> Shiffman though spends very little time, that I see, teaching the > underlying math and physics, and if you think kids just make all of that up > on the fly, you need to put the pipe down. > >
No he does, look harder.
There's a whole video devoted to nothing but vectors in the abstract (mostly whiteboard) rolling on through acceleration, then force, all with clever caveats that this is a simulation (more like a physics engine) and not the real world.
Anyway, no one was recommending a diet of only Shiffman; he's representative of the new breed of math teacher of which we have a rich assortment, not neglecting Khan himself, nor Vi Hart (early pioneers).
Students will find their favorite, given guidance from adults who care enough to survey the vista. As long as we care about education enough to give students quality time with the best teachers, we won't be wasting their prime time as legal children (when people legally have time to learn).
> Devlin is probably more of an entertainer than populist, kind of a wannabe > populist, but he is hardly a teacher at all. > > Bob >
He does this workshop on Youtube, at least a couple versions, where he cops to making a big mistake with the nautilus, but then the multi-million dollar building lobby, all devoted to the topic of phi, isn't going to really suffer. He's been a college dean.
In admitting that big mistake, amidst exploding other myths, he keeps the whole Phi thing going (by pruning the dead weight).
Then he humorously turns on Mario Livio, his primary source for a lot of this Phi stuff, for still suffering from this same delusion: that the nautilus shell is based on phi and not some other number.
These are workshops for adults, cultured people, intelligent laypeople. Like a TED talk, but longer and more interactive. They have pine cones and stuff to mess with, and there's literally a quiz.
The talk is about Fibonacci Numbers as much as Phi, Devlin having done a ton to research the actual guy, with many summers in Italy. He also gets into the origin of our modern day algorithms (arithmetical). I'd say he's more of the historian, more H in our PATH + STEM, though with lots of M and A as well.
I've met both Devlin (Math Summit, Oregon, 1997) and Livio (more recently).
Indeed, Livio sat through a presentation of mine, which I chronicle in Coffee Shops Network (one of my blogs). I've also opened for Mandelbrot once, introducing fractals to a small group of math nerds at a morning PSU meetup. He told me later I did a good job. I guess that makes me a popularizer too then?