Snapping Into Focus

Learning new ideas in mathematics or science isn’t always easy. Heck, I would venture to say that most of the time it’s difficult. I imagine the experience is the same whether or not you consider yourself to be “good” in a given subject. That’s because, on some level, we are all in the same situation when it comes to learning. We need to figure out how to integrate new knowledge into our existing worldview. In…

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Escaping the Path

There’s a lovely forest near my house. It’s a wonderful place that looks exceptional in the autumn, where the fallen leaves of the trees cover the path in a flurry of orange, red, and yellow. I love running there because it’s so peaceful. Imagine that I told you I would show you this forest. After hearing me wax poetic about it, you’re excited to see it. We get to the forest, and I show you…

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Jeremy Cote 2019-01-13 15:21:54

When making work that’s important to you, it’s tempting to focus on improving your best work. After all, when you think of your work, that’s what first comes to mind. (You don’t think about the mediocre work.) Therefore, it makes sense to focus on that. By definition, this should be scarce. It’s not that you decide to sometimes do great work. Rather, it’s a simple consequence of looking at many pieces. Some will jump out…

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Give Yourself A Gift

A characteristic trait of students is that we tend to think in the short term. Our lives have natural milestones: semesters, midterms, due dates for assignments, final exams, and summer and winter breaks. These lead to students having a certain mindset with respect to time. For the most part, we think about our lives in terms of weeks and (maybe) months. For example, I’m writing this (not at the time of publication) in a week…

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Not The Usual Outreach

What is a science or mathematics education good for? One way to answer that question would be to say that teaching is a good use of such a degree. The idea makes sense, since a degree should give you a lot of knowledge in the subject. And, once you’ve gone through the challenges of completing the courses necessary for your degree, wouldn’t teaching the material be the next natural step? Another route is to do…

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