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29 votes

Should LaTeX be taught in high school?

This is not an answer to the posed question, but only an anecdote. This semester, teaching US college students (Discrete & Computational Geometry), I prepared all my assignments in LaTeX, and ...
Joseph O'Rourke's user avatar
18 votes

Advice on teaching abstract algebra and logic to high-school students

Here's my advice. I have no teaching experience. Remedy that first before you lay out plans for a 6-month course of study. Find some way where you can teach just for a single day in some way at the ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
17 votes

Is it a good idea to have one or two or three classes on basic logic before teaching $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ in Calculus?

Your assumption that teaching calculus needs to be backed by the $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ definitions could be challenged, but since it is not your question I won't do that here. My recent experience ...
Benoît Kloeckner's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Midterm in Mathematics Courses

"Cheating Lessons" by James M. Lang argues (and has many references to back up) the claim that smaller, more frequent, lower stakes assessment both improves student learning outcomes and decreases the ...
Steven Gubkin's user avatar
16 votes

Prisoner's dilemma formulation for children

Here's a silly example: Give students collections of the same type of thing, where each collection contains "good" objects and "bad" objects -- for example, a stack of Pokemon cards with both rare ...
Nick C's user avatar
  • 9,639
15 votes

Should LaTeX be taught in high school?

I don't think it should be a base skill for students in general. Have held jobs in engineering, chemistry, military, and finance and never needed it. Nor did my colleagues. Didn't need it for a ...
guest's user avatar
  • 159
14 votes

Prisoner's dilemma formulation for children

I found out about the Prisoners' Dilemma as a kid from a book about the Harry Potter phenomenon, which had a chapter about the problem, but presented as a story about Harry and Draco being accused of ...
Milo P's user avatar
  • 241
13 votes

Teaching Calculus I to engineers

Without directly answering your question, you don't seem to have the background you need to be "improving" the undergraduate experience yet, and have some work to do. I think you're right in sensing ...
Scott Seidman's user avatar
12 votes

How to teach a student algebra who misses too much previous knowledge?

My guess is that he depends on "following the rules", and there are now too many rules for him, because none of the 'rules' makes any sense to him. I believe he needs to see things differently to ...
Sue VanHattum's user avatar
  • 20.8k
12 votes

Why do standard geometry textbooks not start with trigonometry?

If you really want to understand why the curriculum is structured the way it is, and how it got that way, you might want to read a brief history of the discourse around geometry education for the past ...
mweiss's user avatar
  • 17.4k
11 votes

What reasons are there preventing me from using an old edition text?

Some universities (like mine) are accredited by a third party agency. One of their requirements for a university to be accredited is for it to have an "updated set of reference books" where "updated" ...
JRN's user avatar
  • 10.8k
11 votes

How should I deal well-known versus the obvious rubric?

Quoted from the first part of my answer on https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/80898/should-a-student-be-penalized-for-using-a-theorem-outside-of-the-curriculum/: ... the point of an exam ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
11 votes

Algorithmic thinking problems

One well-known source is Project Euler. The concept behind it is that each problem is mathematical and designed to be solved by an efficient algorithm on a "normal" computer in less than a minute. ...
Matthew Daly's user avatar
  • 5,619
11 votes

Should LaTeX be taught in high school?

This is clearly an opinion based question. I will answer based on my experience and opinion. No, LaTeX should not be taught at high school. It is a skill that is costly to learn with essentially no ...
user2705196's user avatar
11 votes

Advice on teaching abstract algebra and logic to high-school students

Regarding "How do I recruit students:" You should start here -- you have started with this cool thing you want to do, and are wondering how to do it. But you should instead try to find some ...
Chris Cunningham's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

"We already passed that course!" How to overcome this?

Sorry for the necromancy but I had a slant to add and too long for comment. Viewpoint: It's not reasonable for the students to eschew previous techniques. But it's ALSO not reasonable for you to be ...
guest's user avatar
  • 1,828
10 votes

Is there a class curriculum that studies the work of a mathematician?

I taught a class based on the work of Bertrand Russell. It was essentially devoted to set theory, but via his life and emerging interest in mathematics, philosophy, and ultimately logic (and its ...
Charlie Sitler's user avatar
10 votes

Teaching Calculus I to engineers

Given 100% control, I would have one-to-one instruction. One instructor meeting individually with each student. That instructor can change the approach, the speed, the order of topics, the method of ...
Gerald Edgar's user avatar
  • 7,607
10 votes
Accepted

Special topics for introductory probability

A classic application of Bayes' Theorem is in medical testing, and the difference/conversion between "what is the probability I test positive, given I have the condition" vs. "what is ...
Kevin P. Costello's user avatar
9 votes

Is it a good idea to have one or two or three classes on basic logic before teaching $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ in Calculus?

I had the same thought this year. My suspicion was that many students get anxious about suddenly dealing with quantifiers and they also struggle with understanding how the ordering of them can affect ...
cocoahomology's user avatar
9 votes

How to teach a student algebra who misses too much previous knowledge?

It seems he has a lot of gaps. It would be good to teach him each gap separately. For example, don't expect to teach him about adding negative numbers and identifying like terms by exponents at the ...
Amy B's user avatar
  • 8,017
9 votes

Should LaTeX be taught in high school?

I only want to give anecdotical advice since I happened to have been taught LaTeX in regular school (10th grade in the German system, iirc). However, I attended a school with a MINT focus and ...
ljrk's user avatar
  • 459
9 votes

What mathematical topics are important for succeeding in an undergrad PDE course?

They must understand the quadratic equation and how to factor it, solve it and manipulate it formally in both the real and complex case. Also, how to solve simple trigonometric equation and knowledge ...
James S. Cook's user avatar
8 votes

How to teach a student algebra who misses too much previous knowledge?

The student in the question here is very similar to many (most?) of the students that I get in remedial college elementary algebra courses. In particular, if they don't have basic arithmetic skills, ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
8 votes

Why do standard geometry textbooks not start with trigonometry?

I cannot speak to curricula outside of the US, and I don't really buy your argument that geometry courses are "focused more on memorizing theorems rather than understanding where they come from." It ...
Xander Henderson's user avatar
  • 8,225
8 votes

Prisoner's dilemma formulation for children

I like Nick C's idea more than modifying the typical formulation. The notion of snitching on a friend, regardless of the severity of the "crime", has real-world ramifications beyond the punishment ...
Matthew Daly's user avatar
  • 5,619
8 votes

Advice on teaching abstract algebra and logic to high-school students

I’d like to give you some ideas, based on my own musings about starting a math club, of what to teach instead of Lang and Axler. You say you want to attract motivated, hardworking students, but that’s ...
Thierry's user avatar
  • 1,527
7 votes

What reasons are there preventing me from using an old edition text?

I'm in the habit of allowing students to use either the current edition of a text or the preceding one. So far I've been able to keep a homework exercise list synchronized so that both groups of ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
7 votes

Is it a good idea to have one or two or three classes on basic logic before teaching $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ in Calculus?

Generally speaking, it would be nice to have a foundations class at the initiation of the Math major. Some of my colleagues envision this course centered around teaching college algebra. Well, to be ...
James S. Cook's user avatar

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