December 18, 2012, 4:17 pm
I’m excited and happy to be teaching linear algebra again next semester. Linear algebra has it all — there’s computation that you can do by hand if you like that sort of thing, but also a strong incentive to use computers regularly and prominently. (How big is an incidence matrix that represents, say, Facebook?) There’s theory that motivates the computation. There’s computation that uncovers the theory. There’s something for everybody, and in the words of one of my colleagues, if you don’t like linear algebra then you probably shouldn’t study math at all.
Linear algebra is also an excellent place to use Peer Instruction, possibly moreso than any other sophomore-level mathematics course. Linear algebra is loaded with big ideas that all connect around a central question (whether or not a matrix is invertible). The computation is not the hard part of linear algebra — it…
November 5, 2008, 1:50 pm
1. Why is it that, in Google Spreadsheets, you can take a two-column set of numerical data and find the slope of the regresssion line for the data, you can find the y-intercept of the regression line, and you can make a scatterplot of the data — but you can’t plot the regression line on top of the scatterplot?
2. How come, in Google Documents, there’s no rudimentary equation editing? How come we can’t have a simple Equation Editor-like pallette system for mathematical typesetting, inline \(\LaTeX\) compiling (like WordPress.com blogs and Wikispaces wikis have), OpenOffice’s math typesetting syntax, or even just old-school MathML editing?
I’d be nearly ecstatic, and much more likely to actually use Google Docs for everyday purposes, if some of the smart people at Google could make either one of these two questions go away.