Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Unanswered Questions

  1. Where did the student with a foreign accent grow up? When did he move to the United States? Specifically: Are his serious and alarming algebra weaknesses (believes multiplying by two is the same as squaring, can't manipulate fractions, etc.) domestic or imported?

  2. How best to deal with the Common Final in our most closely coordinated classes? We want letter grades to measure the students' mastery of the course material, not the leniency/sticklerness of their instructors.

  3. Will the student who claims that he is coming to see me at 3:30pm really show up?

  4. Will my students who have taken calculus before finally admit that they don't know everything now that they have scored 4/10 on the quiz on applying their beloved power rule to expressions where the exponents are real numbers that are not positive integers near 0 and the constants are sneaky ones like π2?

  5. Why are my students asking me how to do their engineering homework?

  6. Should I order some movies (Nova videos, the one on the Proof of Fermat's Last Theorem and the one on Archimedes and Infinity) for use in my gen-ed course in the fall? How many movies can I show before earning the scorn of mathematicians?

  7. How much better would my calculus students be doing if they would DO THE DAMN HOMEWORK?