Tautochrone

  1. In Multivariable Calculus, we have a book club, and we’re currently reading Steven Strogatz’s The Calculus of Friendship. Today we polished off the book. The discussion leader focused on this page, which talks about cycloids — which are both brachistochrones and tautochrones. He was interested in proving himself that cycloids are tautochrones, and I love that he came to class with both sides of a page filled with work in order execute the proof. We got halfway through his work when class ended, so I can’t wait until tomorrow or the day after, when we get to see the rest. I was blown away.

tautochrone

2. A former student gave me the coolest card along with a jar of hot chocolate mix as a thank you for writing his college recommendation. Although the hot chocolate mix looks delicious, the card made me so happy. Check it out… You can’t truly appreciate the photo, because you can’t see THE CARD IS FELT as is the jar and the label on the jar.

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3. Today I told one of my classes that we were going to be switching up groups this week, and I heard a number of “nooooo! I love my group!” comments.

4. In Multivariable Calculus, I asked kids to break up in groups and outline how they would go about solving a novel problem — but not solve it until they had all their steps down and we had talked about their approaches. It was awesome. And I didn’t have to teach anything. They figured out how to find absolute maxima and minima of 2D surfaces bounded by a region on their own!

5. I hadn’t seen my advanced precalculus kids in a long time (I was chaperoning a trip to Spain for the past two weeks, and no classes were in session). And so we started out slow. But my kids were remembering things. I was so fearful that I was going to have to start at square one… but nosireebob!

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