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.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
23:10The thing that I nearly said in front of a classroom of students which I would have fired me for saying
But fortunately, I didn't actually say it, and after spending time trying to figure out how to find the printer settings in Windows (ugh), I was able to set up a network printer on my laptop just fine.
But come on, you can't set up my computer for printing to the printer for "security" reasons? I'm sorry, but I'd prefer the truth. Of course this is the same group of people who've blocked everything but port 80 on their firewall for "security" reasons. Which really means that you're too stupid to know what FTP, Telnet, ssh, etc. are.
On the plus side, the director of For Profit U really wanted to make nice with me after that encounter with him and the IT guy earlier in the day. But all else aside, my schedule for the fall effectively precludes me from teaching at For Profit U for the foreseeable future and if I can pick up another of couple adjunct classes I won't even be tempted.
08:45Back from vacation
Thursday, May 26, 2005
13:16Things to do:
 Pack for weekend trip
 Write up lesson plan for Algebra class I won't be at tonight
 Get to For Profit U by bus
 Print materials for 4:30 class at For Profit U (and also for Algebra calss I won't be at tonight.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
21:08Prealgebra manipulatives?
21:01First day at forprofit U
On the other hand, class sizes are a lot smaller. Class sizes range from 722 with a median of 14 and a mean of 15.4.
The prealgebra, with it's workshop format is keeping me active and on my feet. I had one student leave when I told him that he needed to bring his textbook to class. That's not quite what I meant, but oh well.
There is a wealth of publishersupplied materials available, which I'm going to make a point of employing.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
15:04(Basic) Complex Analysis: Do I have this right?
At what points is the function f given by f(z)=x^{3}+i(1y)^{3} analytic? Explain.Since the points where the function has a derivative are two intersecting lines, my assumption is that there is no point where the function is analytic. Am I correct on this or am I making some really basic error?
Update: Hmm, going back over the function, the derivative that Cain gives for (1y)^{3} is wrong. I tried it using the chain rule, by evaluating (1y)^{3} and doing the derivative of the resulting polynomial and I even went to Quick Math and let their solver do it. And I was right, Cain was wrong: The derivative is 3(1y)^{2}, and not positive three. That and a quick internet search on analytic complex function reveals a definition which doesn't seem to match his. I'm thinking that perhaps I want to work with a different complex analysis book over the summer.
Monday, May 23, 2005
16:15Syllabus Work: Lesson Planning: Can you find another example?
Coming up with an example seems to be an essential critical thinking skill.
16:08Oh, that explains a lot.
For a smart guy, I can be pretty dumb sometimes.
12:44Monday numbers
Math classes I took at college B that are still in the catalog: 4/7.
Math classes I intend to take this fall that are in the catalog: 3/4.
Math professors I had at college B that are still listed as faculty: 3/6.
Portion of those who are listed as emeriti: 1/3.
Number of math textbooks that I still own from my undergraduate years: 2
Number of math textbooks that I intentionally kept from my undergraduate years: 0
Sunday, May 22, 2005
05:30I wonder...
It seems to me that some of the problems my students have, whether it's with fractions, factoring polynomials or simplifying radicals all come down to the idea that they don't have a good sense of factoring. Perhaps I'll drill factoring like arithmetic with my prealgebra students during the summer school quarter.
Friday, May 20, 2005
23:18Weekend movies
 Twelve Angry Men
 Five Easy Pieces
 The Seventh Seal
Also in the unintentional coincidence category, all three films have the length 1:36.
07:58The circle of life in my front yard
Thursday, May 19, 2005
18:48Syllabus work: Course organization: The big picture
I'm thinking that I'd like to use some ideas about mathematical thinking (probably using Kaplan and Kaplan for this) to lead into probability. I'm not sure exactly how to extend statistics and consumer math into other areas of mathematics.
I do think, though, that I'll divide the class into three units using each of these topics as either the culmination or the prolegomenon of our work in that unit.
I'll have some early classes on using tools of the trade: How to read mathematics, how to use a calculator, how to write properly, and then dive into the first unit.
18:34Syllabus Work: Overarching Questions: Bloom's Taxonomy
A quick review:
 Knowledge
Basic recall of subject matter.  Comprehension
Distinguish between different sorts of things, group things, translate knowledge into new context.  Application
Use information, methods, etc. in new situations to solve problems  Analysis
Seeing patterns, identification of components  Synthesis
Use old ideas to generate new ones, generalize from given facts, relate knowledge from several different areas.  Evaluation
Make choices based on reasoned argument, verify value of evidence, compare and discriminate among ideas.
As I plan the semester, I want to make sure that I really ask the students to do more than memorize problemsolving recipes. In fact, I'm thinking that on some tests, I would like to ask them questions that they have never encountered before. My fear is that in the past when I've attempted this, it's resulted in nearly every student not even making the attempt.
10:45A weekend of bachelor life
I think I'm also going to stay up late.
08:18Recipe: Tamalon de acelgas
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cup maseca
1 tablespoon salt
One small bunch chard
One bunch watercress
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 large banana leaf
In an electric mixer, mix the shortening and the baking powder for about 1 minute until well mixed.
Meanwhile, reconstitute the maseca by adding 1 cup of hot water and mixing thoroughly. Add the maseca to the shortening a bit at a time until all is wellmixed.
Coursely chop the chard and watercress then mix in with the dough mixture.
Pour in the chicken broth, continuing to mix.
Spoon the mixture from the mixing bowl into the banana leaf in a form a bit less than a 12 inches long and about 45 inches wide. Roll into a big giant tamale and use strips of banana leaf to tie up the leaf.
Place into a bamboo steamer and steam over medium heat for 7590 minutes.
Place the finished tamalon into a serving dish and cut open the top of the banana leaf to expose the corn dough. If it's a bit gooey still, place in the oven uncovered for about 510 minutes.
Serve with the salsa of your choice.
And now we have no more chard left. You can substitute just about anything for the chard and watercress. Meat, other vegetables, have fun. This is a great party/potluck dish.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
15:53Grade requests
09:23More summer projects
08:51It's apparently CSET season
Here's my experience with the CSET:
 I took the English CSET and passed it.
 I didn't take the math CSET because it wasn't required
 I took the (roughly) equivalent test for math in another state
 I've looked over the math questions at the CSET website.
My advice: You need to know your subject matter. A last minute cram isn't likely to help a whole lot. The tests are broad and cover essentially the whole high school curriculum. If, after completing your major and credential coursework you can't pass the tests, you aren't ready to teach.
Seriously.
The math test is comprised of three parts. If you get test anxiety, you can do each part in a separate session.
Some notes:
 Subtest I
You need to know your field axioms (which you learned in both your math analysis course and your abstract algebra course). You also need to know some basic linear algebra, but not a whole lot more than would be covered in Algebra II and Precalc in high school. Everything else, a good high school senior would be able to do.  Subtest II
You need to know the basics of the standard stats and your conic sections. The rest is high school geometry. One hopes that this was emphasized in your program.  Subtest III
This is mostly trig and calc. But you're a math major. You can do this right? You probably would have done better on subtest III right after your freshman year of college, but you use calc all the time, so you'll nail this one.
Monday, May 16, 2005
12:22Summer school assignment
07:50News of the strange
And you know that there's going to be a film of his story.
07:48Speaking of the axiom of choice
07:44Great moments in journalism
When Wiles made the announcement it was celebrated around the world. In Chicago, for instance, mathematicians marched on the streets in euphoric celebration.From Andrew Wiles' letter to Escultura
Your work is incredible, I read all of it just yesterday and let me tell you I respect you. I am going to review all my ‘proof’ which I am sure is wrong (thanks to you!).And the money quote from Escultura himself:...
Also I’d like to have the address of the guy who let you get a PhD 30 years ago. I’d like to discuss few things with him. . .
Two of the axioms of the real number system are false, namely, the trichotomy and completeness axioms (the latter is a variant of the axiom of choice), counter examples to them were constructed by Brouwer and BanachTarski, respectively.
07:25Dreams
Psychoanalysts, start your engines.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
15:56One down one to go
I'm satisfied with the way grades came out and none of my students should have cause to complain about their grade. We'll see if that holds up. Mr D managed to eek out a C for the class.
This will be only the second incomplete I've ever given. The first resulted in the student never taking the final and getting an F after the expiration date of the I. This student is either the unluckiest person alive or a big liar. I didn't accept her offer to see documentation of her latest trauma since there are only four possibilities: If it looks real (but could be real or fake). I say OK, and get on with my day. If it looks fake and is fake, then I'm in the position of either knowingly complying with her lie or having to embarrass her with her poorly executed fraud. And then there's the big cost one: Looks fake, is real. I point out its fakeness and am horrified to discover that it's not fake.
So it was really more trouble than it was worth to look at her documentation. Realistically, she'll probably end up with a D at best if she actually follows through with the class, and I'm not going to lose any sleep no matter what.
Friday, May 13, 2005
22:05No more emails to students
As for Mr D, well, Easy Grade Pro informs me that he has lost 7.5% of his grade purely by not turning in a significant fraction of the homework. Given that homework counts for 10% of the homework, that's a VERY significant fraction of the homework.
Of course to turn in the homework he would have had to come to class... and that also appears to have been a bit of a challenge for him. I have no qualms about giving him a D. It's the grade that he's worked very hard to earn.
12:42A bit of joy
I'm doing a little dance.
08:16Morning swim  with ducks
Silly ducks, my people eat your people.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
21:11Here's what I've done with the chard
21:01Recipe: Chard and zucchini nobake lasagna
1 medium bunch of chard
1 small white onion
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 medium zucchini
1 package dry lasagna noodles
2 jars pasta sauce
water
1 cup grated romano cheese
Preheat oven to 375F
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x12 baking dish.
Remove the stems from the chard and coursely chop the leaves. Puree the leaves in a food processor. Coursely chop the stems.
Chop the onion finely
Beat 2 eggs into the ricotta cheese, then mix in the chard leaves and stems and onion
Chop the zucchini into 1/4 inch dice.
Pour 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup pasta sauce into the bottom of the dish.
Make a layer of pasta noodles across the pasta sauce and water.
Add a layer of the cheese mixture, then a layer of zucchini, then a layer of pasta sauce.
Repeat the layering until you've run out of noodles (generally 3 layers). Cover the top with pasta sauce then the grated romano cheese.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 6075 minutes.
Let cool before serving.
This makes 1216 servings. But everyone will have seconds so realistically you'll serve 6 with it.
20:50Recipe: Crustless vegetable quiche
1 medium bunch chard
1 medium kohlrabi
2 cups brocolli florets
Half an onion
1 clove garlic
5 Eggs
1 15 Oz container ricotta cheese
Some olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease a 9 inch glass pie dish.
Remove the stems from the chard, coursely chop, then puree in a food processor.
Grate the kohlrabi.
Chop the onion.
Mince the garlic.
Sautee the kohlrabi, onion, brocolli and garlic over medium heat in a large skillet until tender.
Beat the eggs, then mix in the ricotta cheese.
Add the sauteed vegetables and mix thoroughly.
Add the chard and mix thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into the glass pie dish, place the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 4550 minutes.
Let the quiche cool for ten minutes before serving.
The recipe I started from claimed that this would make eight servings. Realistically, if this is a main dish, it's about 34 servings.
17:51Flylady: This has been a long day
15:48Syllabus work: Overarching questions: What is the purpose of this problem?
15:42Syllabus work: Overview

Formally declare the course objective Determine the major questions of the course Break down the questions into smaller topics
 Plan 31 classes
 Create course packet (handouts, guides for student presentations, homework assignments)
 Create beamer presentations for classes (not necessary for every class)
 Make new course website
15:40I've got summer school
Monday, May 09, 2005
07:51Student email
I'm worried that I won't be passing the class with a "C". This is the last class I need in order to transfer to MidLevel University in the Fall. I've been at Community College for four years and I was excited about finally transfering, but now I'm streesed and it seems like I won't be transfering any time soon. I've been going to the Math tutoring center at SAC to study and for extra help, but I haven't been doing well at all on the tests. I'm going to fix up my math project and study a harder, but I still feel nervous. I hope I make it.To student:
I hope you do to. Leaving class early those past few times did not really help a whole lot.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
12:18We've got CHARD!
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
18:26I knew it
15:04Curiously enough I AM working
The blogroll is gone for the moment. I've only updated the index, so it will live on in the archives, but I've decided that since it was created when I was teaching high school, it doesn't really reflect my new peers. Not sure how to divide up the new blogroll or who exactly will go in it.
And there's a pretty little chart on the right side showing my current progress on my summer projects.
But I've got all the MW class's tests and homework graded and a bit less than half of a beamer presentation with Wednesday's homework answers finished.
07:03Summer plan
 Math. Another blogger set a goal of 8 hours a day doing math. Maybe I should set the same goal.
 Royden Real Analysis. I have 100.5 sections to go. If I do a section a day, I'll be done with the whole book before fall.
 Munkres Topology. 76 sections to go. Same plan as for Royden.
 Cain Complex Analysis. I have 10 chapters to go. I suppose a chapter a week is a reasonable objective.
 Write new syllabus/course plan for liberal arts math class.
 Cleaning/organizing the house.
 Clear off my todo list on the white board. There are only about 10 items there, I should be able to do one a day and clear this out quickly.
 Have the whole apartment at least reasonably presentable.
 Music
 Finish up the recording/mixing for my old band's CD. This may require some travel.
 Get at least four songs completed/recorded with the new band.
 Learn at least one solo piece on bass.
 Teach my self saxophone
 General (from my longterm to do)
 Read at least one book per week from the top 100 novels list
 Watch at least one film per week from the top 250 films list
Monday, May 02, 2005
21:45Proving that 1 is positive
 B1. (x,y in P) => x+y in P
 B2. (x,y in P) => xy in P
 B3. (x in P) => x not in P
 B4. (x in R) => (x=0) or (x in P) or (x in P)
Sunday, May 01, 2005
08:38Doing things a quick status
Currently reading Ulysses which will bring me from 37% to 38%. To finish this task by year's end would require reading 9.125 books per month. Possible, but unlikely. I'm going to aim for 55% by summer's end.
Newly added to the todo list: Visit all 50 states, all Mexican states, all Canadian provinces, a couple longdistance swims, a triathlon and publishing academic articles in two unrelated disciplines. For this summer, I'm going to write up my novel proof of a standard theorem and check with some faculty friends about whether this is something anyone would publish. I figure if nothing else, it might go to Math Teacher or perhaps some MAA journal.