kitchen table math, the sequel: The brain hurts most when being expanded...

Monday, June 21, 2010

The brain hurts most when being expanded...

Professor Wu at the beginning of MSMI2010 ...










...and at the end of MSMI2010.


That's the result of 40 hours of extreme fraction action.

Notice how giddy and hard working the attendees are after 5 days!

Better sign up now for next year's institute on Geometry.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, I think I see Catherine in the bottom one. Where are you guys?

What was it like working with him? We need some tidbits around here.

SusanS

CassyT said...

That is Catherine in the bottom one! Good eyes. I'll post more in a day or two. I have another deadline I need to meet on a project first.

40 hours is a looong time to teach.

Catherine Johnson said...

oh wow - I'm glad Cassy beat me to it ---- GREAT TITLE

Catherine Johnson said...

fraction boot camp

Catherine Johnson said...

that's gonna be the name of my post

Catherine Johnson said...

The weird thing about the course is that the material -- virtually all of the material -- was at the farthest reaches of my knowledge, and this seemed to be true for most of the teachers in the room.

And yet, oddly, I followed a good 90% of what Wu said -- and I got the sense that others were following, too.

I don't think I've ever had an experience quite like this: simultaneously way too hard **and** do-able.

Still don't know what to make of it (though I completely get the Asian mode of math teaching, where the teacher starts at the left side of the room and writes across to the right side, leaving everything in full view & un-erased.)

Catherine Johnson said...

Cassy - you have to post one of your photos of the homework solutions --

Niels Henrik Abel said...

the Asian mode of math teaching, where the teacher starts at the left side of the room and writes across to the right side, leaving everything in full view & un-erased

L to R works for left-handed instructors, but right-handed ones ideally should begin writing on the rightmost panel and work leftwards - the motivation being not blocking your writing with your body. I picked that up somewhere in the course of my grad studies, and conduct my lectures / lessons that way.

Catherine Johnson said...

re: right to left for right handers: absolutely!

That was a big problem with one-on-one instruction at the institute. I couldn't see what the teacher was writing AND couldn't hold the material in working memory AND listen while the teacher talked.

That is: if a teacher was explaining something to me one-on-one while his or her hand was obscuring what he/she was writing, I completely lost the thread. I'm too much of a novice to be able to hold more than 3 separate items in consciousness at a time. I have to be able to see what the person is writing, not just hear it.

concerned said...

Reminds me of a college math professor [in the 80s] who would write with the right hand, moving to the right, and simultaneously erase with the left! The notes were NEVER visible!

Most of the class dropped the course in the first week, but the teacher was very talented at explaining difficult concepts - just didn't realize what was happening to us during the lectures!

Not wanting to confront the instructor, I asked permission to tape [cassette] the lectures.

The audio was great and I learned alot that semester - about mathematics and being aware of your students!

Catherine Johnson said...

oh my gosh - what a story

such a simple thing!

I'm going to put this up front

Independent George said...

I love the fact that this is what passes for celebrity gossip amongst us.

We are such nerds.

Catherine Johnson said...

I love the fact that this is what passes for celebrity gossip amongst us.

I know!

It's true!

Catherine Johnson said...

If I'm a nerd, how come I have to spend months test-prepping SAT Math?

Independent George said...

If you're not a nerd, why are you spending months test-prepping SAT Math?

Catherine Johnson said...

Good point!