Monthly Archives: May 2011

Rule collision

The same experience has happened to me several times in the Maths Drop-In Centre recently — with different students from different courses — and it was such a strong pattern I need to talk about it.
The students are doing some algebra involving negative powers on the tops of fractions.  Something like this:

Now they remember this […]

Posted in How people learn (or don't), Thoughts about maths thinking | Tagged , |

Leave a comment

Rapunzel’s Epiphany

We bought Disney Studio’s newest film “Tangled” on the weekend and I have to say it’s one of my favourite movies ever. It’s certainly Disney’s best movie since “Beauty and the Beast”, and I dearly loved “Beauty and the Beast”. I should warn you now that in order to say what I want to say […]

Posted in Being a good teacher, How people learn (or don't) | Tagged |

1 Comment

Not quite the bisection method

In various first year maths courses here, the students learn the “bisection method” for finding zeros of continuous functions. (A zero of a function is a number that makes the answer of the function come out to zero — it’s therefore also a point where the graph of the function crosses the x-axis.) It’s based […]

Posted in Isn't maths cool? | Tagged |

1 Comment