l be attending the Higher Education Summit at the Blog Indiana 2009 social media conference on Thursday, August 14. Blog Indiana is held in the Informatics building on the campus of IUPUI. The main conference runs both Thursday and Friday and there are some good speakers lined up for all the sessions. The Higher Education Summit will have talks on topics ranging from Facebook-enabled classrooms to how to get your college’s Chancellor to Twitter.

If you’re coming, leave a note in the comments and maybe we can turn it into a meet-up.