Diversity in Mathematics

Diversity in Mathematics Diversity is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  As a Korean kid in a primarily white neighborhood and surrounded by primarily white family and friends, I was often bullied.  Although, I’m sure it didn’t help that I was overweight as a child, but that’s a different story.  I know my parents tried their best to make sure that I felt included and whatnot, but I always felt racism and racial undertones a lot as kid, in school, in church, and pretty much everywhere I went on a daily basis.  To me, that’s not how America is supposed to be.  In my America, diversity is supposed to be a good thing.  In my America, diversity is supposed to be appreciated and welcomed.  To that end, I’m trying to do my part by integrating diversity in mathematics topics into my classroom and into my department.  Here are some of the things that I’ve done recently: 1.  Create...
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The Mathematics of Weight Loss

The picture below was taken in college when I was around my heaviest weight ever of 314 lbs.  I've always been a big person and I there is a lot that goes into why this is the case as well.  Was it the way I was raised?  Was it genetics?  Was it just me eating myself into a hole?  Well, this is not the place where I'm going to talk about that. What I will say, though, is that this is the most recent picture of me a little over 70 lbs lighter than I was at my highest weight.  This is a blog post about math, so I'll let you figure out my approximate current weight on your own. With all of that out of the way, I'll tell you what this blog post is really about.  I don't really like talking about myself because I'm generally a very self-conscious person.  But this weekend I was thinking about what I might...
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New Probability Assignment

Last week I posted this on twitter after I attended the Math In Action Conference at Grand Valley State University: However, I couldn't post the assignment online right away as I hadn't given it out to my students at that point.  Now I can.  Although I had lots of student questions about the assignment (more than I do a 'normal' assignment), I could tell that this problem had the students think outside of the box more than they would have had I not given them this assignment at all. I tried to manage the student questions by starting a discussion thread on CANVAS and I jumped in at what I thought were appropriate times during the discussion.  For the most part, though, what I saw were students helping each other and confirming that they were all thinking along the same lines as they were working to complete the project. I really liked this project and I would definitely assign this again.  I was...
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Mind Maps for Calculus, Algebra, and Statistics

This semester I decided that I wanted to organize all of the resources that I've found on the Internet onto Mind Maps for my Calculus, Algebra, and Statistics classes.  There was just too much that I wanted to tell my students about every semester that it started to become too overwhelming to repost the links on my LMS every semester (my courses don't ever seem to copy very well from semester to semester).  The results are below.  Feel free to share with everyone. For the calculus map, bit.ly/calcmap For the algebra map, bit.ly/algebramap For the statistics map, bit.ly/statmap     ...
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Guessing Ages Activity

This semester I tried a Guessing Ages Activity as a first day activity in my statistics classes.  My version of the activity is adapted from page 11 of Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks.  I found this activity to be a good ice breaker for the first day of class.  The students really enjoyed working in small groups to guess the ages of people and it gave me a chance to briefly review how to find the mean with students, a concept that they should already know from Pre-Algebra class.  Of course, later on in the class we talk about properties of the mean above and beyond what is learned in a Pre-Algebra class.  But this was an excellent way to review how to compute the mean.  It was also a good way to have the students do some calculations on the first day to break up the long list of definitions that is covered in Chapter 1 in the...
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Teaching Control Charts

The other day in my statistics class, I talked about Control Charts.  I really wanted to drive home the point about the difference between individual runs charts and control charts.  So, I did a version of Deming’s Experiment with my students. First of all, it was very difficult to get 1,000 marbles on very short notice, and even harder to get them in two specific colors.  I ended up going to the dollar store and buying the gemstones that people generally put in vases or in the garden.  The gemstones are sold in bags that are 14oz, but I can tell you now that there are about 100 per bag.  The hardest part for me was picking two colors of gemstones that I could actually tell the difference between since I am colorblind. Next up was getting the cups for the students to scoop the gemstones up with.  Since I had students working in groups of 4, I...
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