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Topic: Back to School
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Kirby Urner

Posts: 4,713
Registered: 12/6/04
Back to School
Posted: Sep 6, 2006 8:11 PM
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Greetings, gnu math teachers. Now that we're back in the classroom, full time or part time, as recruiter or no, it's time to buckle down and get the show on the road.

First up, in the upper grades, our NCLB Polynomial, the one connecting us to Liber Abacci (1100s Europe) and thence to Iraq, which helped keep the Greek classics warm, plus improved on 'em in the interim. A vast literture returned, given the Renaissance and the lifting of the official ban on all things Indexed.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091605/ <-- James Bond!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum

Actually, yes, I'm garbling things a bit. The Italian Renaissance actually *preceded* the Spanish Inquisition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Renaissance

Anyway, this is math class... so yes, Liber Abacci, Fibonacci numbers, converging to phi as fib.next()/fib.next(), you know the drill (or what have you been doing all summer, hey??? No homework I guess).

That's our entre to the Golden Mean, and also Pascal's Triangle. You remember how we're doin' those figurate and polyhedral numbers, per the triangulars and tetrahedral's in Blaise's Made in China thing here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascals_triangle

That's your transition to Binomial Theorem and our gnu math Polynomial object, if over 8th grade (per standard), or earlier for the intrepid explorers.

In the early grades, you guessed it: A & B mods breaking out all over, even if only in the faculty lounge in some schools (sometimes the only people we see). Those doodads build our Renaissance Era sculpture, the familiar yet always fun-to-contemplate Concentric Hierarchy of Everyday Math Shapes.[insert mathcast]

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but fewer actually deliver.

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Some of you have asking about Vista. I have no opinion on that, although I generally support the trend to OpenGL type engines for GUIs, even if the default versions remain rather flat. Newer apps go for depth cues. Your kids used their game cubes all summer, and we shouldn't be in the business of stealing eye candy from kids. That'd be cruel. Remember: fight for higher bandwidth, the kids will thank you for it later.

But we *do* also want them to also exercise their imaginations. Relying on game authors for everything, or any type of software engineer, means you'll lack the powers to roll your own someday? So fight atrophy! We wouldn't want to be accused of letting the torch go out on our watch, now would we?

And finally, I know I've been slow with the oft promised toons. We see tantalizing glimpses in public, but not enough usable content has been delivered within an easy-to-use solution. I'm definitely working on it. My Portland Knowledge Lab is in overdrive, but a lot of the work is just countering the background static, the steady drum beat of "things never change".

How can we help but change?

That's almost a gnu math motto (plus far less controversial than the "infinity is for morons" bumper sticker recently discussed on Synergeo -- but that was for a specialized audience, you'll have to admit).

I enjoy getting those reports, and please don't feel hurt if I don't reply right away. We're not treating them as super confidential either, so don't send me anything you wouldn't want a newspaper reader to enjoy, i.e. think of your reporting as journalism (get it? "journalist..." "reporter..."). That being said, I don't just republish willy nilly. I go through channels, just as we all do.

To those of you in bizmos: we're still in our primitive beginnings of this. Ulmer is test piloting still, doing his picture blogging and satellite dish tunings. I haven't seen him all year. Did some Google chat when he was at Elk Lake I think he called it, near Bend someplace. For those of you who don't know: Dave Ulmer, inventor of geocaching, is one of our Silicon Forest execs, guinea pigging gnu math teacher prototype tech. I met him through Wanderers, a local think tank I'm always writing about -- meets in the Linus Pauling House (so named cuz it was his boyhood home, coincidentally in the neighborhood where the Silicon Forest was born).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Forest

Until next time then. Urner out.



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