AGU 2017, Days 1 and 2

After a couple of days at the AGU Fall Meeting, it’s not as overwhelming as I worried that it would be. The conference center and poster hall are huge, but other than that, it doesn’t feel like I’m at a conference three times larger than any other I’ve been to. There’s a lot of cool science, and obviously I’m loving getting to eat Cajun food. Continue reading


“Basic” and Detail in Prereqs

Over on Twitter, some folks were talking about the use of the word “basic” in math. A lot of the conversation was centered around the idea that “basic” is vague, inconsistent across people and places, and a moving target. Sometimes for Splash and Spark classes, I’ve listed something like “comfort with basic algebra” as a prerequisite. After reading the conversations on Twitter, I decided to dive deeper into what I meant by that.

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MIT Splash, Fall 2017

I taught at MIT Splash this past weekend! I gave feedback on teaching for a couple of classes, and I taught Math Modeling and Ballet in the Soviet Union. Both of those were classes I’ve run before. I taught Math Modeling as a two hour course at MIT and Columbia Splash last fall and a one hour course at Columbia a couple weeks ago, and I taught Soviet Ballet at Columbia Splash and MIT Spark last spring. Thoughts on how both of the classes went this time below the fold! Continue reading

Sizes of Infinity and Probability Zero

I’ve been TAing one of Art of Problem Solving’s AMC 8/Mathcounts Basics courses, and one of the lessons covers probability. Most of the class period involves problems with finite sample spaces, but we do a couple of geometric probability problems, which have uncountable spaces.

Tonight, after we did one problem where the sample space was a square and the successes formed a triangle within it, a student asked something like, “So some infinities are bigger than others?” I found that to be both a really good question and a tricky one to answer responsibly. Continue reading

Reading Challenge Update 3

I’m a bit behind on blogging; there are posts on thermal wind and some dance performances that have been in the works for a while. But I wanted to do my quarterly book update!

I’m at 215/250 on my Goodreads goal. I think I was at 163 when I updated at the beginning of July, so it was a slower quarter (read as: fewer picture books). I’m still on track to complete that goal pretty easily.

Read Harder

I’ve read at least one book for twenty of the twenty-four categories. Like last time, for two of those, the only books I’ve read for the category are short-ish, illustrated poetry books. It would be nice to read other books for at least one of those. Also, I’ve acquired a micropress book! I think I’ll be able to finish this challenge.

2017 Diversity Bingo

I’ve read at least one book for thirty-five of the thirty-six categories! I currently have a book for the last category checked out from the library, so this should be done soon.

Queer 52

I’d read four books on this list previously, so I’ve added four to it to get back up to 52. Those four are Corinne Duyvis’s Otherbound, Riley Redgate’s Noteworthy, Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence, and Jaye Robin Brown’s Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruits. 

So far, I’ve read Otherbound, NoteworthyRadio SilenceGeorgia Peaches, and twenty-eight books from the main list. That means I’m at thirty-two books out of fifty-two, so I’m seven books behind, oops. There are still four I can get from NYPL on Overdrive, so I’ll definitely try to at least read those. I don’t think all 52 will happen, but I’m going to aim for 40.

Reading What’s Currently On My Kindle

When I started paying attention to this, I had 75 unread books in English on my Kindle. I now have 88. Also, I’ve bought some ebooks not on Kindle. Uhh. Since the last update, I think I’ve read 12 ebooks that I own? I’ve continued reading a good bit from the library.

United Methodist Women Reading Program

I’ve still only read one book on the list. Success in any version of this challenge is highly unlikely.

Queer Summer Reading

Laina and Lucia ran a cool thing in July and August, and I read books for it! I read one queer book for each of the categories: an ID I share, an ID I don’t share, own voices, set in a different country, nonfiction, a genre I read a lot, a genre I don’t read much, a comic/graphic novel.