PoSWW 23: Jo Boaler is Challenged

It’s Greg Ashman‘s fault. It’s always Greg Ashman’s fault.

A couple days ago Ashman had an excellent post, on Jo Boaler and her California Dreamin’ curriculum. That draft curriculum has been, let’s say, hammered, particularly by mathematicians. Not that such criticism slows Boaler:

“We understand education, and they have no experience studying education. Mathematicians sit on high and say this is what is happening in schools.” Continue reading “PoSWW 23: Jo Boaler is Challenged”

RatS 16: The Sacrificing of Julian Assange

It is astonishing the extent to which Australians don’t give a shit about what happens to Julian Assange. He can be kept in a Kafka prison, undergo a Kafka trial at the behest of a country who openly want to torture him, and probably kill him. But no one except a very few good guys, like George Christensen, says a word. Nothing from the Poster Child for Principle, Penny Wong. Nothing from Albanese. Of course nothing from ScoMoFo or the invisible Payne-in-the-ass. Nothing from our oh-so-wonderful stately journalists, from Michelle Grattan or Laura Tingle or Katherine Murphy, and of course nothing from the stable of Murdoch toads. Nothing from Paul Barry and of course nothing from Michael “Gold Star” Rowland. Nothing from any of them. Deutsche Welle and Le Monde and Aljazeera can publish opinion pieces on the lunatic sadism of the persecution of an Australian. Cédric Villani, while taking time off from winning Fields medals, can lead a French political call for Assange’s asylum. But from Australians? A screaming nothing. Continue reading “RatS 16: The Sacrificing of Julian Assange”

Don’t Be Nazis Y’All

Fresh off our successful defense of Alan Tudge, it’s time to go into bat for a nazi. Sort of.

Last month, Lehigh University’s newspaper, The Brown and White, reported on the removal of a young mathematician, Brian Klatt, from his classes. Klatt’s removal came after “an anonymous complaint that alleged [Klatt] was posting racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic content from an anonymous Twitter account.” The account, @DumbGeometer, has since been deleted.1 Continue reading “Don’t Be Nazis Y’All”

Good Bye, Christian

I really liked Christian Kerr. In the early days of Crikey he was the reason, the only reason, to subscribe. Christian was smart and incisive, and very funny. He skewered whatever, whomever, there was to skewer. I corresponded with him some in those early years, tried to nudge him to be *slightly* less right wing, never with any success. He had and maintained very large blind spots. But my small conversations with him were always friendly and honest and engaging. And, as a writer for Crikey, Christian Kerr was invaluable. We need him now, more than ever.

Bernard Keane and Stephen Mayne (paywalled) and Susan Brown have written lovely tributes.

In Defense of Alan Tudge

We’ve been working on a post defending a nazi,* so we may as well warm up with a try on Tudge.**

The first thing to say is that Tudge is an asshole. As we wrote on another occasion, Tudge is a nastydown-punchingvindictiveglass-jawed, born to rule shithead.  He should have ceased to have been a Minister long, long ago. But, for the life of us, we cannot yet see the business between Tudge and Miller as more than the messy aftermath of an ill-advised and tangled but consensual affair between high-intensity adults, between a powerful boss and their hardly-powerless underling. Continue reading “In Defense of Alan Tudge”

ACARA Trolls Tudge

Well, ok, ACARA didn’t start it. But still, it’s funny.

Last week, on 25 November, the Centre for Independent Studies posted an “analysis paper”, Failing to teach the teacher: An analysis of mathematics Initial Teacher Education. By “CIS Research Fellow” Glenn Fahey and two guys from something called Shaping Minds, the paper hammers education faculties’ emphasis on constructivist methods at the expense of explicit teaching. The paper, which Greg Ashman discusses a little here, is spot on and underwhelming. Continue reading “ACARA Trolls Tudge”

The State of Such Things

A few days ago, the QEDcat received an email from a Victorian teacher, someone we don’t know and who, it seems, doesn’t follow this blog. The teacher and his colleagues had been discussing a rather weird exercise and he had wanted our opinion on the exercise. We were happy to oblige of course, and the issue turned out to be related to this screw-up. We also took the opportunity to suggest that the teacher’s choice was either to ask us or to ask the VCAA. The teacher replied,

Yep. One of the other teachers said we should check what vcaa say. But I actually want to know the correct answer.

Which is where we are.  A ratbag blogger is considered, correctly, to be a more reliable authority than the actual Authority.

How the Other Maths Lives

A few days ago, the Sydney Morning Herald had an article on “the hardest question” from this year’s NSW Extension 2 Exam. The question is worth 5 marks, which equates to 9 minutes of a 3 hour exam (accessible here). The question, and another question (6-ish minutes), which apparently came along for the ride, are posted below. Readers’ homework exercise is to Compare and Contrast. Continue reading “How the Other Maths Lives”

More Mathematics Books, Free to More Homes

UPDATE (25/11/21)

OK, all done. Thanks to those who expressed interest, and thanks in particular to MyCool, for playing the role of sweeper. Books will be handballed as arranged.


Or the same homes. I couldn’t care less.

This pile of books is not nearly as extensive or as high quality as the last bunch, and I’m not going to work hard to find homes, or to deliver the books to the homes. Still there are some good books there for undergraduate maths and engineering folk, and a few classics. Continue reading “More Mathematics Books, Free to More Homes”