Thursday, April 19, 2007

Awards 2007 - The Best of Us

As this academic year draws to a close, the Mathematics Department yesterday had its Spring Picnic. Among the festivities was a recognition of the service and achievements of our best performers over this last year and before. The awards this year went to:

J.J. Sylvester Award for Outstanding Achievement as an Undergraduate:

  • David Sher - will start graduate study in mathematics at Stanford University next fall.
  • Matthew Sedlock - will start graduate study in Applied Mathematics here at JHU next fall.

Excellence in Teaching for Junior Faculty

Excellence in Teaching for Teaching Assistants

William Kelso Morrill Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics

These people are being honored as our best and brightest. As a department, we thank them for their service and dedication to mathematics education here at JHU.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Virtual Mathematics - Online JHU Summer Courses

Last year, the Mathematics Department designed and implemented an online version of our first semester freshman Calculus course (110.108 Calculus I). This was a collaborative effort of a group of us in the department, and funded in part by a mini-grant from the Center for Educational Resources here on campus. Administered by two of our graduate students, Siddique Khan and Brian MacDonald, the course ran for 8 weeks to 10 students.

The philosophy of the course offering centered around two fundamental principles:
  1. The course shall sacrifice nothing, both in content and in implementation, from the standard in-class, lecture-based version of the course (which ran concurrently).

  2. The course will feature live, online lecturing, as well as live recitation sessions, as a core part of the instruction.

The implementation of such an endeavor was facilitated by a software package called Elluminate Live! (ELive!), a virtual classroom environment that features (screen shot at right):

  • an online virtual whiteboard which acts like a chalkboard.

  • streamin audio,

  • powerpoint-style slides that can be superimposed on the shiteboard and written over,

  • Classroom attendence moderation,

  • full student interaction including notification of a "raised hand", side chatroom (fully monitored by the instructor, voice and/or whiteboard enabling for each students or students,

  • full recording of live sessions for post lecture viewing/reviewing, with time stamps for accompanying notes.

The results were excellent, and this summer we are offering four of our courses in this format (as well as accompanying in-class versions). I can provide tons more information is anyone is interested.

Thought I would throw this out there. Cheers....

Monday, April 9, 2007

Math in the Media - The Mozart of Mathematics

Again, the Washington Post grabs the mathematics bull by the horns to post a good quick biography on one of the Masters of the Mathematics Universe (he is what some call a "universalist"; a mathematician trained and competent across many if not all fields of mathematics).

Leonhard Euler.... Enjoy!
Also, the author of this article, David Brown, as well as the author of an upcoming biography of Euler, Ronald S. Calinger of Catholic University, will be online live tomorrow morning (April 10) at 11am here. If you are inclined, tune in....

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Future Scholar Results announced....

We have made decisions regarding the Future Scholars for the next academic year, and will be mailing out notices to winners this next week.

For those of you who are curious, the Future Scholars Program invites local area high school Juniors to take a locally proctored exam to compete for the chance to take Hopkins University Matheamtics courses here in campus during your senior year in high school. Tuition is fully paid for (though fees and books are not) for a course in each of the two semesters of that year. The exam was administered this last month, and we are in the process of notifying the winners.

Congratulations to the winners, and good luck to all who entered.

Putnam Results are in...!

Well, Putnam results have been announced. And our two top scorers have been ranked at 140th and 154th, out of a total of 3640 contestants. Congratulations to these two on excellent performances.

If you played the game, and want to know how you did, drop me a line.