Class Highlights

  • Mon Dec 10 12-2:30 Research Project 3: Unsolved Question.
  • Thur Dec 6 Finish equations [Down with fractions and beauty in equations]. Hand out SYNC cause and effects. Finish SYNC. Pants.pdf research. Move to 209b for evals.
    1. University evaluation for this course via the email you received
    2. ASULearn Anonymous Advice for Next Semester Survey
  • Tues Dec 4 DNA clicker questions Michael Coble and Romanov DNA. DNA testing in general.
    Discuss in groups: ethics of experimentation and academic integrity at Appalachian. Begin SYNC clicker questions and discussion.
  • Thur Nov 29 Complete the discussion questions on the research article Mystery Solved: The Identification of the Two Missing Romanov Children Using DNA Analysis.
  • Tues Nov 27 Library research - meet in 026 - on the final project.
  • Tues Nov 20 Should We Reject the Goal of the Genetically, Electronically, and Mechanically Enhanced Human Being?
    Clicker questions and class discussion
    If time remains, then move to the computer lab 205.
  • Thur Nov 15 Discuss hw on games, as well as research from last class.
    Go over the webpages. Begin equations.

  • Tues Nov 13 Discuss Nova's "The Proof" including controversies in the video.
    MathSciNet for Author: Wiles, A* Look at MR1333036 and MR1333035. Also do "Search for Full Text" and try to pull up the actual articles.
    How is research different from problem solving?
    Research on Games: How do you generate knowledge?
    19 nice ones
    What the Hex? and game board
    Knight's Tour
    Tower of Hanoi
    Texas Hold-em
  • Thur Nov 8
    Discuss Placebos
    GE experiment via i-clicker.
    Continue the theme of mathematical certainty versus statistical correlation. Nova's "The Proof" ~43 mp4 and Notes.
    Discuss Henderson

  • Tues Nov 6 Decision Matrix for Do Humans Belong in Space. Cause/Effect statements. Why I chose the TED video. Other discussion.
    Myers-Briggs discussion and activities. Budget FT. Test SN.
    Truth and Consequences continued: Egg Bungee winners and comments. Random number Experiment, Excel analyses, chi test and p-value, including expected value of 5.2 from SUM(B2:B11)/10 and briefly mention the chi test [(B2-C2)^2/C2, CHITEST(B2:B11,C2:C11)] and p-value (are the observations statistically significant or can the differences be ascribed to random variations of chance?) Discuss whether the human mind can provide a random number.
    Benford's Law revisited.
    Review cause/effect and correlations and the connection to input and output of functions.
    1969 Vietnam draft data, and boxplots via Starr .
  • Thur Nov 1
    Write on a piece of paper: Why do I prioritize giving people who haven't spoken a chance to speak over other issues that might make a better flowing classroom discussion? Revisit Day 1 Slides on outcomes and themes
    Critical Analysis: Pros, Cons and Making Decisions. Truth and Consequences, Experimentation, Proof
    1. Work on Egg Bungee Experiment and enter the data in Excel in 205
    2. Take the HumanMetrics Questionnaire.
    3. On ASULearn message me the Myers-Briggs type that the test gave you.
    4. On ASULearn, take the survey
    5. If you are finished before we return to the classroom, then begin working on hw for Tuesday
  • Tues Oct 30 SNOW DAY
    TED video, which brings up intelligent design (in another context) and historical innovation up to about 6:40 - most impressive craft
  • Thur Oct 25 Finish Research Project 2 presentations.
    Discuss Do Humans Belong in Space?: Clicker questions:

    Which article did you find most convincing?
    a) Yes (The Future of Human Spaceflight: Are Astronauts Close to Extinction?) by Jeff Foust
    b) No (Delusions of Space Enthusiasts) by Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Do humans belong in space?
    a) definitely yes
    b) probably
    c) probably not
    d) definitely not

    Do robots belong in space?
    a) definitely yes
    b) probably
    c) probably not
    d) definitely not

    Do satellites belong in orbit?
    a) definitely yes
    b) probably
    c) probably not
    d) definitely not

    Which best describes how you feel about money spent on the development of space exploration?
    a) Innovations in one area often lead to innovations in other areas, including fast improvements in the quality of life, so we should contine to spend money. [Examples from space include invisible braces, scratch-resistant lenses, memory foam, ear thermometer, shoe insoles, long-distance telecommunications, safety grooving on roads, cordless tools, water filters...]
    b) Innovations in this area will be important in the future, such as evacuating the earth in the event of a disaster, traveling elsewhere to obtain resources for earth...
    c) We should stop spending money in this area and focus on domestic interests instead
    d) We should not spend money on space exploration because we do not belong in space - only on the earth
  • Tues Oct 23 Continue Research Project 2 presentations
  • Thur Oct 18 Research Project 2 presentations.
  • Tues Oct 16 Discuss Noises Off. Take questions on research project 2. Hand out the rubric. Divide up the class via like areas. Decide who will be in research session 1 and who will be in session 2.
    Revisit Lisa Abbott's library guide. Mention Sarah's connection to the library.
    Continue faculty research: my research. Take question. Mention Benford's Law.
    Go to 205 and
    1. fill out Taking Sides (take 2) survey.
    2. Read the University Activities Starting Oct 15 forum posting
    3. Then search for diverse mathematicians and scientists from diverse cultures and timeframes that relate to your timeline.
  • Tues Oct 9 Library research with Lisa Abbott
  • Thur Oct 4Hand out Noises Off tickets. Library tutorials: Searching the Library Catalog, Searching the Library Databases, Phrase Searching. Mention CQ Researcher, and search for Genetically Modified Food there, including the Pro/Con and Chronology Features. Search for Intelligent Design and look at the Chronology, including the wording "British biologist Charles Darwin." Search the library for information on me, including the Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Society, and such topics as roller coaster. Continue faculty research: my research.

  • Tues Oct 2 Finish with Connor and Drew. Showcase mathematics and science activities online. Genetically Modified food. i-clicker
  • Thur Sep 27

    Finish Breakthroughs amidst all the controversies via observational studies and controlled experiments - evidenced based causation: Bradford Hill Criteria
    Discuss the topics in Defining Moments that you were interested in. Discuss the faculty interview reflection.

  • Tues Sep 25
    Good writing continued
    Discuss the first project.
    If time remains, go to the computer lab and search for topics of interest from the
    Science Times,
    Mathematics Articles in the NY Times,
    Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters
    or other recent items (in the last 4 months) from science or mathematics blogs or news articles
  • Thur Sep 20 Any additional Intelligent Design/evolution comments or research? Collect the reflections. Turn back the discussion questions and highlight some of the causal/if...then implications. Discuss cause/effects versus correlations
    Breakthroughs amidst all the controversies via observational studies and controlled experiments - evidenced based causation: Bradford Hill Criteria
  • Tues Sep 18 We'll revisit a general/liberal arts education in a number of ways - for now, we'll let some of the ideas percolate, especially within the context of the general education courses you are taking. The concept of letting ideas settle for a while...
    Taking Sides: Should "Intelligent Design" be Taught in Schools? Collect the responses to the discussion questions. Begin with clicker questions.

    Which best describes your stance?
    a) Intelligent Design should definitely be taught in science classes
    b) Intelligent Design should probably be taught in science classes
    c) Intelligent Design should probably not be taught in science classes
    d) Intelligent Design should definitely not be taught in science classes

    In High School?
    a) yes
    b) no

    In College?
    a) yes
    b) no

    Which best describes which statement you would agree with?
    a) There is a growing threat to the teaching of science through the inclusion of non-scientifically based 'alternatives' in sciences courses throughout the nation. This is one example. Intelligent Design might be taught in other types of classes like FYS, but not in science courses.
    b) Part of the education is to expose people to different schools of thought so we should teach Intelligent Design in science courses.

    Do you know were the italicized quotes came from?
  • Thur Sep 13 Discuss the faculty interview assignment searching. Discuss class expectations as well as support.
    Build connections by writing down as many people's names in the class as you know.
    a) 0-2
    b) 3-5
    c) 6-8
    d) 9-11
    e) 12 or above

    We have discussed academic reading (via Frankenstein and mass extinctions), academic writing, and academic discussion. We'll begin a broader discussion today about general education (with a reflection coming later in the semester):
    Liz Coleman's call to reinvent liberal arts education
    Discuss the video.
  • Tues Sep 11

    How many mathematics/science items related to convocation did you turn in?
    a) 1
    b) 2
    c) 3
    d) 4-5
    e) 6 and more

    How many controversial items related to convocation did you turn in?
    a) 1-2
    b) 3-4
    c) 5-6
    d) 7-8
    e) above 8
    Discuss the excellent class discussions so far. Mention the flat earth society again and discuss the frustration that can arise when someone completely disagrees with a viewpoint that seems nonsensical to us. Collect research project 1. We'll discuss the book and project once you have your graded first draft back. Any comments on the TED video on crows? Discuss upcoming due dates including the first Taking Sides readings and the Faculty Interview. Discuss the PAS tickets.
    Move to the computer lab. Search for at least two faculty that you are interested in interviewing for the Faculty Interview Reflection.
  • Thur Sep 6 Meet for convocation. Discuss convocation. Clicker questions on convocation. If time remains, then watch and discuss the TED video crows.
  • Tues Sep 4 Discuss convocation and performing arts tickets. Discuss the reflection. Peer review: write down your name and at least two positive aspects and two suggestions for improvement.
    Discuss updates to the webpage, "good writing".
  • Thur Aug 30Continue discussing The Sixth Extinction

    Which best describes your belief about mass extinctions?
    a) Strongly believe that we should let nature take it's course
    b) Somewhat believe that we should let nature take it's course
    c) Neutral
    d) Somewhat believe that we should intervene or change behaviors
    e) Strongly believe that we should intervene or change behaviors

    IDS and Credibility slide
    Introduction to the library: search for sixth extinction and Kolbert. Look at the subjects and the book article.

    Guidelines for reflections
    Discuss good writing via the slides.
    Discuss convocation.
    Build connections with each other via the slides
  • Tues Aug 28
    Register the i-clicker
    Of the following, what is the most compelling argument (to you) about ways we could know that the earth was round without modern technology?
    a) The sun and moon are round so the earth should be (originally attributed to Pythagoras)
    b) Ships disappearing on a clear day appear to sink
    c) Stars change as we change latitude and overlaps flip when we pass over the equator
    d) Directions of hurricanes change from Northern to Southern Hemisphere (Coriolis force)
    e) On midsummers day at noon, Syene (Aswan) made no shadows, while Alexandria did (Eratosthenes used this to calculate the circumference of the earth)

    Go over advice from previous students. Take questions on Research Project 1.

    On Thursday, when you read The Sixth Extinction to answer RQ1 and RQ2, which best describes your methodology:
    a) I read the article and then skimmed back over it a second time to answer the questions.
    b) On the first and only reading, I read specifically for the questions and took note of the responses as I came to them.
    c) I read the article once, and I then answered the questions from memory.
    d) Other

    Introductions. Continue The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert. LaTeX Beamer slides. Pages 2-4 (6 sides):
    RQ3: Methods for experimentation or the formation of theories. (One method is to isolate a sample of frogs from their environment.)
  • Thur Aug 23 Share from the syllabus or class on Tuesday. Go through advice from last semester. Go in to ASULearn and mention the messages there that can be sent from the Participants link. Academic reading - Frankenstein and reading research. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert. LaTeX Beamer slides.
  • Tues Aug 21 Discuss what is a seminar? Overview of FYS and the course.
    Discussion Question: How could we know that the earth is round without using modern technology? Interdisciplinary connections and flat earth society.
    LaTeX Beamer slides.
    Move to the computer lab: ASULearn surveys