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May 19, 2011
“I am going on a writing break” reads the opening statement of my letter to the University Chancellor explaining why I am going to the US Pacific Northwest for four weeks in May. If one considers that temperature rises to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 90% humidity during the Philippine summer, surely escape to a temperate country if one can afford it is a reasonable option. Being married to an American, my annual sojourns to the US are regular events my reneging-fellow paranoid University officials are used to.
May 19, 2011
The phrase "one-to-one correspondence" is sometimes used in mathematics. This describes, for example, how numbers, often learned as abstract sounds in early childhood, can be, one by one, matched with objects. As parents may realize, this is how we teach a child how to count. One-to-one correspondence also shows up in other places in math, as, for example, when rational numbers may be put into one-to one correspondence with the integers, thus showing that there are a countable number of rational numbers.
May 19, 2011
As recent fellow bloggers’ posts reflect, many of us are experiencing some form of end-of-the-semester burnout. We’ve been working hard and fast, racing toward the deadline, anticipating a joyful release once grading is done. For many of us in Wisconsin, this spring semester has been particularly eventful and exhausting.
May 19, 2011
On the first day of class, I always try to do an ice breaker. One of my favorites is to ask students to tell us about their name. Why was this name chosen? What does it mean? Often this exercise helps me remember students’ names and helps me learn a little more about them.
May 18, 2011
Wise and worldly readers, I need the benefit of your experience.This summer, my college will migrate from one Course Management System to another. (A CMS is the web platform used to run online courses or the online components of hybrid courses. Common examples include Blackboard, WebCT, Angel, Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai.) The motivation is partly based on features, and partly based on a history of shoddy treatment by the sole vendor of a proprietary product.
May 18, 2011
Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History Is Reshaping Our World by Doug Saunders
May 18, 2011
It used to be that one of the best known images in the climate change discussion was the "hockey stick" graph -- a long-term chart of atmospheric temperature variation that showed a pattern of stability for centuries, and then an accelerating secular trend upwards in recent times. But then a Congressional report was issued, some statisticians called the science unreliable, and a large portion of the American public got the idea that -- somehow -- a simple and intuitively obvious chart of empirical observations didn't signify.
May 17, 2011
I am willing to bet I can pin-point one common source of frustration for academics: that we are perceived as having an easy life, or not really working a full-time job. Just the other day somebody, not in academia, talked at length about how my situation is ideal: I only work a few days a week and have the summers “off”. To add insult to injury, he concluded with comparing my job as a full-time tenure-track professor to having a part-time job with flexible hours!
May 17, 2011
Puma, the German sports shoe maker (I'm sorry, I meant "Sportslifestyle company"),has just published an Environmental Profit & Loss report, making it perhaps the first firm to quantify the environmental impacts of its products. Brief analyses of this event are available here and here.

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