Monthly Archives: July 2011

Transferring skills

Somewhere in the list of “transferable skills” or “graduate attributes” for just about any maths qualification you’ll find some weasely little phrase like “employ numerical and problem-solving skills”. If you’re excessively conscientious, you may waste a great deal of time … Continue reading

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Undergraduate Advances in Mathematics

There are two schools of thought about whether it’s fair to take the piss out of the things that students write in exams and homework. I belong to the correct school of thought, which states that as long as the perpetrators remain strictly … Continue reading

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When marking schemes make maths exams unfair

In maths we tend to be rather untroubled by questions of assessment, at least compared with our colleagues in most other disciplines. This is largely because we’ve convinced ourselves that there are no issues of subjectivity involved: given a purported … Continue reading

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In praise of something, for once

Before I get too stuck into a pattern of banging on about things I don’t like, here’s a word of praise for the British Geological Survey, and in particular for their wonderful iGeology app (part of the Open Geoscience project). … Continue reading

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A cynic’s guide to improving education

I spend more of my time than I would like to reading papers in education journals. Most of the time this is pretty unrewarding, but occasionally one comes across an idea that makes some of the problems one faces as a … Continue reading

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Mythbusting and metaphors

There’s been an interesting discussion over at Whewell’s Ghost about whether professional historians of science are (or should be) “spoiling everybody’s party” by upsetting the popular myths about Lone Geniuses, First Discoveries and the Onward March of Progress. I’m not … Continue reading

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Ane tellt me it was time I learnt to write

So here we go. If all goes to plan, this will develop into an ongoing collection of rants and musings too lengthy, obscure, uncharitable or just plain dull to be inflicted on my long-suffering friends and family. If all fails to … Continue reading

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