Posted in quotes

"The race that does not value trained intelligence is doomed." - A.N. Whitehead

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Posted in ranting

One of my students scoffed at me the other day for saying I liked football. In particular, I like bad football - the last game I went to see was Maidenhead United against Truro City in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, and even that was a bit

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Posted in ninja maths, trigonometry

Radians - as I've ranted before - are the most natural way to express angles and do trigonometry. No ifs, no buts, degrees are an inherently inferior measure and the sooner they're abolished, the better. (In other news, the campaign to replace the mishmash of units called 'time' by UNIX

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Posted in free-for-all friday

Welcome to exam season. What's on your mind? Well, what can I help you with this week? Just drop me a comment below and I'll do what I can to answer it.

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Posted in ranting

"That's the nice thing about maths," said someone who shall remain nameless. "There's always one right answer!" I coughed. I may have said 'bullshit' under my breath, a little bit. It's my second-least-favourite thing to hear anyone say1 . The idea of maths problems always having one right answer is

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Posted in ninja maths, radians, triangles

My favourite trick, when I was helping students at the Physics Homework Centre at Montana State University, was to eyeball a question for a moment and say "... which is, what, 53.13 degrees or so..." without batting an eyelid. The poor students! There they were trying to figure out which

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Posted in free-for-all friday

Must be getting close to C1 and C2 now, huh? Well, what can I help you with this week? Just drop me a comment below and I'll do what I can to answer it.

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Posted in ranting

I'm not talking here about the stress exams put students under, although I could. I'm talking here about how exams are one of the worst possible ways of testing whether someone is a good mathematician. Here's the problem: maths exams are tests of a) memory and b) calculation. You can

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