WitCH 28: Tone Deaf

We haven’t yet had a chance to go through the 2019 VCE exams, but this question was flagged to me independently by two colleagues: let’s call them Dr. Death and Simon the Likeable. It’s from Mathematical Methods Exam 2 (CAS). (No link yet.) UPDATE (05/07/20) Even ignoring the stuff-ups, this question is ugly and pointless; […]

Obsessive Compulsion

Last week, the New South Wales government came out with the next great plan to Save Mathematics Education: make mathematics compulsory up until the end of high school. Why? According to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, this will “ensure students have the numeracy skills required to succeed in today’s society”. Yes, of course. In exactly the same […]

Monash Extends a Backhander

One of the better offerings for Victoria’s senior students is Extension Studies. Corresponding roughly to America’s Advanced Placement program, ES permits a school student to undertake a university subject as part of VCE, albeit as a lower weighted, fifth or sixth subject. The extension studies program is not without its flaws. In particular, there are […]

Golden Numbskulls

One of the strangest and most enjoyable presentations we’ve given was at a Brisbane conference on art and design. The conference organiser appeared from nowhere, requesting that we give an address on the golden ratio and art. This was a little puzzling, since our views on such matters were presumably known to them. We replied […]

VCAA’s SAC of Roaming

One type of educational horror that we haven’t yet written about are SACs, those internal assignmenty-examinationy things that make every second week of Year 12 studies a living hell. It is a tricky topic since SACs are school-based, often teacher-specific, and our primary goal is to attack inept authority. In that regard, schools and beleaguered […]

WitCH 21: Just Following Orders

This WitCH come courtesy of a smart VCE student. It concerns the newly instituted VCE subject of Algorithmics, and comes from the 2017 exam: The Examiners’ Report indicates that half of students gave the intended answer of A, and notes It is important for students to understand that Big-O notation describes an upper bound, and […]