Category: Math in Various Careers

Where’s the Math in Computer Science?

Today’s guest blogger is Kenrick Mock, Associate Professor of Computer Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Kenrick writes a blog called Teaching, Technology, and Learning. As a computer science instructor sometimes a student will ask me why math is required for a CS degree. At the University if Alaska Anchorage we require Calc I, Calc II, and discrete math for all of our Bachelor of Science CS majors. I think one of the reasons for this question is that there really isn’t much direct math content in the introductory CS courses aside from the occasional algebraic equation and an understanding of exponents and logarithms for the data structures course. Nevertheless, I think one of the misconceptions that students have is they equate computer programming with computer science. It is possible to be an excellent programmer with only basic math skills (one example is the Information Systems degree) but computer science is more concerned with the science behind the construction of hardware and software systems. This scientific foundation is based on mathematics. With this in mind, I’ve outlined below several ways that math is important to a budding computer scientist as he or she works their way through a CS degree. 1. Mathematical Maturity and Problem Solving College Algebra is prerequisite for our CS1 course although we only have a little bit of direct algebra content. However, college algebra...

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New SIAM Brochure on Careers in Math

SIAM has published a new PDF full-color brochure on Careers in Math. I think I’m going to put a link to this inside my online course shell for Calculus towards the end-of-the-semester material. I was particularly pleased to see Bioinformatics featured prominently as a career path in mathematics (as I have been trying to interest pre-pharmacy students with strong math skills in this field). If you go to the Careers page at SIAM, you can request one free printed of the brochure (perhaps for your department or career counseling office?). I was unable to find any place where you could order packages of printed brochures, but maybe the information is there somewhere. Please comment it in if you find it! Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in Math Elaborations for Creative Thinking in...

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Technology Trip to Hope College

Last week our new Computing & Technology Club (plus a couple faculty) went on a field trip to Hope College to see some of their coolest technology. We saw lasers, their cluster supercomputers, their 3-D projector, and the particle accelerator. I think the technology that was easiest for the students to understand was the supercomputer and projector. Brent Krueger, Paul Van Allsburg, and Graham Peaslee were our great tour guides. I snapped a couple of pictures of the supercomputer and 3D projector. The amount of power that runs to the cluster computers is sure impressive! Of course, a 2-D monitor does no justice to the 3-D projector, but the ability to look at molecules in biochemistry in 3-D is definitely the coolest teaching advance for chemistry that I’ve seen! I remember struggling with organic and biochemistry and now I want to go back and retake both classes in 3-D! When I visit college campuses, I often find that I want desperately to go back to school and get a degree in _________ (fill in the blank). Perhaps I am just doomed to collect degrees until I die. I’d like to get a degree in Arabic, a degree in Physics, and a Masters degree in Chemistry.. I’d like a degree in Graphic Design and a degree in Music (did you know I play the Viola?). I’d like a degree in...

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Insert Changing Math Content in your LMS

Did you know that MathDL and MAA have RSS feeds for some topics that change daily? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could have the problem of the day show up in the online platform for you class every day? Well, you can! You can add the live feed for these sites to your Learning Management System by using the following code into the sourcecode for an item. If you need some help, here’s a short video showing you how to do it in Blackboard. Math in the News Minute Math (Problem of the Day) Number of the Day I’m sorry this isn’t cut and paste code, I tried and tried to get it to display properly, but kept screwing it up. If someone with more HTML experience than I wants to do it in the comments, please do! Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Understand in learning objectives – it’s the forest, not the trees Group Exploration in...

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Large Hadron Rap

Today I want to be a Physicist … just to use this video on the first day of class! Video: Large Hadron Rap Possibly Related Posts: Where’s the Math in Computer Science? New SIAM Brochure on Careers in Math Technology Trip to Hope College Insert Changing Math Content in your...

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