Class Highlights

  • Thur Dec 4 Dream Big. Work Hard. Research in STEM: innovation and generating knowledge. Persistence and ideas versus superpowers/"being the expert". 5:37 [starting from 2:00-4:00 and then 5:14.
    Jack Andraka: A promising test for pancreatic cancer... from a teenager 10:21
    Discuss the videos in groups--aspects that you liked or disliked.
    Smarter Math Builds Equations for a Smarter Planet. [:32]
    STEM representations: equations and/or visualization of experiments, theories, axiomatic systems and more.
    Visual - the planes. Algebraic/equation aspect.
    The Birthday Problem
    Find people with the same birthday month as you.
    Controversy in Equations
    Godel's Incompleteness Theorems, History, Proofs, Implications [1:51]
    Down with Fractions [2:04]
    Share your final project topic and if you prefer to be in session 1, 2 or doesn't matter.
    Pants activity
    Divide up into groups via common words (3 per group) Venn Diagrams.

  • Tues Dec 2 Take questions on the final project and rubric
    Scientific ethics clicker questions and 4.3.1 2, 3, 4, 7 of the academic integrity code (search for data). Replace student with scientist.
    David Blackwell and controversy of Friend or Foe [first :23 seconds, then 1:46 onwards]
    Review Educational Goals
    Clicker questions
    American scholar of Shakespeare and Henry James Liz Coleman (board member and visiting fellow of the Neurosciences Institute in California, Center for the Advancement of Public Action) on liberal arts education. Clicker questions (15:31)
    Discuss aspects you agree and disagree with Wordle
    Form a baseball team: pitcher, catcher, hitter, sabermetric statistician, one hot dog sales person. Mime.
    If you could have a super power, what would it be and why? If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?
  • Tues Nov 25
    Food for thought!
    Taking Sides on Are Genetically Modified Foods Safe to Eat?
    What's a GMO? [first 1:12 (enjoy)] then 2:37 onward]
    Clicker questions and discussion
    Do you know what you eat? The DNA of genetically modified plants may contain the genes of insects, animals or even viruses. These products may potentially cause harm to your health. Look for GMO free sign on the package. (From
    GMO OMG trailer [2:18]
    Seeds of Death: Unveiling The Lies of GMO's First 1:51 [fish]. Then 14:00 [black screen] -20:05 [GM everything]
    AAAS Statement
    Every major international science body in the world has reviewed multiple independent studies-in some cases numbering in the hundreds-in coming to the consensus conclusion that GMO crops are as safe or safer than conventional or organic foods. In a metastudy of 1783 studies, there wasn't a single credible example demonstrating that GM foods pose any harm to humans or animals.
    A Science-Based Look at Genetically Engineered Crops
    Jimmy Botella, professor of plant biotechnology at the University of Queensland, Australia (from Spain):
    Waiter, there is a gene in my soup! [19:25]
  • Thur Nov 20 Library research
  • Tues Nov 18
    Credible Hulk
    Science's 10 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries [7:38]
    Which question interested you the most? What do you think?
    David Stork: American physicist specializing in Computational Sensing and Imaging (virtual worlds) [1:42 best demonstrates creativity]
    Questions on the final project
    Mathcuffed and Astrophysics Handshake Puzzles and Connection to topology and graph theory.
    Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Discuss whether you agree or disagree with Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Review Educational Goals
    Clicker questions
    Are you seeing the goals in your classes? Should we keep themes and perspectives? Should we have any gened?
  • Thur Nov 13
    Share from the media assignment. Write or look for your your title on the board - add tick marks to it.
    Slightly over 50% of people have their left forearm on top.
    About 60% of people, regardless of whether they are left-handed or right-handed, clasp their hands with the left thumb on top.
    Back to your groups from Tuesday: John Oliver: Climate Change Debate [4:23]. Reflection.
    What Kind of Research Should Our Government Support? Part 2
    Intro to the final project. [1:56]
    final project
    List of unsolved problems $1 million for Millennium Prize Problems.

  • Tues Nov 11
    Placebos. What did you think? What did you find most compelling? Anything you disagreed with? What was the history of the placebo effect? Did you notice that thalidomide was mentioned here, like it was in Bradford Hill? What were some of the cultural differences the article discussed? Color (red drink versus yellow drink, which is sweeter), frequency, name. Doctors paid to fill up trials. Mind over matter. Dogs. Americans & injections, Europeans pills...
    Evil twin: Nocebo:
    Placebo surgery controversies (2014): [5:24]
    Do no harm, informed consent
    Brain games. Break up (dog, arms) and egg bungee.
    What Kind of Research Should Our Government Support?
    Slightly over 50% of people have their left forearm on top.
    About 60% of people, regardless of whether they are left-handed or right-handed, clasp their hands with the left thumb on top.
  • Thur Nov 6
    Answer clicker question and then join people who researched the same game you did. Share what you found and report back to the class: Clicker questions and discussion on games
    Google scholar: game of Nim [since 2014], Hex game, Knight's Tour, Tower of Hanoi, Texas holdem research,
    game info
    quotations on games and science
    Research in STEM: innovation and generating knowledge. Persistence and ideas. Messy, not so easy to tell a whispered message or what is true.
    A truth and a lie. Pass to your right. Guess which one.
    Clumps: 5, 4, 10, 3, 2, 6, 7. Form groups of that number and share items about yourself in those groups. Odd people out.
    Gravitate to those you know well? Clumping randomly?
    Scientific ethics skits

  • Tues Nov 4
    LA Theater Works tickets
    ASULearn activities
    Review Educational Goals
    Let the games begin! Science Style. Science Style by The George Therapy.
    We have contacted your Earth governments and they refused our existence
    Reflection. signal processing and compression issues.
    Discussion question for Thursday: Science/Math in the Media
    Science in the Media clicker questions
    Form the same groups as last class.
    Discussion question for Thursday: Research on games
    Research on Games
  • Thur Oct 30
    Searching for pics: Ebola math versus Ebola mathematics versus Ebola math model in a google image search [and how to find the original source]
    Discuss diversity of scientists and mathematicians [different fields and different countries]
    Katherine asked the question. Megan mentioned correlation. Ian mentioned father 2 cell phones. Paul mention other underlying explanations like genetics.
    Finish discussing the Bradford-Hill criteria and whether smoking causes cancer, including the controversy of 1994. Discuss how we move beyond individual cases and possible correlation to causation.
  • Clicker question on cell phones and cancer as well as time
  • Break up into groups via pictures/themes. Instructions.

  • Tues Oct 28 In the ASULearn anonymous survey, the random number from 1 to 10 I chose was:
    a) 1-2
    b) 3-4
    c) 5-6
    d) 7-8
    e) 9-10

    Psychic experiment. Truth and Consequences: Random number experiment. The expected value if equally distributed from adding the people in the class and dividing by 10. 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 where the first digit in many real-life sources of data is not equally distributed, and approximates a logarithmic trend (where 1 occurs about 30% of the time while 9 less than 5% of the time) in data such as street addresses, stock prices, population numbers, death rates, etc... Identity theft, fraudulent election in Iran faked economic data, cooked accounting books.
    Taking Sides: Is There Sufficient Scientific Evidence to Conclude That Cell Phones Cause Cancer?
    Number 5 from the discussion questions [an idea or topic you would like to share and/or discuss]
    Belief from the majority of scientists? Do cell phones cause cancer search on google
    Cell phones
    Begin discussing the Bradford-Hill criteria and whether smoking causes cancer, including the controversy of 1994. Discuss how we move beyond individual cases and possible correlation to causation.
  • Thur Oct 23 Research Project 2 presentations (session 2). Peer review.
    Anonymous class survey
  • Tues Oct 21 Research Project 2 presentations (session 1). Peer review.
  • Tues Oct 14
    Clicker question on money
    10 NASA Inventions You Might Use Every Day
    Review Research Project 2 overview and details
    Showcase mathematics and science activities online.
    Good writing continued
    Begin Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer via
    GE experiment
    correlations versus causations on why birds fly south during colder weather.
    Go to lab at 11:50. Take a look at my ASULearn posting to you and continue working on research for project 2.
  • Thur Oct 9 Library Research with Lisa Abbott.
  • Tues Oct 7 Now that you've gotten to know a bit more about me it is time to learn more about you!
    Research Project 2 overview
    Mention Discussion questions for Thursday and class in library room 024.
    Research Project 2 details
    Lisa Abbott's library guide
    Searching the Library Catalog, Searching the Library Databases, Phrase Searching. Mention CQ Researcher, and search for SETI and Genetically Modified Food there, including the Pro/Con and Chronology Features.
    Finding topics:
    The Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Society, and such topics as roller coasters.
    Science Times
    Mathematics Articles in the NY Times,
    Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters
    Breakthroughs and controversy: Burt Rutan: The real future of space exploration from 2006. 20 minute video which brings up intelligent design and historical innovation up to about 7:00 - most impressive craft
  • Thur Oct 2 Additional comments on the search for extraterrestrial life? Peer review reflections.
    Group juggle.
    My research
    In 205: Read through Research Project 2 and write down any questions you have.

  • Tues Sep 30
    Collect hw and break up into groups of 3 via the random sequence generator
    Group discussions
    Taking Sides reading Will the Search for Extraterrestrial Life Ever Succeed?
    SETI clicker questions
    21 minutes:
    6 minutes:
    18:37 minutes:

  • Thur Sep 25 Hold on to your reflection. Use a random sequence generator to form groups of 2.
    1. Find something non-obvious you have in common (and prepare to share that with the class)
    2. Share an interesting breakthrough from your faculty interview
    3. Share a controversy from the faculty member's scholarly work/research

    My research for Sarah J Greenwald [books/articles]
    article Databases and E-Research Tools: MathSciNet
    Academic OneFile
    Library Catalog Quantitative Literacy, and Futurama for Sarah Greenwald versus Sarah J Greenwald
    personal webpages--c.v.

  • Tues Sep 23
    Write down your MBTI type in your notes before turning in your hw. Take out research project 1 notes. Finish lens 1 research notes for revisions of the project.
    Myers-Briggs discussion and activities. Budget FT. Test SN.
  • Thur Sep 17
    Exchange reflections in the same groups as last time for peer review.
    lens 1 research notes for revisions of the project.

  • Tues Sep 15
    Clicker questions
    Related Data:
    Class Discussion on Taking Sides Do We Have a Population Problem?.
    Worksheet on Decision Matrix
    Related Videos:
  • Thur Sep 11
    Turn in research project 1 and share your lens 2 topic and one item regarding the authors treatment of that lens in the book. We'll discuss the book and project once you have your graded first draft back.
    Discuss the discussion questions for Tuesday. Discuss the responsibilities of community membership and academic debate to set up Tuesday --- what is the difference between academic discussion and talking to friends, family or others in outside settings?
    A Message from the Chancellor on September 9, 2014: I want to send a loud and clear message that those who are not willing to live by a code of mutual consent, respect and concern must hear the message they are not welcome in the community of Mountaineers.
    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.
    You should view the classroom as a safe place to express ideas and opinions, but any behavior that is discriminatory or otherwise insulting will not be tolerated.
    Count modular 7. Introduce yourselves. Imagine that a friend deposits $1,440 into your bank account each morning. You have 24 hours in which to spend the money, with no balance carried over from day to day. Any money that you fail to use will be canceled at the end of that day. What would you do? Would you carefully plan how to spend the money or spend it impulsively? Connect to significance of numbers.
    Reflection: Faculty Interview about Breakthroughs and Controversies in their Research

    Go back to the computer lab and continue researching your faculty member on google scholar, in the library databases, and/or on their personal webpages, with an eye towards writing down questions to ask them about their research OR MAP-Works survey or individual Student Outcome Report.

  • Tues Sep 9
    Convocation clicker question and turn in discussion questions.
    Discuss convocation
    Take questions on research project 1
    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

    Reflection: Faculty Interview about Breakthroughs and Controversies in their Research
    appalachian state university exercise science

    Move to the computer lab. Search for at least two faculty that you are interested in interviewing for the Faculty Interview Reflection
  • Thur Sep 4 Convocation -- meet in 308 at 8:45-9 for donuts/breakfast bars and walk over together. discussion questions for convocation All classes until 12:30 are cancelled for convocation (including ours).
  • Tues Sep 2 Take any questions or comments. Discuss the reflection. Peer review for the first reflection: write down your name and at least two positive aspects and two suggestions for improvement.
    Discuss convocation and upcoming due dates.
    As you watch and the TED (ideas worth spreading) video, write down at least 2 items that you agreed with, disagreed with or had a question on: crows by Joshua Klein.
    How much time should we spend outside of classes on homework? Discuss.
  • Thur Aug 28
    Discuss good writing
    Go over advice from previous students.
    Guidelines for reflections
    Mention the Reflection: University Sponsored Activities that is due at the end of the semester and Mathematics and Science Activities through September 12th posting on Asulearn.
    Preponderance of evidence
    Author credibility. Introduction to the library: search for sixth extinction and Kolbert. Look at the subjects and the book.
    Clicker question on The Sixth Extinction #3 and #4
    Discuss The Sixth Extinction. Introduce ourselves again via first name and share something you found interesting, that you disagreed with or had a question on from any one of your classes.

  • Tues Aug 26
    Discuss the results of the taking sides and performing arts surveys.
    Clicker questions on The Sixth Extinction #1 and #2
    Side 3-middle of side 7 "ripples" (4.5 sides)
    RQ3: Techniques, methods, goals and problems of data collection, experimentation or the formation of theories. (One method is to isolate samples of frogs from their environment).
    True that double true (15 mins)
    I begin with "what made you choose to apply to Appalachian?" and science/mathematics: "are you more interested in astronomy or biology?"
    Highlight the theme of connections - to each other [calculus, true that] and to the goals of freshman seminar and to mathematics and science. We have created a unique web that has connected all the players together in one way.
  • Thur Aug 21
    Move into a circle - sit in rows 1, 4 or the sides. Register the i-clicker
    Introduce---name and share from the syllabus or research project 1 (including questions, something you found interesting...). Go through advice from last semester.
    Clicker question on a round earth
    LaTeX Beamer slides Academic reading - Frankenstein and reading research. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert.

  • Tues Aug 19 Discuss what is a seminar? Overview of FYS and the course.
    Names in motion icebreaker: Each person do a motion corresponding to the first letter of the first name (Dr. Sarah spacewalks). The next person repeats the previous person plus the two previous names. Ask for volunteers at the end to try them all.
    Discussion Question: How could we know that the earth is round without using modern technology? Interdisciplinary connections and flat earth society. Truth.
    LaTeX Beamer slides.
    Move to the computer lab 303: ASULearn surveys on Taking Sides and Performing Arts.