Muskegon Community College hosted MichMATYC this weekend. I’ll summarize the sessions I attended and what I learned at them.
The social event involved a tour of a Grand Valley State alternative energy center. The one thing I think that could be used there is the data on solar cell energy production they make available on the web. The daily data is nearly periodic. I bet the peaks of the daily production over a year would also be periodic.
Peter Bishop gave the keynote speech. His introduction was too long and on general futuring. His last few minutes he gave some interesting data sets. A lot of the demographic data is easily accessible at US government sites. During the introduction I tried to use Google on my phone to learn more about Peter Bishop. Instead I learned a character on the science fiction show Fringe is named Peter Bishop.
On Saturday Mark Clark gave a session in which he gave some brief classroom activities you could do with your students. His hand out will eventually be available on the conference website. I think many teachers will recognize most of the activities, but one or two may be new.
Nancy Sattler had recreational math games that were fun to play and accessible to students. I almost think recreational math could be a chapter in Liberal Arts math. Unfortunately HFCC does not have a Math for the Liberal Arts course.
After lunch the Hawkes Learning representative, Anthony Belan, showed Hawkes Learning. Hawkes continues to maintain that not requiring the internet is a plus for their product. I think trying to get students to submit codes they either write down or save in some obscure place and deciding if late means when the work is done or when the code received is enough to break the deal. It is time to upgrade or leave the higher ed market. Mr. Belan is a nice enough young man and it is only fair, I suppose, that Hawkes uses a young male representative after so many years of Meredith.
Jill Dewitt at Baker College has made a manual that she gives students who enroll in introductory algebra before the course. It recommends some study skills and tells prerequisites that teachers will expect like solving simple equations and working with signed numbers. This isn’t a bad idea as it is cheap to implement. Adam C. has a study skills manual and I have worksheets. Another advantage of having this is that students with difficulties have a resource for problems after you help them.
I also learned while talking with vendors that TI will swap an existing N-Spire for one with an alphanumeric keyboard and rechargable battery if I call this month. Yay, me.