CTK Insights

Archive for April, 2012

28 Apr

An Anthology I liked

TweetWhen, as an adolescent, I began buying books at bookinist stores, I would deliberately ignore anthologies; it was a rare pleasure to browse through odd collections of old books and be at times rewarded for the effort and perseverance by a surprise find. Anthologies, on one hand, appeared to offer a shortcut that eliminated the […]

27 Apr

Poincaré And Standardized Testing

TweetHenri Poincaré (1854-1912) was a teenager during the Franco-Prussian war. He taught himself German in order to keep abreast of the news [Ayoub, 17-18]: Opponents of standardized tests would be interested to know that after achieving fame, he agreed to take the Binet test whose use was becoming more widespread; he performed abominably! According to […]

26 Apr

A Review of Dana Mackenzie's "The Universe in Zero Words"

Tweet I just finished reading Dana Mackenzie's book The Universe in Zero Words. The reading was interrupted by the necessary sleep, meals, perfunctory answering email - and that's about it. It was a very absorbing reading, even though most of the material was not new to me. The subtile of the book The Story of […]

25 Apr

When Friends Are Right

TweetHere's a story from the recent

24 Apr

Euclidean Constructions vs Ruler & Compass

TweetThe ancient Greeks are credited with the development of the notion of proof that squarely placed their mathematics on the foundation of reason rather than experience. Why they focused on geometric constructions with ruler and compass is anybody's guess. It might be that the ancients thought it is most entertaining to use a minimal set […]

22 Apr

Regarding the Mess We Are In

TweetDr. Harry Elmer Barnes (discredited in his late life for the denial of Holocaust) opined in the New York World-Telegram (during the Great Depression, probably around 1932): The fact that men like President Cleveland had not the slightest grip on the mathematical and scientific facts which have created the modern world is one reason why […]

22 Apr

D. E. Smith's Quotes

TweetDavid Eugene Smith was a well-known author, math historian and educator and a past president of the Mathematical Association of America. His 1913 address to the New England Association of Teachers of Mathematics raises and attempts to answer questions that are relevant to math education today as they were then. Below I gathered several quotes […]

20 Apr

Who Is a Poor Educator?

TweetI've been browsing an NCTM publication "The Place of Mathematics in Modern Education" (NCTM, 1936) in which the first chapter contained an extended quote from David Eugene Smith's address delivered before the New England Association of Teachers of Mathematics (1913). I liked the quote so much that I decided to check the internet for the […]

19 Apr

The Regula Falsi - Iterated

TweetThe Regula Falsi method - the method of the false position - for getting an approximation to a solution of an equation consists in applying the formula with two initial guesses and . The Secant method consist in iterating the formula in a way that depends on the sign distribution of successive values of . […]

19 Apr

The Secant Method

TweetA straight line is uniquely determined by any two points. Let's there be given two points and on a straight line (assumed neither vertical nor horizontal). We can find a generic third point by noticing similar triangles: The resulting proportions have a simple geometric meaning: any two points on a straight line define the same […]

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