Talking to a brick wall...

Rants & Raves

Rants & Raves

A Day in the Life of a College Student

The Future of the Web

School today has been Heaven. After spending a morning waking myself up and preparing for what would be in a sense the first day of class, for me, in over a year, I found myself at 2:00 in one of the Graham Library's technologically enabled classrooms wondering if the class I had managed to find really was Calculus.
    I asked another student if this was the correct class, (an act that I found unimaginable a month ago, believe it or not) and came to the conclusion that, right class or not, we all at least were supposed to be taking Calculus. Shortly thereafter, I found that I had the luck to be placed in quite possibly the best possible Calculus class ever conceived.

Lectures would be recorded in terms of static 'notes', images available at all times on the web, as well as QuickTime movies of the lecture itself combined with a recording of the actual writing of notes as it happened.
    Our professor, Dr. Kafkoulis, taught at Caltech before coming to FIU and is a strong believer in the idea that a lecture should not be simply note taking, but an understanding of the material. He also believes that calculus should not be taught in terms of 'Formula 17.4.1, on page 473' and the like, but in terms of the formulas themselves, their origins and their applications.

To that end, he gave the first main formula in Calc II, one for finding the results of summations, not as a simple formula, bereft of context and non-mathematical meaning, but as a story in which the great mathematic genius Gauss (I believe that is his name… I should research these things first, but it's late) solved a problem of finding the sum of 1+2+3+…+100 in a method that set him apart from other 7-year olds doing the same. >>

  1. Bacteria Suck
  2. Calctech Calculus, Anyone?
  3. A natural rhythm
  4. The End