Author: japheth

Typesetting synthetic division
I’m teaching an Algebra course that highlights the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra. So of course we’re looking closely at polynomial division, and in particular at synthetic division. My students are preparing their homework assignments using LaTeX, so this begs the question about how to typeset their computations. One of my students found the LaTeX package […]

How to Give a Good Math Talk
There are a lot of sites with useful advice out there. This post is intended to collect several links for future reference. Technically Speaking – Videos of math research students presenting their findings. I love the examples of bad style along with good style. This comes out of an NSFfunded project. Joe Gallian’s Advice on […]

A brief 4,000 year history of Diophantine Equations
I filled in for a NY Math Circle class over the weekend. Since the topic was Primitive Pythagorean Triples, I had a blast. I also shared the following outline with the students. Each item is full of wonderful mathematics and anecdotes! Plimpton 322, a Babylonian cuneiform tablet @ Columbia University. From 1900BCE – 1600BCE, and […]

Kevin’s Books
One of the great friends that I made in my time at Vanderbilt University was Kevin Blount. Kevin knew all the graduate students and professors, and often hosted dinners and movies at his nearby apartment. Kevin ended up writing his Ph.D. dissertation On the Structure of Residuated Lattices with Constantine Tsinakis, and moved on to […]

AP Classes Are a Scam
I heard about the following Atlantic article from @stevenstrogatz : October 13th, AP Classes Are a Scam which I found quite interesting. I thought much the same in those years when I taught a lot of freshman Calculus. My main observations were that Most students who had taken AP Calculus in High School had to […]

Math Formula Poetry Slam
Last December, I got to meet Daniel, aka Jarabe Del Sól, a poet from the Readnex Poetry Squad. He showed me in his notebook where he had written all sorts of arcane symbols and characters, perhaps from undiscovered alphabets. I got to fill up a few pages of his notebook with math symbolism off the […]

Singing and Dancing Mathematics
Long Division Style Recently, a Gangnam Styleinspired video came out of I.S. 285 Meyer Levin in Brooklyn. In this video, students sing and dance the procedure for long division. It’s absolutely delightful. The Quadratic Formula Song Music versions of math formulas and procedures are not new. One that came up recently in the Algebra class […]

Math Conference photos
Going through some old papers, I found the following conference photos from Fall 1996 Fields Institute, Algebraic Model Theory Program July 110, 1998, XI Simposio Latinoamericano Lógica Matemática, Mérida, Venezuela 1998 Szeged Conference on Lattices and Universal Algebra

Found Math
I sent this photo in to the MAA Found Math series, and it was published! This looks very much like a geometric dissection proof of the Theorem of Pythagoras, but in the form of a discarded foldable card table.

What is Algebra good for?
Algebra represents a shift into mathematical abstraction, providing tools necessary for further study, a focus on properties and principles that deepen our understanding of number, and also reasoning and insight that transfer to other domains of human knowledge.