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Disjointed independence

There are two terminologies in probability which many students are confused about: “independent” and “disjoint”. The other day I was working with a student listening to their thinking on this and I suddenly realised why.
In your standard introduction to probability notation, various notations and terminologies are introduced, usually with reference to the meaning of the […]

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

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The trig functions are about multiplication

When I was taught trigonometry for the first time, I learned it as ratios of sides of right-angled triangles. Like this:

Most students coming into a Science degree at the University of Adelaide are at least vaguely familiar with this, and it’s their first instinct when using trigonometry. However, the lecturers in Physics and Engineering don’t […]

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Making sense of the effective population size formula

I was going to have a punchy title for this post, with a big moral to apply to the future, but I’ve decided I’m just going to describe to you what happened yesterday as I tried to learn some Genetics. You see what you can learn from my experience.
Yesterday I was helping out at the […]

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Obscuring the GST by making it simple

I was helping out at Roseworthy Campus yesterday as the Vet Medicine students were learning about budgeting for a Vet Clinic as a business. One aspect of this was calculating the amount of the cost of goods and services that was GST (stands for “Goods and Services Tax” — in other countries it’s known as […]

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