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Robert Talbert
Works at Grand Valley State University
Attended Dickson County High School
Lives in Allendale, MI
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Robert Talbert

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Woop woop. This was an interesting course, and I'll be using my discrete structures classes in the fall to experiment with computational thinking as an organizing principle for what we do in the class. 
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Question for the IBL people in the crowd: How would you handle a student who says that he or she cannot perform the duties of a student in an IBL classroom, due to a personal/medical/psychological issue? For example, a student who says he cannot present at the board because he has a mental health issue (crippling shyness, Turrette's syndrome, etc.) that makes it very uncomfortable to do so. The answer might be different depending on whether the condition is diagnosed vs. undiagnosed. 

Asking because I'm designing my discrete structures classes for the fall and they're definitely more IBL flavored than before, with daily student presentations, and I'm doing a "what could go wrong" analysis before I write the syllabi. 

Attn: +Dana Ernst +Theron Hitchman 
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Thanks everyone. Hopefully this WON'T be a problem but I feel more prepared to handle such issues should they come up. 
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New at CO9s: I made a ridiculously long (21min) video to supplement my flipped learning minicourse coming up at MathFest next month. This is part of the participants' homework for the minicourse (which is itself flipped, of course). It goes through the whole process of how I apply flipped learning design on an example lesson on finding the derivative of a function using the limit definition. 
In a couple weeks, I’ll be at the MAA MathFest 2015 summer conference to facilitate a minicourse on “Creating Flipped Learning Experiences in the College Mat...
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Thanks +Mark Olson. Just FYI, my colleague who was the lead writer on Active Calculus is Matt Boelkins. It's kind of a hard name to get phonetically right. 
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Time to rock out! It's unbelievable that these guys are pushing 70 and still making music like this. 
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I bet it is. The closest they're coming here on the tour is Detroit, which is a bit far away. 
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I have a question for the math and CS people about discrete probability resources for a discrete structures class. 
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+Kevin O'Bryant In fairness, I haven't ever looked at KA's material on probability so I will in fact do some due diligence on that. And actually I did some review of KA's calculus videos to prep for a conference talk recently and some of them have been updated and much improved. So who knows.

But I think most people know my stance on KA's approach to calculus and linear algebra, at least. 
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Robert Talbert

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New at Casting Out Nines: Part 2 of my ongoing report on specifications grading. This time I discuss my history with traditional points based grading and why I ditched it. 
This is the second installment in an ongoing technical report on my use of specifications grading. Here’s the first post. In this post, I want to give a bit ...
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"No matter how you cut it, active learning wins out over lecture, and everyone should be using [it]."
 
Let's put some evidence behind those summertime faculty email list battles about CS teaching.
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Here's my final project for the CT course. I didn't see a Final Project category so I am just posting it under the subject, Maths. 

This is a pair of linked class activities for a flipped university Precalculus class, for a lesson on exponential growth functions. The first file (gp24.html) is a pre-class activity where students read the book beforehand and do some "decomposition" tasks prior to coming to class. Then the second file (app24.html) is the in-class activity which picks up where the pre-class activity left off and does some pattern-finding and recipe-making for the general problem of how to find a formula for an exponential growth function given two points of data. 

EDIT: Looks like the link just opens up the raw HTML. To see the files properly formatted, save and open up in a web browser. Or, choose "Open with...." and then Google Docs to see a decently-formatted version of it. 

Enjoy! And thanks for the course. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_-QCkjK6ddReEpnVkpzYzlBU1k/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_-QCkjK6ddReEpnVkpzYzlBU1k/view?usp=sharing

#activity   #flippedlearning   #precalculus   #mathematics   #exponentialgrowth  
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Last night's dinner was pizza (sausage, basil, peppers, red onions) with a crust made out of cauliflower. I need to cook it differently next time to get the crust crispier, but otherwise it's a strikingly decent replacement for a bread crust. 
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My 11yo daughter wanted a quesadilla for lunch but we didn't have any tortillas. But we did have the ingredients to make some and a cookbook with a recipe. So I showed her how to use the mixer and how to roll the dough out, and let her make her own. She was supposed to divide the dough into eight pieces and I asked her how she would do that, and she came up with the idea of dividing in half three times. At one point, she flipped the quesadilla before it was ready and the cheese went everywhere. Later she was talking about how she failed. I asked, "Where did you go wrong and what did you learn from your failure?" She said, "I need to be more patient." 

Lesson: I think my kids are learning more about mathematics by making quesadillas than they are by doing math worksheets. 
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Showing some local pride here. Very cool to see Grand Rapids FC gain an almost cult-like following in its first season, and to see it get some national love from +Major League Soccer as well. I've made it to two home games this year (including the game last night mentioned in this article) and I'm really liking local, community-minded sporting teams and events moreso than the big-name leagues these days. 
If you had told me, 15 years ago, that a fifth-tier, semi-pro soccer team in western Michigan would pack in 5,000 fans, I'd have laughed in your face. It feels good to be wrong: Timelapse of tonig
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Robert Talbert

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I'm working through this course and so far (the first real content unit goes live today) it looks great. Computational thinking is something I first encountered looking at engineering education. It seems like a particularly good paradigm for higher education as a whole, especially in general education courses, and possibly it's a better fit for liberal education than the idea of "quantitative reasoning". Looking forward to doing/thinking more about this.
 
Google recently announced the launch of Computational Thinking for Educators (g.co/computationalthinking), a free, online course where educators can explore and learn more about what CT is and how it can be integrated into a variety of subject areas that they teach, whether it be computer science, humanities, math, or science.

This course will run from July 15 - Sept 30 and is designed to be completed at your own pace. It should take between 15-30 hours to complete. For more information or to register for this course, visit g.co/computationalthinking. 
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In his circles
331 people
Have him in circles
1,517 people
Amy Cano's profile photo
glenn romero's profile photo
Md Islam's profile photo
Esminee Rase's profile photo
Alexandar Djuric's profile photo
Juan Gabriel Malagon's profile photo
Rob Connor's profile photo
Heverton Ribeiro's profile photo
Trey Jones's profile photo
Education
  • Dickson County High School
    1985 - 1988
  • Tennessee Technological University
    Mathematics, 1988 - 1992
  • Vanderbilt University
    Mathematics, 1992 - 1997
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Mathematics, technology, education, family, faith, music, enjoying life.
Introduction
I'm a professor in the Mathematics Department at Grand Valley State University in Allendale/Grand Rapids, Michigan. I teach courses for mathematics majors, preservice mathematics instructors, engineers, and computer scientists. I'm also the department tech guy. Prior to coming here in 2011, I was at Franklin College in Indiana from 2001--2011 and at Bethel College in Indiana from 1997--2001. 

I received my PhD in mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 1997 in the areas of algebraic topology and homological algebra. My advisor was Efstratios Prassidis. My dissertation dealt with algebraic equivalences between two different kinds of homology theories. These days, my interests lie in algebra, cryptography, mathematics education, and engineering education. I'm especially interested in educational technology and how technology can support active learning environments in the university classroom. 

I live in Allendale with my wife, three kids (ages 3, 6, and 8) and our cat. We're Christians of the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod persuasion. We're living the good life, with the beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan just 15 minutes west and a vibrant small city 15 minutes east, and a very cool job at one of the best public universities in the country in the middle. 
Bragging rights
Dad of three awesome kids. Husband to one awesome wife. Was an extra in "Ernest Goes to Camp".
Work
Occupation
Mathematics professor
Employment
  • Grand Valley State University
    Associate Professor of Mathematics, 2011 - present
  • Franklin College
    Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computing Science, 2001 - 2011
  • Bethel College
    Assistant Professor of Mathematics, 1997 - 2001
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Allendale, MI
Previously
Hudsonville, MI - White Bluff, TN USA - Bargersville, IN USA - Nashville, TN - South Bend, IN - Cookeville, TN - Whiteland, IN
I've eaten here twice, once with a group from work and once with my family. Service each time was a bit on the slow side but friendly, at least. Food on the first visit was pretty good -- I had the turkey pita which was very tasty, but the wait staff forgot the side of chipotle mayo that was supposed to come with it. On the second visit I had the southwest chicken wrap which was bland and dry; my wife had the fajita wrap which had the opposite problem, so much liquid in the fajita that it was almost impossible to eat without sliming yourself. Overall I wasn't impressed with the food. I'd like to like Main St. Pub more, since I live and work in Allendale and it's one of the few nice sit-down places we have here, but they just really need to step up their game. This place could seriously benefit from a little competition. Put in a Chili's or a Friday's next door to this place and you'll have basically the same kind of dining experience but with better food.
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Atmosphere: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Best pizza in Hudsonville/Jenison area. I'm partial to the Hawaiian pizza, which has a delicious mix of sweet/salty in the ham and pineapple. My wife likes the deluxe. My kids could live off the breadsticks. Overall outstanding food at a decent price with good service.
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
2 reviews
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