Showing posts tagged pedagogy

Numberphile video on the Josephus Problem

Recently, the following Numberphile video on the Josephus Problem has been making the rounds on math-related social media. I watched the video, and I thought Daniel Erman did a remarkably good job at explaining how to solve a mathematical problem. Daniel’s approach is similar to the techniques described in Polya‘s “How to Solve It.” Yet the particular story that Daniel tells also has an appealing narrative arc. Daniel’s video adheres to the following principles, which I think are fairly universal in mathematical problem solving. Start with a…

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Undergraduate Panel Notes

A couple weeks ago in Math 495 (Teaching College Mathematics) we had a panel of undergraduate students at UCLA talk about their experiences in the math department. We tried to get a good cross section of students, from those whose focus is math, to students who only took math classes as a departmental requirement. Given the diverse background of our panel, it was somewhat surprising to me how much they agreed about how a math discussion section should be run. Below I’ve summarized the panel’s advice to TAs…

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