Monday, June 26, 2006

At Work Even Though They're Not Paying Me

I'm being paid for 50 hours of work this summer; from a financial standpoint the university is getting the better end of this deal.

I spent most of the morning working on an assessment project related to engineering calculus. The trends emerging so far are that a small improvement in a student's algebra skills makes a big difference in calculus performance, first time freshmen taking calculus in the fall are not getting most of the Fs, and taking calculus and failing it (or dropping it) is a pretty strong predictor of failing it again.

Of course since they are 18 years old and took calculus in high school, they know everything, so my data analysis hardly matters to them.

In other calculus news, the horrible powerpoints (way too wordy) that came with the calculus textbook might morph nicely into iPod flashcards, the various .swf files of calculus problems being solved with a (male) voiceover are kind of weird but somehow simultaneously fascinating, and the "Tools for Enriching Calculus" CD is almost certainly useful (even though it fought with my computer over Java issues).

But now that I've finished ripping all the CDs laying around my office to my hard drive, it's time to get some lunch and then hit the gym.