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Robert Talbert
Works at Grand Valley State University
Attended Dickson County High School
Lives in Allendale, MI
1,470 followers|531,534 views
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Just had my first experience using the chat feature to help a student work on some coding in +The SageMathCloud. Killer feature. As I move toward teaching my first fully-online class in May, I'm suddenly wondering if SMC would be a good tool for the students in this class -- with no face-to-face meetings, having live communication within a working document seems important. 
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The more channels of communication, the better, especially since different students work well with different channels! I didn't realize you were going to be teaching fully online class. For me, there's no going back; I've been fully online since 2002 and I love it. Plus, every year it gets better and better with new tools and so much positive student energy! Students may start out as skeptics (they absorb the prejudices of higher ed at large!) ... but they are so ready to find out for themselves how good/different online courses can be. :-)
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Something to keep an eye on: Paperwork, an effort to create an open-source alternative to Evernote/OneNote/Google Keep. It's a bit raw at the moment (you have to build the app yourself) but these projects do eventually become user-friendly. 

Bonus trivia: The theme for Paperwork's website was designed by Steve Smith, who is a former student of mine and played guitar at my wedding. :) 
Paperwork. Paperwork - OpenSource note-taking & archiving alternative to Evernote, Microsoft OneNote & Google Keep. View the Project on GitHub twostairs/paperwork · Download ZIP File · Download TAR Ball · View On GitHub. Paperwork - OpenSource note-taking & archiving ...
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Neat. 
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For those who are following my #GTD  for Academics blog series, this might interest you. 
 
Last week it was released the revised and updated version of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, the David Allen’s handbook for personal productivity #GTD  
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Robert Talbert

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I gave the discrete structure students this problem as one of their learning modules: Create a directed graph of the 2014 +Major League Soccer season by letting each of the 18 teams be a node, and draw a directed edge from node A to node B if B defeated A at any point in the 2014 season. Then use the digraph to devise a "power ranking" system for all 18 MLS teams. 

Grading this was so easy: If Chivas USA shows up anywhere in the top half of the rankings, the assignment is marked "No Pass". 
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Well, the converse isn't necessarily true. :)
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It took me a couple of days to realize that the new Macbook is not the same thing as the Macbook Pro. When I compare them side by side on this website, it seems like no contest -- the Pro has twice the processing speed, can be configured with more RAM, has longer battery life, and uses ports that are actually backwards-compatible. Maybe later in the year Apple will bring that beautiful look and form factor to the more powerful end of its product line. (Not that the Pro isn't good looking enough as it is) 
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Yeah I'm confused about that :) No more Airs?
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I'm trying to figure out why the following gives me an error. I'm just trying to list out the left and right cosets of a cyclic subgroup of A_4. 

G = AlternatingGroup(4)
sigma = G("(1,2)(3,4)")    # So far so good
H = G.subgroup(sigma)

> TypeError: each generator must be in the ambient group

I'm not seeing where the TypeError is coming from, since obviously (1,2)(3,4) is in A_4. Running Sage 6.3 on a Mac, if that matters (I get the same error on SageMath Cloud). 
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When you write G(foo) what sage understands is "the element of G that corresponds to foo". But G.subgroup(foo) means "the subgroup of G generated by the elements of foo".

So just think that, in general, to create an element you just need to pass something that can be converted to an element. But to create a subgroup, you need to pass something that can be converted to several elements. That is why you need to pass a list.
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This can't happen soon enough. My 2011 Macbook is starting to run and sound like an asthmatic sloth and I'm due for an upgrade at work. 
 
Apple just announced 12″ Retina MacBook, starting at $1,299 and available on April 10

Apple unveiled a $1,299 to $1,599 redesigned MacBook with a 12-inch Retina display during Apple’s media-dubbed 'Watch event'.

Specs:

♨ USB-C support
♨ Colors: Available in silver, space gray, and gold
♨ Battery: 9 hours wireless web, 10 hours movie playback. 35% more battery in the same space with contoured battery “cells”
♨ Screen: 2304×1440 Retina screen (3.3 million pixels)
♨ Weight: 2 pounds
♨ Body: All-metal design. 24% thinner, 67% smaller logic board, .88mm thin screen panel
♨ Trackpad: Force-sensing, integrates with OS X
♨ Fan: There is no fan
♨ Keyboard: All-new backlit keyboard, featuring a butterfly mechanism
♨ Memory: 8 GB
♨ Storage: 250 GB to 500 GB

The new laptop will start shipping on April 10.

Something to do on your wish-list? Or not so much?

Full post at +VentureBeat http://tgcafe.it/1E6qkfc

#technologynews   #marketingnews   #retinadisplay  

_______________________________________________________________

More marketing news: http://tgcafe.it/your-marketing-news
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I just rebuilt my hard drive (had to!), so I'll have to stick with my Macbook for a couple more years. Thanks for sharing the story, +Robert Talbert!
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Robert Talbert

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It's good that Keep now has recurring reminders and labels -- I would consider those essential features in a note-taking system. It's curious, though, that you can't do searches by label -- you can only select or deselect those labels in a sidebar -- but you can search by anything else (color, type, etc.). Would be nice if one could do that, even nicer if you could do Boolean searches (e.g., label=work AND (color = blue or type=list)). 
In an update to version 3.1, Google Keep is getting support for recurring reminders and labels to keep you more organized.
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Question: if linear algebra is the "central subject of math", then why aren't we teaching linear algebra as the first-year math sequence for math majors, instead of the usual year of calculus?

Linear algebra is the central subject of mathematics. You cannot learn too much linear algebra.
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I happen to agree with just about all of that.

I only feel truly successful in a course where the true content is how to write a proof, what the axiomatic method really is, and how to write a decent definition. It helps immensely that the course is "planar euclidean geometry" and we use Euclid so that we have a model of good practice but with enough flaws that we can't avoid them.
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New at CO9s: Although I am not (yet) an IBL practitioner in the same way that +Theron Hitchman and +Dana Ernst are, I'm involved with the annual R.L. Moore/IBL conference this year as part of an effort to bring the flipped classroom community and the IBL community together. As I outline in my post, there are many shared goals between the two communities and much to learn from each other. The deadline for abstracts for sessions is Wednesday (March 18) -- even if you don't submit an abstract, consider coming and joining the conversation. #ibl  
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Thank you, +Robert Talbert.
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The view from my office window this morning. 
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New at CO9s: After saying many times that I need to get a GTD series going on the blog, I finally got around to it. Is that ironic? Anyway, here I set up the basic problems that GTD tries to solve, and the mindset behind GTD that makes it different from other approaches to project/task/time management. I think this has a lot to do with work-life balance which is something I feel pretty passionately about. 
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And now looking forward to the next post!
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In his circles
326 people
Have him in circles
1,470 people
Gustav Delius's profile photo
ajay saini's profile photo
John Rickert's profile photo
Jay Winters's profile photo
Bill Irving's profile photo
Leanna K Johnson's profile photo
Catie Acitelli's profile photo
Consumer Debt Counselors's profile photo
Md Tohsin Alam'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.
• • •
Atmosphere: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 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 - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
2 reviews
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