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.

Ability Grouping, Foreign Language, and Math

I see a lot of writing in the math education community against homogeneous ability grouping, tracking, etc. It’s a difficult topic for me because I recognize the biases that often go into those things and the inequity they promote while also feeling like there are times and situations in which some students need something like grouping/tracking. I’ve been puzzling over these conversations, not sure how to feel or think, for at least a year now.

I’m still in that place, but now I’m in that place with a story to tell about experience with a mix of heterogeneous and homogeneous ability grouping. It’s actually a story I’ve had all along, but I didn’t realize it. Continue reading

My Favorite Theorem: Liouville’s Theorem

Evelyn Lamb and Kevin Knudson have started a new podcast called My Favorite Theorem. In each episode, they have a mathematician as a guest, and that guest talks about their favorite theorem. They also have to pair that theorem with something, often a food. This inspired me to think about which theorem is my favorite (not difficult) and what food I would pair with it (more difficult). Continue reading