Projects
days until the end of spring semester.days until Snakes on a Plane.
Boxes unpacked
Math article project
Finished mathematical core of article. Next: Write analytical core of article.
Dummit and Foote, Abstract Algebra
Finished section 1.6 (86 to go)
Silverman and Tate, Rational Points on Elliptic Curves
FInished 2.5 (31 to go)
Conway, Functions of One Complex Variable I
Finished section 7.5 (27 to go)
Munkres, Topology
Finished section 21 (60 to go)
Royden, Real Analysis
Finished section 2.4 (97 to go)
Nonfiction book project
Todo list uptodate
Fiction book project
1443 out of 100,000 projected words written.
Top 100 novels of all time
Reading Ulysses
IMDB top 250 films
Tengoku to jigoku next in queue.
Blogroll
This academic life
Academic CoachConfessions of a Community College Dean
Learning Curves
The Little Professor
My Hiding Place
New Kid on the Hallway
One Bright Star
Planned Obsolescence
Tall, Dark, and Mysterious
Math blogs
Ars MathematicaMathForge
MathPuzzle
Think Again
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Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.
Friday, October 22, 2004
17:19Princeton Review: Cracking the GRE Math Test
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
20:23Math GRE prep: precalculus
 Let f be a function such that f(n+1)=1[f(n)]^{2} for all nonnegative integers n. Which of the following correctly expresses f(n+2) in terms of f(n)?
Stupid algebra error. I forgot to keep careful track of exponents  Which of the following best describes the graph of the equation x^{2}+y^{2}=2x+4y+5=0 in the xy plane?
Laziness. I looked at this, saw that I was going to have something that simplified to (xu)^{2}+(yv)^{2}=r^{2} and didn't bother to check that r^{2} was positive.  One of the foci of the hyperbola y^{2}=(x/a)^{2}+1 is the point (0,sqrt(2)). Find a.
I need to make sure that I memorize all the little details about conic sections, asymptotes and foci  Which one of the following polynomials p(x) has the property that sqrt3sqrt2 is a root of the equation p(x)=0?
Tried to be too clever. I figured that it had to be fourth degree and tried to find the product of the roots rather than doing a substitution to turn the product into a quadratic. This is a recurring theme on some of these questions.  When the polynomial p(x) is divided by x1 it leaves a remainder of 1, and when p(x) is divided by x+1 it leaves a remainder of 1. Find the remainder when p(x) is divided by x^{2}1.
Embarrassingly, I wasn't even sure where to start on this one.  Given that p(x) is a real polynomial of degree <= 4 such that one can find five distinct solutions to the equation p(x)=4, what is the value of p(5).
Another one I didn't know where to start  The hyperbolic sine function, denoted sinh is defined by the equation sinh x=(e^{x}e^{x})/2. Find a formula for sinh^{1} x
It didn't occur to me to, once I had an equation with an e^{2x} term, an e^{x} term and a term without e to rewrite as a quadratic using u=e^{x}.  The hyperbolic cosine function... hyperbolic tangent... find a formula for tanh^{1}x
Having missed the previous one, there was no hope for progress here.
 Which one of the following is in the domain of the function f(x)=log(sin x)? You may use the fact that 11111 is just slightly greater than 353,64xπ
A 11 B 111 C 1111 D 11,111 E None of these
Perhaps stupid arithmetic, perhaps worse  Determine the exact value of the sum Arctan 1 + Arctan 2 + Arctan 3
I got killed by not remembering the tan a+b formula. I spent a little bit of time deriving it algebraicly before starting this post, so now I can get it if I need it.
For the searchers who show up here, I'll continue doing any problems from the comments until (at least) December 10th 2004.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
19:51For those who are wondering
I've been working on finishing up a book on mathematical typesetting that I'd started some time ago that I'll probably selfpublish. The market is small, but will likely purchase the book in sufficient quantities to net me a couple hundred dollars a month for a few years.
I'm looking at grad school options and will get applications in to six(!) schools in the next couple of months. The options are:
 Two CalStates
 Two UCs
 A large private university
 A small private university
I'll also look at taking the actuarial exam in the spring. I'll have to look for some sort of test prep as there's some stat stuff in the sample actuary exam that I don't really know (but I could easily learn in a few weeks).
Monday I retake the general GRE (my most recent GRE score dates from the last century and is probably no longer valid), then in December, I take the Math GRE (I have the Princeton Review GRE book and have been using that to get an overview of what I need to know and review some skills. I've portioned it out so that I'll be done with the book two days before the exam and can then work through the two practice exams one day apiece before the actual test).
I've put in one application for a community college job and next week I'll be really pushing for adjunct work, but none of that is likely to make a difference between now and January, so I may do some office temp work or sell balloons or something to bring in some money in what's left of the year.
Friday, October 01, 2004
12:30Valedictory
I'll miss the 8 kids in 6th period who actually cared about the class and whose parents told me last night that they supported me.
I'll miss the new kid who sat in the front row 3rd hour and always wanted to talk baseball. It's too bad that I didn't get a chance to try and get one of his playoff tickets from him. And I'll always laugh at his story about going to a funeral with "lots of gorgeous blueeyed blondehaired chicks" that he couldn't hit on because it was, well, a funeral.
And the football player in fourth hour who had a "smart day" yesterday and suddenly realized that he did get what was going on. Not just understanding what I had said, but being able to put it together to form new knowledge.
And even the loudmouth girl in fifth hour who was always a pain but also was smarter than she wanted to admit (except when it came time to take a test).
Where to now? There's a fulltime position at a community college open in the spring. I'll call up about the adjunct positions at some of the other community colleges. And I'll go to monster and see if I can't find something a bit more immediate, perhaps back to IT...