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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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A year ago, +Jean Hitchman​ and I were fighting off jet lag and enjoying the sights in London.

I recall these cool light fixtures at the National Gallery. (Dodecahedra are awesome.)

This year, I will settle for local fireworks and taking training wheels of the little one's bike.

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Is a window bigger on the inside though?
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or, like +Stan Yoshinobu says...
 
IBL SIGMAA: Be a Charter Member
The Mathematical Association of America has special interest groups for members to organize around a topic or area of mathematics or mathematics education.  A special interest group of the MAA is called a SIGMAA .  The IBL community has decided to apply to ...
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Steven Strogatz on starting to teach with Inquiry Based Learning in a mathematics setting. (Seen on twitter)
Steven Strogatz writes about what it was like to be a beginner at teaching through inquiry. This blog contains his impressions of the "Discovering the Art of Mathematics" workshop held at Cornell University in summer 2014: "This experience gave me powerful insight into what it must be like for students in an IBL classroom. It made me realize the importance of providing a safe and nurturing space for the math explorers I was about to start working...
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I heard about a neat little conference at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor this past weekend. When I went to their web page, I was really struck by the good logo.

thanks to +Douglas Shaw for the link. Or was it +Doug Shaw ? I can never tell the difference.
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Harmonic Analysis

When I was interviewed for a position by Hewlett-Packard in the late 1970s they were still a major scientific instruments company with a tagline of if it produces a signal, we can measure it! They had manufacturing facilities in Scotland, or "just down the road" according to Kim, my American interlocutor, a couple of field offices and they were hiring for an R&D facility they were planning in Pinewood, Wokingham.

They had very view dedicated conference rooms in the Winnersh, Wokingham field office and so I was interviewed in their Fourier Analyzer room. I sat alongside a six foot tall, imposing rack machine that included a real-time computer, a Digital to Analog convertor, an Analog to Digital convertor and a lovely HP Oscilloscope. This was an HP digital Fourier Analyzer and it was the first one I had seen.

The purpose of the digital Fourier Analyzer was to take in a complicated continuous signal from the real world, something that was hard to work with like a vibration signal, and break it down into a finite number of manageable sine and cosine functions with their magnitude and phase relationships. This work was based on the development by Jean-Baptiste Fourier, more than a hundred years ago, of his eponymous infinite series. The amazing feat performed by this machine was, however, made possible even with a fast computer in a reasonable amount of time, only by the development of the cunning Cooley-Tukey FFT Algorithm in 1965.

The interactive codepen below gives us an idea of the way that a simple periodic function, like a square wave, or a sawtooth curve, can actually be simulated to a reasonable degree of accuracy with only a limited number of terms.

Interactive Codepen: http://goo.gl/qURwrA

Before digital computers, there were analog devices for Fourier Analysis. If you have a bit more time and you haven't seen them yet, you might enjoy these videos (and the e/book) by +Bill Hammack.  He and team restored one such machine. This analog computer was originally developed by Albert Michelson (of Michelson-Morley fame).  It uses gears, springs and levers to add sines and cosines.

(1/4) Intro/History: Introducing a 100-year-old mechanical computer: https://goo.gl/YFowTo

(2/4) Synthesis: A machine that uses gears, springs and levers to add sines and cosines: https://goo.gl/y4ZXdH

(3/4) Analysis: Explaining Fourier analysis with a machine: https://goo.gl/O6xIGl

(4/4) Operation: The details of setting up the Harmonic Analyzer: https://goo.gl/fJxIPc

Book (free pdf or buy printed): http://goo.gl/9oy9yS

Further reading:

HP Journal 1970/06: https://goo.gl/W0F0Sw
30 Years of FFT: https://goo.gl/qkPUm0

Fourier Series (Wikip): https://goo.gl/bEfHiI
Fourier Transform (Wikip): https://goo.gl/osR3Cf
Fast Fourier Transform: https://goo.gl/t9ezSe
Fourier Analysis (Wikip): https://goo.gl/B8zC1w
Harmonic Analysis: (Wikip): https://goo.gl/p2U1ur



Image courtesy of Computer History Museum: http://goo.gl/OaoDqy
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More photos of +Saul Schleimer's and my 3D printed illustration of the Klein quartic. 
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Theron Hitchman

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“Americans have a tendency to be arrogant, devious, and stupid,” Stefansson replied, smiling.

Who you calling arrogant?

(Via +Dave Pentecost​)
 
on the plan to sequence all icelanders, to find patterns of disease.
In the ninth century there was a Norwegian Viking named Kveldulf, so big and strong that no man could defeat him. He sailed the seas…
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Come join us as a *Charter Member of the IBL SIGMAA*.
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Nicely put.
 
Same goes for maths! A quote:

...I suspect that the minister was referring to scientists who spend their time working on apparently esoteric questions, rather than getting their hands dirty helping industry to solve practical problems. By gathering the lot of them under an industrial umbrella, he presumably hopes to get them doing targeted research that is relevant to such problems.
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About to board the flight home. I was happy to be at this RLM15. AND WHAT AN ENDING.

+Dana Ernst​, you missed a doozy of a finish.
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I am happy to see a vibrant poster session at this year's Legacy of RL Moore / IBL meeting.

It is a new thing, but really well attended.
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About 70 people here for Mike Starbird's introductory mini-workshop about IBL teaching.

#IBL
18th Annual Legacy of RL Moore / IBL conference.
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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