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Theron Hitchman
Works at University of Northern Iowa
Attended University of Michigan
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Theron Hitchman

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Theron Hitchman

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Odd question::

How can you determine if your (college mathematics) course is too hard?

What sorts of things do you look for?
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I understand that one. But it is too narrow for me, given the widely varying abilities of my students. 
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In SageMathCloud, you can now easily create a single project that has everybody in the course as a collaborator.
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This should be good news.
 
SageMathCloud just accepted into Google's new startup program!! Thanks math-loving Googlers for supporting this.
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This is beautiful.
 
Wallace–Bolyai–Gerwien theorem

"Any simple polygon can be cut into finite pieces and rearranged to form any other simple polygon of equal area."

Thanks to +Francis Su for sharing this cool interactive demo done by Claremont Colleges students.
An interactive demonstration of the Wallace–Bolyai–Gerwien theorem.
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Fun!
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Thurston's The Geometry and Topology of Three-Manifolds

The following page has a LaTeXed version of this famous set of notes (~380 pages!), previously unpublished except for an expanded version of the first few chapters.

http://library.msri.org/books/gt3m/

The picture is from the last chapter, on orbifolds.

#Thurston   #geometry  
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Interesting: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-dollar-and-cents-case-against-hollywoods-exclusion-of-women/ . (Link found via the Wikipedia entry on Bechdel test.)
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Amen.
 
Rules to live by, for academics.  And so the author writes:

(1) Every real student deserves individual attention from, and interaction with, a real teacher.

(2) Professors’ working conditions are their students’ learning conditions: professors without autonomy and agency cannot teach those characteristics.

(3) Your university is not broke: The root causes of IT decisions are ideological and political, not economic.

(4) Edtech wants to be free. Free and open software is the best way to build that freedom.

(5) It is the responsibility of the academic faculty to keep current on technological developments, no matter how far outside their comfort zone such learning may be.
Way back during the “Year of the MOOC” my friend Jonathan Poritz in our math department wanted me to turn the predecessor of this blog into a book. “No way,” I said. “…
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I want to mash this together with something like GeoGebra or Desmos or Sketchpad or...

I want dynamic 3d geometry and topology software.

I mean... That would be so powerful to help teach and share ideas.
 
Google releases Tilt Brush

Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless.
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I have only just started reading this, but it seems an interesting topic.

Also, +Sage Mathematical Software System​ gets a mention in equal footing with Mathemastica etc.

#progress
 
New essay: "Toward an exploratory medium for mathematics"

A small excerpt, from the conclusion:

"In discussions of systems of reasoning it is sometimes assumed that the informal, intuitive systems used by humans are things to be “fixed up”, turned into so-called proper, rigorous reasoning. If the purpose of reasoning were merely verifying correctness, then that would be a reasonable point of view. But if the purpose of reasoning is exploration and discovery, then it is wrong. Exploration and discovery require a logic that is different to, and at least as valuable as, conventionally “correct” reasoning. The idea of semi-concrete reasoning is a step toward media to support such exploration and discovery, and perhaps toward new ways of thinking about mathematics.

Alan Kay has asked “what is the carrying capacity for ideas of the computer?” We may also ask the closely related question: “what is the carrying capacity for discovery of the computer?” In this essay we've made progress on that question using a simple strategy: develop a prototype medium to represent mathematics in a new way, and carefully investigate what we can learn when we use the prototype to attack a serious mathematical problem. In future, it'd be of interest to pursue a similar strategy with other problems, and with more adventurous interface ideas. And, of course, it would be of interest to build out a working system that develops the best ideas fully, not merely prototypes.

To conclude, a personal observation. I began thinking about the design of cognitive media just a few years ago. I've repeatedly found that interface design is deeper than I suspected. A powerful medium reifies the deepest ideas we have about a subject: it becomes an active carrier for those ideas. And to the extent it is successful in reifying those ideas, mastering the medium becomes the same as mastering the subject. In this view, designing exploratory media is about designing tools which can transform and extend our ability to think, create, and discover."


http://cognitivemedium.com/emm/emm.html
The world's oldest complete piece of surviving music is the 3400-year-old Hurrian cult hymn. The hymn was found inscribed on clay tablets excavated from the ancient city of Ugarit, in modern-day Syria. Sometime after the hymn was composed, the idea of using notation to record music was lost.
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Iowa is feeling God's wrath today in the form of a big snowstorm. I am sure it is because She is just as tired of the caucuses as we are. So, all the local schools, pre-school to university, are having a snow day.

This means I should be grading and catching up on late projects. Instead, I spent all morning with my kids. I figured, "I can grade papers after lunch."

But the mail just arrived! New plan...
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Have him in circles
30,334 people
Jamie Di Mola's profile photo
Brian Durham's profile photo
Payam Kabiri's profile photo
Yuki Oya's profile photo
Jihad El-Amin's profile photo
Ren Jiang's profile photo
Nita Boo's profile photo
Deborah Berube's profile photo
James Henderson's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Professor of Mathematics
Employment
  • University of Northern Iowa
    Professor of Mathematics, 2007 - present
  • Rice University
    VIGRE Lovett Instructor of Mathematics, 2003 - 2006
  • Williams College
    Visiting Assistant Professor, 2006 - 2007
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
College Mathematics Teaching, only mostly insane.
Introduction
I am interested in:
Math (especially geometry),
Inquiry Based Instruction,
Standards based assessment,
learning Python,
the Sage math software project,
Soccer,
good books.
Education
  • University of Michigan
    Mathematics, 1997 - 2003
  • THE Ohio State University
    Mathematics, 1993 - 1997
Contact Information
Work
Phone
+1 3192732646
Email
Address
Department of Mathematics 0506 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0506
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