Courant Institute New York University FAS CAS GSAS


On teaching with slides

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 1:53pm

Interesting editorial by Danielle Fleischman of the Indiana Daily Student about "The Power of PowerPoint"

When it comes to learning in the 21st century, the use of computer-generated slides is a no-brainer. Students prefer to have the visual aide during lectures, claiming that it helps them to maintain interest and retain material.

Unfortunately, the quality of PowerPoint presentations varies from professor to professor.

She gives suggestions for best practices when using slides in lectures. I started to leave a long-winded comment but then thought it would make a better blog post.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 9:42am

The Good News: my paper "Mashups for course websites with Yahoo! Pipes" was accepted to the MAA Session on Harnessing Mobile Communication Devices and Online Communication Tools for Mathematics Education to be held at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January in New Orleans. It will be good to see talks in the same session by Frank Wattenberg and Klay Kruczek, both of whom I've worked with/learned from in the past.

TeX and friends get the StackOverflow treatment

Friday, October 8, 2010 - 1:57pm

Finding online support for programming has undergone a change over the years. Usenet forums allowed people to organize discussion threads in the pre-web days (now Usenet seems to be only used for file sharing). Email lists were and still are also used, but lack a filter--you have to receive all the questions and answers to be part of the discussion.

Nawlins, baby

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 4:46am

I just submitted my abstract for the 2011 Joint Mathematics Meetings to be held January 6–9 in New Orleans. I found a contributed paper session that was right up my alley: "Harnessing Mobile Communication Devices and Online Communication Tools for Mathematics Education."

Mashups for course websites with Yahoo! Pipes

Abstract: RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, depending on who you ask. Many websites publish a rich set of RSS feeds, which can be processed by other websites as a form of syndicated content. But the regular structure of RSS as an XML application means that feeds can be easily edited (``munged'') and combined (``mashed up''). Programming libraries exist for processing feeds, but Yahoo! Pipes makes this easy with a graphical user interface and no coding. We will discuss methods and applications of RSS feeds which might be suitable for a course website---for instance, combining feeds from SlideShare and scribd and publishing them to Facebook, or publishing your office hours on your blog automatically.

I'm also an editor for the MAA's Joint Mathematics Meeting Wiki, and one of the twitter evangelists who will be tweeting at #JointMath.


Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 11:36pm


I cashed in a lot of round tuits and updated the infrastructure on my site. One new addition is MathJax.

Back to work

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 11:23am

I just got back from the Joint Math Meetings and had a great time. I interviewed candidates, gave a few talks (one on docutils, one on graduate student teaching development), watched a few talks, and met with new and old friends. I also did a lot of tweeting on the #JointMath channel.

Now I'm excited about a new academic term. I'll be teaching two sections of Calculus I and one of Discrete Math.

Pipify your life

Thursday, November 5, 2009 - 9:34am

Recently I discovered Yahoo! Pipes and I'm loving it. In case you haven't heard of it, Pipes is a construction kit for mashing up and publishing data. It gives you a funky GUI with different sources and operations becoming nodes in a network of flowing data. The final output is an XML feed, and Yahoo even provides tools called "Badges" to present that on web pages or otherwise process with JavaScript.

BYU students answer question "When will I use math?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 3:08pm

Via MAA News, a new website put out by math undergrads at BYU shows just what math is good for. Pretty, cool, and pretty cool.

Tyler Jarvis, head of the department, blogs:

James Stewart and the House that Calculus Built

Friday, August 7, 2009 - 8:44am

In the recent issue of MAA Focus Ivars Peterson gets a look at Integral House, the home of James Stewart, aka the man who wrote the most popular calculus book in the world.

The house features sweeping curves (natch) and is custom even down to the door handles: