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James S. Cook

I love math. I love teaching. I want my students to know more than I do when they get where I am. I believe in individual decisions both in learning and teaching. I think decisions should be made on the basis of individual situations as opposed to following a study. Forgive me, but, in this age of studies and statistics I only see decline of education. In a world with so many variables, it is often the case that those variables which are hidden are actually the ones which matter.

Actually, do we even follow studies? Or, do we just use studies to hide our true motives of making instruction cheaper? Does anyone care that we are sliding towards a world where no one teaches their own course? Have we forgotten the process of teaching is an integral part in the maturation of mathematicians? Do we even care that instructors are challenged creatively? Sorry, when I look at the world that administrators are creating, I see a pale echo of the rich academic tradition that provided the genesis of my mathematical mind. I feel a tremendous sense of loss, we're trading an education and scholarly work for mere job training and degree granting.

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