Category Archives: Links

April 11, 2014, 9:30 am

Weekend reading (April 11)

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Spring, rising from the ashes. Or the mulch.

It was a busy week here at Casting Out Nines, with this post generating more comments than any other one I’ve ever had – and quite a lot of heat as well in the comment section. Let’s take a break from all that with some interesting stuff from around the interwebs:

I’ve been a big fan of the programming language Scratch – designed for kids to use – for a long time, and Mark Guzdial reports on the new ScratchJr project that aims to bring coding to kids of even younger ages. I’d be thrilled to have this publicly available by summertime so I can foist it upon my 10- and 8-year olds.

Lifehacker describes how being humble, kind, and calm will make your life easier. This is always good advice, especially for people in academia and doubly so this time of the …

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April 4, 2014, 10:00 am

Weekend reading (April 4)

3283750854_5beaf38c6f_mFrom around the interwebs this week:

Wired Campus reports on how taking notes by hand benefits recall. I’ve believed in this for years. One thing I’d have liked the article to mention is that “writing longhand” and using a computer are not mutually exclusive – I take almost all my notes from meetings, reading, and talks longhand on my iPad using Notability and a Boxwave stylus.

Software developer Jason Lewis has a well-thought-out post on computational literacy and learning math. From the article: “If we want kids to code, we must not only allow them to apply that knowledge whenever and wherever the opportunity arises, we must also train teachers to always and everywhere encourage the application of computational thinking (as well as programming) to whatever problem set presents itself as a viable candidate.” In other words, teach the teachers first.

A while back I…

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March 21, 2014, 11:44 am

Weekend reading (March 21)

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This is not what Spring looks like in Michigan at the moment.

Welcome to your weekly small-shiny-objects-from-the-web post:

Is banning PowerPoint slides the key to having meetings that are more informative, interactive, and community-driven? Well, it couldn’t hurt. I’d heard about US military command groups banning PowerPoint in meetings but the similar ban from physicists is new to me.

Some states are beginning to allow computer science classes to count toward the foreign language requirements for high school students. You might think that’s a boon for CS educators, but this post explains why maybe it isn’t such a great idea.

Good article at Wired on why punishing students for using electronic gadgets will only make things worse for them in the future. Better to design instruction that engages the…

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March 7, 2014, 9:00 am

Weekend reading (March 7)

Tacos and Spanish Rice

Here’s a picture of some tacos, for no real reason other than it might make you happy.

It’s been a busy week of blogging around here with the posts about the flipped calculus class. I’m taking a break from that series until next week, but in the meantime here are more items to read and discuss.

  • If you read one thing from this list, read this article in which Evan Selinger and Andrew Phelps argue that colleges need to start acting like startup or face obsolescence. It’s a perplexing read. On the one hand, their thought that innovation is the correct lens through which to consider higher ed is compelling. On the other hand, I think their three pillars of startup-hood – density, shared resources, and nurturing communities – don’t always apply to successful colleges, and the focus on these has the…

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February 28, 2014, 11:15 am

Weekend reading (February 28)

This week’s small shiny objects from around the interwebs:

John Cook has an interesting short article on the log semiring. Suitable for nontrivial examples in your next ring theory class.

Here’s a terrific short video that explains the Diffie-Hellman key exchange in terms of color mixing.

Here’s a longer video of John Baez talking about network theory, which we first mentioned a few weeks ago.

And here’s a video by Stephen Wolfram giving an introduction to the Wolfram Language. I’m curious to try this out.

Just in time for the NFL Draft season (OK, it’s still six weeks away, but whatever) here’s an interesting article on how the Dallas Cowboys used statistics and computers to revolutionize their approach to tracking and choosing players. Consider it an early prototype of Big Data.

Are today’s tablet and phone apps turning us into sociopaths? It might be …

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February 14, 2014, 2:00 pm

Weekend reading (February 14)

Look! A small shiny object.

Look! A small shiny object.

From the week that was, here is your random list of shiny objects from around the web.

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January 24, 2014, 8:03 am

Weekend reading

Here are some items from around the web for your weekend enjoyment.

Math

  • Here’s a great post on Medium by Nik Custodio in which he explains Bitcoin like I’m five. I think the audience level here is rather older than five, but it’s still probably the best explanation of the problems that Bitcoin attempts to solve, and how it solves them, that I’ve seen. (I wasn’t sure whether to file this under “Math” or “Technology” because it’s a lot of both.)

Education

  • If you’ve ever been interested in standards-based grading, you won’t want to miss Kate Owens’ post An Adventure in Standards-Based Calculus where she lays out why, and bits about “how”, she intends to use SBG in her Calculus 2 course this semester. Don’t miss the link to George McNulty’s calc 2 syllabus at the end, which is a great example of how to use SBG in actual practice.
  • Good report…

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September 28, 2011, 4:00 am

Midweek recap, 09.28.2011

Good stuff from the internet this past week:

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September 21, 2011, 9:00 am

Midweek recap, 9.21.2011

Interesting stuff from elsewhere on the web this week:

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