### Class Report: Ring and Field Theory (MTH 345)

One of three courses I took this term was on Ring Theory, the sequel to Group Theory, which I took last term. Besides the subject matter, there were a few minor differences between the two courses which I’ll highlight below. Most everything else, like the text and the instructor, remained the same.

Read more →### At Lewis & Clark, Beginning Again

As I write this, I’m drinking Lipton out of an orange mug emblazoned with the words “Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.” Technically it belongs to Rachael, who earned her master’s degree there (in counseling) about seven years ago. Now it’s my turn.

Today marks the first day of the final phase of our three-year Oregon adventure. It’s the first day of classes in the Master’s of Arts in Teaching program, which will continue for thirteen months and finish next summer. I’ll be taking classes at Lewis & Clark and student-teaching at a high school up the road. More on that soon. In the meantime I wanted to share the essay I wrote about why I’m here. I hope you enjoy it.

Read more →### Idara at Two and Three Quarters

Gardening, sleeping in a bed, and making friends. This is Idara at two and three quarters.

Read more →### Idara at Two and a Half

In my last post about Idara, I wrote about how she wanted everything explained to her, how she was singing more and more, and how her thank you’s sounded more like an expletive than an expression of gratitude.

Some things are harder, like bedtime. But most things are easier, and more fun, and more interesting.

Read more →### Class Report: The History of Math (MTH 404)

I loved this class. Although I suppose I technically could've done it, becoming a math teacher without having studied the history of math now seems insane, like teaching physics without knowing the incredible stories of Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton.

Read more →### Class Report: Defense Against the Dark Arts (CS 374)

Defense Against the Dark Arts is Oregon State’s course in computer security. If the title rings a bell, it’s because it’s also the name of the magical defense class that Harry Potter and his classmates took at Hogwarts. Having a playful name, (especially in comparison to “Assembly,” “Networks,” “Algorithms,” etc.) made me think that the course would be playful too, but I was mistaken.

Read more →### Class Report: Capstone (CS 467)

The final course in Oregon State’s computer science program is Capstone, in which students form groups of three to four and spend the entire term building one project.

Read more →### Who Invented Calculus?

Calculus was invented in the late 17th century by the Englishman Isaac Newton. Or by the German Gottfried Leibniz. Or maybe their work was just a natural outgrowth of seeds sown by the Greeks two millennia before. Or maybe the Chinese and the Keralites.

Perhaps none of these statements are mutually exclusive. To see why, I’ll cover what the Greeks and Chinese knew about exhaustion and what the Keralites knew of infinite series, and then move forward to the era of Newton and Leibniz.

Read more →### The Math of the Renaissance

Last week I covered the math of Ancient Greece. Fast-forward about 1,500 years and we’re in the Italian Renaissance, the period which ushered in dramatic changes in art, science, politics, the economy, and of course, mathematics. The three most significant changes, covered below, were the pursuit of formulae for higher order equations (i.e., moving beyond the quadratic formula), modernizing and standardizing mathematical symbols, and coming to a consensus on what seems like a trivial question: What is a number?

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