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
Archives

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Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.
Monday, October 31, 2005
19:39A day of bad colloquia
Friday, October 28, 2005
12:02Friday Random Ten
 "For You," Bruce Springsteen, The Essential Bruce Springsteen
 "Reach Out, I'll Be There," Michael McDonald, Motown Two
 "Chameleon," Squint, Squint
 "Morning Light," Kevin Gilbert, kgraritiesv1
 "Against All Odds," Phil Collins, Poplar Creek '85 (Disc 1)
 "Breathe (2AM)," Anna Nalick, Breathe (2AM)  Single
 "Lay Low," Zoo People, FM 101.9 New Music Sampler: Sketchbook
 "What'd I Say, Pt. 1," Ray Charles, The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years
 "The Night Is Still Young," Billy Joel, Billy Joel: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 & 2
 "H Gyala," Twelfth Night
Thursday, October 27, 2005
18:28Complex Analysis midterm
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
18:18Worse than I hoped, better than I feared
Monday, October 24, 2005
20:05Happy birthday to me
 A new Timbuk2 bike messenger bag to replace the one that was falling apart from my wife.
 From my inlaws, Buffy Season 4 and Angel Season 1 (it's been a while since I've gotten new seasons of Buffy and never since Angel).
 From my parents, Finite Geometries by Peter Dembowski; Project Physics by Gerald Holton; Diophantine Geometry by Hindry and Silverman; Commutative Algebra by David Eisenbud.
18:31A question for algebraic geometry types
Given two curves f(x,y)=0 and g(x,y)=0 in CP^{2}, if there are no common components, the number of points of intersection of the two curves (including multiplicity) is deg(f)deg(g)My intuitive sense is that at higher dimensions, instead of counting points, we count the degrees of the curves generated by the intersections. e.g., in three dimensions, the intersection of two planes will be a line (1*1=1), the intersection of a plane and a 2nd degree surface will be a 2nd degree curve or two lines. I suppose tangent points probably turn into nice surfaces once we look beyond R^{3} to C^{3}. But it seems sufficiently basic that surely someone has already mapped this out and proven it.
Friday, October 21, 2005
07:16Friday random 10
 "Mr. Boilermaker," Sirius, Running In Circles
 "Supper's Ready," Genesis, Foxtrot
 "Go To The Bank," James, Whiplash
 "Concerto for Bass: 2. Andante Cantabile," Antonio Capuzzi, Music Minus One: Intermediate to Advanced Solos for Double Bass
 "PETER GUNN / TRIO," Tony Levin, Live Boots
 "Angry Cockroaches," Cooder Graw, Live at Billy Bob's Texas: Cooder Graw
 "When I'm Down," Chris Cornell (with Eleven), Euphoria Morning
 "Solomon Has Sung," Blue Lit Souls, The Stairwell Years
 "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm," Crash Test Dummies, Live At The World Cafe  Vol. 2
 "Dinner With Drac," John Zacherle
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
21:37Foolishness
Saturday, October 15, 2005
13:13I had a feeling that would happen
Friday, October 14, 2005
12:40Midcourse feedback survey
05:51Gotta remember
02:48What is?
Thursday, October 13, 2005
23:10Disquisitiones Arithmeticae
13:40Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
18:30Spring schedule
 I'm teaching a different class. So much for being able to reuse all of my wonderful class materials next semester.
 I teach five days a week. Since I'll be taking four classes next semester, I was planning on not teaching off campus and was looking forward to the possibility of having a couple of days without (formal) student contact.
 I have two sections with different numbers of meetings per week. It's enough of a hassle dealing with teaching MW and TTh sections of a course. Doing this with MWF and TTh would be a huge hassle.
 One section begins at 8a. In February, Mrs Prosciutto and I are moving to the other side of the megalopolis so my current commute which gets me from home to MTU in under half an hour will likely turn into an hour commute under good conditions. Driving to get to MTU at 8a is NOT good conditions. Add in the fact that I'd be teaching early and having class late makes for an awkwardly scheduled day.
Update (10/13): Having been invited to indicate whether it was acceptable or not, I asked for a change to a MWF schedule and a later start if possible. My new schedule has me starting at 10, teaching 3 days a week and I'm teaching the same class as I am this semester. There's a part of me that's disappointed a little: It would have been nice to have higherperforming students, but I guess that'll happen some time in the future...
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
11:50(10+2)*5
Saturday, October 08, 2005
15:20Proof
Thursday, October 06, 2005
21:16Google Print saves my butt
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
21:03Seen on campus today
20:56A test
Monday, October 03, 2005
23:11Why oh why?
14:59Seen on campus
On the seat of a girl's sweatpants: "Juicy."
Sunday, October 02, 2005
14:30Meet the blogroll: Ars Mathematica
So the new blog this week is Ars Mathematica. Fortunately, the rather unintutive links to continuations of articles have been mostly abandoned and instead we're left with occasional discoveries of mathematics on the net and snippets of math news (like the recent decease of Serge Lang). The audience here appears to be grad students and math PhDs, as there's frequently content which borders on the abstruse, but for getting some sense of what's happening in mathematics, I find it a great read.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
20:09Book of the month club: My Freshman Year (Chapters 1 and 2)
I'm picking nonfiction on topics related to academia and college life so that people can discuss even if they've not read the book (although, presumably, reading the book will make this a much richer experience).
So first, a bit of background. The author, a cultural anthropologist, enrolled in classes and moved into the dorms to study her students and find out a bit more about what makes them tick. I suppose there are interesting things to be said about the ethical dimensions of such a study and the discussion at Inside Higher Ed beats most of this to death even though the participants in the discussion hadn't read the book yet.
I'm a bit unsure of what to write here, as this is a bit of a jump from my usual writing. I have my own points of reference to compare with Nathan's experiences: First there's my experiences as a student: I did my undergrad in the late 90s at a small private college, and received my math ed degree at a large commuter university. Then there's my experiences as a faculty member: At NCC and DCC, the two community colleges where I teach, and at MTU the midtier public university where I'm also teaching and taking grad classes.
Of all of these, MTU is probably closest to Nathan's AnyU, although it seems that it has a much higher proportion of commuters than does AnyU. We have dorms and I'm vaguely aware of where they are, but when I asked at the beginning of the semester only 1 or 2 students out of nearly 80 actually lived in them.
The second chapter is where we start to get into things as we learn some of the details of dorm life. My point of reference, again, is 1520 yearold memories of dorm life. Much seems similar. The rules on alcohol are a bit more stringent (in my day, not only did underage students freely drink in the dorm lounge, they bought their beer from vending machines in the dorm), but the attitudes are the same. We've not gotten to any binge drinking at all, but that was a serious and growing problem when I was an undergrad (in fact, I think that the class of '90 was really the class that won the prize for screwing things up: Prior to us alcohol poisoning incidents were a rarity: I think we peaked around 2 or 3 per semester.
The door decoration thing seems pretty consistent from my day. As a general rule, doors were decorated with messages/pictures/etc. that were intended to demonstrate the individuality and coolness of the inhabitant (the really daring chose the unhip to demonstrate their hipness. Me, I had pictures of plane crashes and the message "668 neighbor of the beast".)
I think that there's some relevance of the door decoration and something which has gotten some mention recently in the blogworld. Note for example this and this at Tall Dark and Mysterious (there was another post, "I don't heart message t's" or something of that nature that I read elsewhere which I cannot find now.
And it certainly would seem to be the case that what's happening here is really a case of the students wanting to declare themselves individuals (even as they end up conforming to a new standard, an ironly lost on them, but then wasn't it lost on us as well? Actually, by us, I mean people not me, because, after all, I doubt that anyone else has ever decorated their dorm room door with photos of plane crashes cut from the pages of the local dog trainer).
I've written a fair amount here, and I'll leave things up for discussion now. Yes, questions about the book are welcome, and there will be another installment (perhaps betterwritten and focused) next week.