Your Grandmother’s Calculus!

This is a link to a Single Variable Calculus course as taught in 1970 at MIT. Calculus Revisited: Single Variable Calculus | MIT OpenCourseWare. Having this course, with videos, transcript and problems is a wonderful resource. Comparing this course with today’s courses helps us see what it really means, in terms of learning, for faculty to require so much less study effort for […]

Are High School Students – And Their Parents – Misled About Their Math Knowledge? Probably.

I just read an online discussion by high school students.  They were wondering how today’s math courses compare to the ones in the 60’s. I attended high school in the sixties and took the most advanced course that my East Texas town of 35,000 had to offer; and, of course, I grew up with people from that era, so […]

Atlantic Monthly Article on Faculty Concerns About High Graduation Rates

Here is the link, followed by my comment. (The article is good – and shocking – especially the part about some state schools getting rid of history courses.  State schools?  Is this becoming a vicious circle?  Uneducated politicians (probably with degrees, though) deciding not to educate?  Whatever happened to Jefferson and his silly ideas […]

Is University of Missouri’s Calculus Easier Than AP Calculus?

I just talked to a student who told me that his friends told him that.  He asked me if it was true.  I said, “probably so”.  Of course, AP Calculus is not college calculus either.  See my posts under the category “AP Calculus”.

Compare “Feeder Schools”: Another Addendum to the Previous Post

Just posted a reply to Mel Murphy, who wrote, “Read your article. Having kids in the college selection mode, and having received mailings and invitations from WUSTL as well as other “prestigious” institutions, I am most appreciative and find it eye-opening. Caveat emptor, indeed” I think the following is useful advice for anyone looking at schools. “Maybe, […]

Another Good Article by Miles Kimball & Noah Smith on Learning Math

The authors wrote a previous article for The Atlantic that explains the need for math in economics.   Here is a link to a post on that article  Need for Math to Study Econ – Excellent Description – But… They have now written their suggestions on changing how math is taught.  The article makes a good point […]

New York Times Writes That Average Cost of College Steady Over a Decade

The sticker price has gone up considerably but the discounts have gotten bigger, according to the report that the NYTimes cites.  (Here is the link to the Times’ article There must be a reason why the colleges are increasing their sticker price while keeping their real charges the same.  I suspect its marketing. The […]

What does it mean to “learn calculus”

In a recent post, Calculus on the Road, I pointed out that studnts who didn’t know the definition of a derivative were making good grades in their calculus class.  So what does “learning calculus” mean?  At some “elite” schools it doesn’t mean knowing any formal definition of a limit (part of the definition of a derivative).  For […]

Calculus on the Road

I’m sitting in a Starbucks in NorthCarolina next to three young community college students who are studying calculus on a Saturday morning.  They were nice enough to answer my two questions.  The fist was “What is the definition of the derivative?” Two said they don’t know, then one said it is a rate.  I pressed him […]