Friday, February 03, 2006

Goings on in the Math Department

  1. My honors students are so super-fantastic. After answering one of today's in-class problems, one of the groups took it upon themselves to look at related cases to understand what happens in general. I lectured for a sum total of 10 minutes on modular arithmetic, and they can already do problems that would befuddle some math majors.

  2. I worked on three grade appeals at various points in the process. One of them has been settled at the departmental level, one of them I am investigating, and one is a non-starter until the student will agree to follow the directions.

  3. At lunch Professor Unger and Professor Madison argued about SuDoku. Professor Unger insisted that sometimes you have to guess; Professor Madison explained that you should never need to guess. Professor Unger seemed unwilling to concede that guessing might not be necessary on the puzzles that he could not reason out.

  4. I printed some research-related stuff. Professor Madison taunted me at the printer: It is a commutative printer, and I should not be printing anything noncommutative on it.

  5. Looks like we will always be short-staffed. We are doing enough searches this year to fill many of the open lines; next year we will have several people on sabbatical. Maybe we'll get some good visitors.

  6. A calculus student came to my office to go over the problems that he missed on the test. Then he started talking about Dan Brown's Digital Fortress. Then he asked what he would need to do in order to use the internet anonymously; we decided that he could buy a laptop with cash at a flea market and use the wireless at Krystal.