Monthly Archives: February 2012

“Student Learning Can Only Be Described, Not Measured,” by Rog Lucido

Rog Lucido has written an interesting article against standardized testing, and suggesting better alternatives. (Hat-tip to Susan Ohanian.) He argues that the numerical aggregation of final test scores is not valid and therefore not meaningful, and that subjective assessments together … Continue reading

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A Neat Trick For Determining The Integrals Of exp(x) cos x And exp(x) sin x

The standard method (typically found in first-year calculus textbooks) for determining the integrals and is to integrate by parts twice. If you haven’t seen the standard method, I’ll show you how to do the first one; the second one is … Continue reading

Posted in Calculus, Mathematics | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

“No Student Left Untested,” by Diane Ravitch

Measuring teacher effectiveness by the performance of students on standardized tests is insane. New York State has just signed on to a particularly dangerous form of this insanity. Diane Ravitch has clearly explained the insanity and its destructive consequences in … Continue reading

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Confusing Use Of Numbers: Best-Before Dates

My wife was driving me and our children to Collingwood yesterday. I was hungry, and found a power bar in the glove box, with a best-before date of 09/02/12 Yesterday was 20 February 2012, and my question is: had the … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics in every-day life | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Canadian Government Shamefully Suppresses Science

The Canadian government has a sickening recent history of persecuting whistleblowing scientists who were working hard and with integrity to protect the safety of the food supply (see here and here), then abusing the legal system to deny justice, all … Continue reading

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Climate Change Denialism Highlights The Need For Public Education In Basic Science

There are many excellent newspaper and magazine columns (and internet sites and blogs) that publicize the latest research findings in science. They are important because they inform the general public about scientific findings funded by their taxes, and they communicate … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, What is science? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Both Students And Professors Need Certification, and the Elsevier Boycott

I’ve written before about the evils of grading (for example, see here and here), the main purpose of which is to make certifying students easy. Our current grading system in mathematics is counterproductive to learning (students are inhibited from engaging … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Science research, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments