May first is Commitment Day. Tomorrow, college-bound seniors are supposed to have pledged themselves (and their family’s money) to the next step in their educational journeys. It’s exciting to think about new horizons, new discoveries, new friends, and new adventures. That first year of college is a chance to reinvent yourself–to leave your mistakes behind,Continue reading “April 30 Day 53: Commitment Day”
Some academics are in the home-stretch of their semesters. They already have had or are about to deliver their last classes of the Spring. They are working on finals (or perhaps, forgoing finals altogether). I am always a little jealous of friends on semester systems with early end dates. Being on quarters, I will beContinue reading “April 29 Day 52: The Beginning of the End?”
The internet was pathetically slow during class yesterday. My students said I had a robot voice and everything was jerky. It’s hard to le…le…learn m..m…m…math this way. To avoid sounding like Max Headroom, I closed every application on my machine except the absolute necessities, I ran around the house asking everyone else to suspend internetContinue reading “April 28 Day 51: Slow Bytes Bite”
As the title indicates, it has been fifty days since I started emergency remote teaching but more important than that, this is my 49th blog post. Personally, I don’t think multiples of ten are that impressive. Perfect squares however are a thing of beauty. Think about it with respect to birthdays: 0, 10, and 20thContinue reading “April 27 Day 50: A Self-referential Celebration”
Dear Mathematics, I am more grateful than you can know that you are a part of my life. You make my pulse race when a solution is revealed. You inspire me towards creativity and persistence. You provided the foundation upon which I built my career. And you bring comfort—even when I don’t know that isContinue reading “April 26 Day 49: Love Letters”
It’s Saturday. I spent the bulk of my day grading and I’m looking at a repeat performance tomorrow. In a time when I am trying to pare down to essential material, why do I keep asking so much of myself? Yes, yes…for the students. Absolutely. Develop that growth mindset. But do they appreciate it? DoContinue reading “April 25 Day 48: What Have I Done?”
People were not supposed to leave until they shared something for which they were grateful. I called out intentional community building–within my neighborhood, within my institution, and within the MAA. We may be physically distant but we are coming together to support one other.
Today should be my niece Margo’s wedding. The big wedding plans were pared down to something small and intimidate with immediate family. The small wedding plans were cancelled when her parents (my brother and his wife), couldn’t responsibly travel to be there. Margo is a nurse and she understands the risks and responsibilities. I realizeContinue reading “April 24 Day 47: Lost Joys”
In my isolation, I frequently find myself revisiting each one of these marvelous tales of mathematics. I find comfort in their words. I love the mathematics. I love the stories. And I agree whole-heartedly with Donald Knuth, “The best way to communicate from one human being to another is through story.” Story is everything and we must be the storytellers of our discipline to the world.
It’s Wednesday the traditional hump day of the week. By the title of this post, it is also the 45th day since I started emergency remote teaching. Now June 5, the last day of instruction for the University of Washington not including final exam week, is 45 days in the future. This moment marks theContinue reading “April 22 Day 45: Hump Day in a Big Way”