Sunday, September 28, 2008

Time to Work on My Game

Four Hundred Seventh Post: Time to Work on My Game (20080928)

Well if you’ve been to “Constructor’s Corner” you’ve probably seen the work on Prime numbers. And while the concept is there I just can’t get a clear solution, I still believe the work has some merit. The problem lies in the fact that a series in Primes is just about impossible to find. However my idea was to find a way to represent series by parabolas and logarithmic spirals. The theory is if you have a way to represent different types of series you might be able to determine if Prime numbers have a series by the same technique.

My email friend Curtis said that I was banging my head of the wall working with Prime numbers. And since 80's heavy metal is out of style, I agree with him and have taken a break from Prime number work. His other good advice was to work on challenging yet possible problems. And by doing so I have found I need to improve my math game.

Like geometry for instance, I have trouble with proofs because I don’t remember all the postulates, theories, and laws. I have ordered some geometry books to refresh. But just because a problems is standard geometry does not make it simple. I was reading Robert Gerver’s book “Writing Math Research Papers” and it explains that a “simple” or “routine” problem is not easy defined. That is to say it is a problem to problem assessment.

The book explains ways to improve your math game. This includes problems solving skills and communication of ideas. So math is no different than football or basketball. You need to practice, keep your skills up, and while you think you pretty well skilled, there is a whole new level of competition.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back to School

Four Hundred Sixth Post: Back to School (20080919)

Well its back to school time for many students. I always liked this time of year. When I was a 7th grader, I couldn’t always get my darn locker open. I still remember the combination: 4-19-8. So I came up with the idea to put all my books into a book bag and carry it around. Long story shortened, I had some big biceps at the end of the school year.

I’m certainly no expert on education, but anyone can tell that the public school system does not work. The more money that gets pumped in the more the school needs. That is why a voucher system would work. Your public school is ranked low in academics then go to a private school. I know it sounds harsh, but the same concept works in colleges and universities. And as an added bonus property taxes will be lowered.

Of course, I don’t see something like this happening any time soon. It has been debated for years. That is why parent involvement and better training for teachers are more reasonable. I recently read “In Code”, by Sarah Flannery who lives in Ireland. The schooling is set up there where you can have 3 years of high school or take a 4th transition year for diverse studies such as working on a project or having an internship with on the job training.

I believe in high school the senior year is pretty much a slow transition where students are visiting colleges, and preparing for graduation. However, what would this transition be better used if it were more like Ireland’s transition year? I know that dedicated students are already doing things like this, but wouldn’t it be better if all students got a helping hand in the right direction?

It is just something to consider. I believe minor changes such as length of class, senior year shortened, and internships would greatly improve public schools.