May 1 [Hungwen Chang] Updated the file in the new toy to include a bug fix and a lot of improvements.The new file is now renamed simulation-binomial-v.1.00.xls. April 29 [Hungwen Chang] At long last, I managed to overcome some technical difficulties with a spreadsheet I have been trying to build, on and off, to add to our departmental collection Here is the link to the new toy. I have sent Bob a copy. Suggestions from anyone would be welcomed. I plan to apply the ideas to build similar spreadsheets. The technical difficulties I encountered had to do with self-referencing in Excel. Earlier this semester I used a preliminary version for a demonstration in a statistics class. That version was known to contain subtle bugs presumably related to this self-referencing issue. Though students wouldn't notice the bug when the spreadsheet was demonstrated in class, it took me a while to finally overcome the difficulty to ready it for posting, though it still needs more polish. March 11 [From Hungwen Chang] Some of my colleagues are getting interested in WeBWorK. But the interest is mainly focused on calculus courses. Apparently the fees have climbed for WebAssign, which some of our instructors have adopted for their calculus classes. A free alternative is therefore desirable. March 11 [From Hungwen Chang] There is a collection of Excel spreadsheets at the website of Laney College Math Department. I have created a Curriki resource pointing to it. http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Coll_hungwen/ExcelSpreadsheetsforTeachingStatisticsatLaneyCollege I am not sure where that Curriki resource should be copied to. (Incidentally,Bill Lepowsky holds the copyright to these spreadsheets. Therefore the Curriki resource above is essentially a link.)
Written by Bill Lepowsky of our department, the spreadsheets are primarily for teaching statistics. However, some of them might be of interest to those teaching a class on algebra for statistics. One can use them to build more spreadsheets. A recent example is http://www.laney.edu/wp/mathematics/files/2011/03/regression-with-background-population-v0.2.xlsFeb 18 Hungwen is trying to identify an affordable textbook in arithmetic to replace our current book, customized for Laney and costing just under $20. The contract for the current deal is expiring soon. At this moment we have some options in mind. But it would be great if someone points us to resources that we are not aware of presently. Feb 14: Hungwen mentioned an interest by a Laney faculty member in online games for dev math. Tom created a page for ideas on this, Discussion on Online Games for Dev Math, which is also of interest to someone in the San Diego region Knowledge Exchange who has provided some initial content. Tom also created a new Ideas and Discussions page in the Faculty Discussions folder for the project Christine is leading on Revamping/Restructuring the Elementary and Intermediate Algebra Sequence. Feb 11: Revamping/Restructuring the Elementary and Intermediate Algebra Sequence I, Christine Will, will be leading a Bay Area wide discussion about revamping the Elementary and Intermediate Algebra sequence. If you would like to be part of this discussion, please email me at email@example.com, indicating your interest. I believe some of the topics that will be discussed are:
(1) Current courses: E.g. at Laney College, there is a very high level of overlap between the courses and the course outlines. Also, Intermediate Algebra seems crammed full of material, and it is rarely possible to cover it all AND repeat most of Elementary Algebra.
(2) Possible alternate models: E.g. in Peralta Community College District, we have discussed, via a face to face Teaching Community some time ago, the possibility of taking a single combined textbook for the 2 courses and splitting it between the courses, so that fewer topics are covered in each course, with less repetition, but in more depth. All topics from the course outlines would still be covered.
(3) Feasibility of such models: E.g. in Peralta Community College District, would such a structure cause problems with Articulation and for students in traditional Elementary and Intermediate Algebra courses? How do we deal with prerequisites?