teaching

Fundamentals of Numerical Computation

Undergraduate textbook in computational mathematics.

Exploring ODEs

A different kind of introduction to ODEs.

Learning MATLAB

Streamlined approach to MATLAB for veteran programmers.

Unquantifying My Grading

The traditional practice of grading throughout most STEM courses in higher ed makes little sense. Forget the deep questions such as what grades “measure” or “mean;” they don’t even make mathematical sense. Suppose you gave two midterms, one with an observed mean score of 90 with a standard deviation of 4, and a second with mean 70 plus or minus 10. Say Ana gets an 94 on the first and 60 on the second, while Benito gets 86 on the first and 80 on the second.

The sorry state of teaching ODEs

I’ve spent the last two spring semesters teaching ODEs (ordinary differential equations) to a total of about 170 biomedical and chemical engineering majors. The content is dictated by a number of constraints: the perceived desires of the client departments, multiple instructors, all of whom have more experience with the course than I do, and traditional expectations. Based on a limited survey of popular textbooks (this, this, and our choice, Brannan and Boyce), many courses like this are quite similar.

Flipping experiences