Neil Strickland
  • Member for 7 years, 10 months
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Questions with "round" answers only?
Accepted answer
47 votes

When teaching linear algebra, I rely heavily on carefully constructed examples where everything can be done with rational numbers of small denominator. (It is faintly amusing that the construction of ...

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Impressive common misleading interpretations in statistics to make students aware of
43 votes

Sally Clark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Clark) was convicted in the UK of murdering both her infant sons, when in fact it is much more likely that they died of natural causes. The case ...

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Examples why university education is important for future high school teachers
25 votes

Here is some text from the paper "Teacher Characteristics and Student Achievement Gains: A Review" (Wayne and Youngs, 2003): Three analyses take advantage of the detailed teacher data in NELS:88 ...

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Reasons for (not) distinguishing $f$ from $f(x)$
21 votes

It is interesting to see how computer algebra systems deal with this kind of thing. In Maple, for example, you can do the following: Define f := x^3 Enter diff(f,x) to get the derivative Enter subs(...

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What are some good low-prerequisite examples for the heuristic advice "If you cannot prove it, prove something stronger."?
19 votes

For a very basic example, how about proving that 59549121058965346178 can be expressed as a product of primes? It is much easier to prove the stronger result that every positive integer can be ...

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What is a good motivation/showcase for a student for the study of eigenvalues?
18 votes

I like Markov chains and Google PageRank (which is essentially a special kind of Markov chain). It doesn't take very long to explain and motivate Markov chains and to argue that the probability ...

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What are the arguments for and against learning the multiplication table by heart?
Accepted answer
15 votes

There is some relevant research (and bibliography) in this paper: "Improving basic multiplication fact recall for primary school students" (Wong and Evans, 2007) http://link.springer.com/article/10....

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Soft question: take complex analysis or cryptology?
10 votes

I will vote for complex analysis. The main theme of complex analysis is that differentiable complex functions are incredibly rigid, which is completely different from the behaviour of differentiable ...

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Advantages on repeating question in student's answer
10 votes

Personally I encourage students to write answers that make sense as a self-contained piece of writing, because I think that that is a valuable skill. Certainly it is required when writing about ...

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Use Mathematica to teach calculus
9 votes

For several years I taught I course (which no longer exists) making heavy use of Maple. All the material is at http://neil-strickland.staff.shef.ac.uk/courses/MAS100/. Obviously technical details ...

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Is there any proof of the fundamental theorem of algebra that can be introduced to undergraduates who have just completed Calc III?
8 votes

You can short-cut the Liouville proof as follows. Assuming that $f$ is a monic polynomial of degree $d>0$ with no roots, define $$ h(r) = \int_{\theta=0}^{2\pi} f(r\,e^{i\theta})^{-1}\,d\theta. $$...

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Is there a math curriculum that is aware of CAS and the internet?
7 votes

You could look at https://neilstrickland.github.io/maths_with_maple/. This is a full set of material for a CAS-based course which is mostly calculus but has some precalculus. It was originally ...

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Political complications following from oral examinations in the British university system?
Accepted answer
5 votes

British universities have complex systems of teaching quality assurance, mandated by the QAA (http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en). Exams are typically set by a lecturer, checked by a colleague in the same ...

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Mathematics Education in Africa
4 votes

There is a scheme "Mentoring African Research in Mathematics" run by the London Mathematical Society (which is effectively the UK national maths society) and the African Mathematics Millennium ...

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On the use of calculators in elementary/high school? Computer algebra systems later on?
3 votes

I have some documents discussing various issues about the use of Maple in teaching here: http://neil-strickland.staff.shef.ac.uk/talks/maple2/ (This is actually quite old, but I think that most of ...

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How to test student's skills in programming or using software?
2 votes

If you have access to a Moodle server, you could look at CodeRunner (https://coderunner.org.nz/). This is a Moodle question type that can be used for automated assessment of programming exercises in ...

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Multidimensional differentials for students with poor spatial imaging
2 votes

You can make 3D images that can be manipulated by mouse and put them on the web. There are a bunch of examples at http://neil-strickland.staff.shef.ac.uk/courses/MAS243/pics/. These are done with a ...

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Showcase of Powerpoint / Keynote / Beamer Presentations
1 votes

Material for all my courses is at http://neil-strickland.staff.shef.ac.uk/courses/. For the following courses, there are complete sets of lecture slides: Methods for differential equations: I will ...

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Visual Pythagorean demonstration
1 votes

Here is a Java applet showing Euclid's proof: http://neil-strickland.staff.shef.ac.uk/courses/MAS100/pclock.html

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Teaching logic with a proof assistant
0 votes

You might like to look at this: http://aim.shef.ac.uk/aim_php/html/builder_question.html It is experimental; I have not used it with real students yet. The page gives you a selection of phrases and ...

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