fredag 26 november 2010

Bloody Serious Game of Mathematics at KTH

In this very moment a tough game of mathematics is going on at the Royal Institute of Technology KTH, between Classical Analytical Mathematics and Computational Mathematics.

The battle ground is a course in Numerical Methods and the fight is about the course literature BodyandSoul Mathematical Simulation Technology (BS), available for inspection from my home page.

Formally, the Program Administration (representing Classical Analytical Mathematics) buying the course, has "stopped" BS from being used as course material. But the course continues as if BS has has not been stopped. An interesting situation indeed, as the course now enters into its two final weeks.

Why has BS been "stopped"? Try to find out yourself by taking a look at the text.

Media represented by Ny Teknik is watching the match and will be reporting. The current betting odds is 0.67 in favor of Computational Math, but in a match like this anything can happen. Stay tuned to follow the thrilling final rounds...

The match continues Monday Nov 29 at 10.15 am with a new version of BS. If this serve will be stopped by PA, then a tie-break will follow...

25 kommentarer:

  1. Hehe, jag hoppas PK-byråkraterna på KTH (eller MISU för den delen) åtalar eller avskedar dig för dina avsnitt om växthuseffekten. Då måste dom i domstol försvara varför deras version, till skillnad från din, baseras på vetenskap och beprövad erfarenhet.

    Skönt att det i alla fall finns en person som talar ur skägget, (till skillnad från dom trötta och förvirrade pensionärerna i SI.)

    SvaraRadera
  2. Why don't you come to a lecture and explain this to the students?

    Preferably using language such as "interesting situation" and "battle ground".

    SvaraRadera
  3. Of, if I only get an invitation.

    SvaraRadera
  4. Of course, if I only get an invitation.

    SvaraRadera
  5. The fact that BS is still being used as course material would seem to be because the teachers are zealously sticking to it, in spite of protests from the Program Administration and growing concern among the students.

    ...and it is indeed interesting that you view this as a "battleground" and an "interesting situation". It's good that Hoffman wants to perform "a test of functionality" on BS before implementing it into next year's new program, but the students I've talked to don't seem to appreciate being used as test subjects when they're there to learn about numerical methods.
    The Numme course that I took last year (before BS was implemented) was far from perfect, but it was functional.

    Challenging old ideas is healthy, but people need to pick their battlefields in such a way that innocent civilians don't get caught in the crossfire.

    SvaraRadera
  6. The problem is that PA is sabotaging the course, not the course itself which
    teaches modern numerical methods.

    SvaraRadera
  7. I skimmed through parts of the text, I found it very readable and enjoyed it. I think that it manages to bring something of a soul to the body of mathematics. So I can't see why there is any problem with the course material. However, in the text just below section 130.4 "conservation of momentum" I wonder if you mean "potential" rather than "pressure". It could be worthwhile also to change the letter so that the reader doesn't get confused when the pressure turns up.

    SvaraRadera
  8. That's a very interesting statement, Claes. How is the PA sabotaging the course?

    SvaraRadera
  9. By telling the students that the course material is unacceptable.

    SvaraRadera
  10. "Of course, if I only get an invitation."

    By whom? You don´t need an invitation by PA! Or has Hoffman forbidden you to communicate with the students?

    "That's a very interesting statement, Claes. How is the PA sabotaging the course?" "By telling the students that the course material is unacceptable."

    In fact you are in a equal, or even better position, to communicate directly with the students.!

    SvaraRadera
  11. I communicate through my writing and leave to the teachers to use the BS text according to their preferences. As long as BS is not "stopped", this is a functional arrangement.

    SvaraRadera
  12. The other Anonym28 november 2010 14:52

    "By telling the students that the course material is unacceptable."

    I assure you, KTH students are more than capable of determining for themselves what course literature they like and what course literature they don't like without the PA's consent; after all, many get other books than the ones that is officially recommended.
    How many of the students do you think even KNOW that the PA has disapproved of BS? Heck, I didn't know about that until I read this blog post.

    SvaraRadera
  13. "I communicate through my writing and leave to the teachers to use the BS text according to their preferences. As long as BS is not "stopped", this is a functional arrangement."

    Why such a low profile against the students? If you can´t explain the necessity of IT-maths to the students, how can you then possibly expect persons like Sahlin, Bjorklund and Ostros to understand the necessity of IT-math?

    SvaraRadera
  14. No, Sahlin was not interested in math when I sought her support to reform, but we have just witnessed the sad consequence of this mistake...

    SvaraRadera
  15. I'm afraid I don't follow you: Certainly, Sahlin has been on one heck of a rough ride, lately, but which part of it can be seen as a "sad consequence" of not supporting your idea of reform...?

    SvaraRadera
  16. Here is a letter from Mona to me http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2010/01/svar-fran-mona-om-matematik-it.html

    where she denied to campaign on math reform. This was as stupid as joining with Leftist party, and the consequence was inevitable...

    SvaraRadera
  17. Okay, so, basically, you think that we'd have a Red-Green government now if (S) had campaigned on IT Mathematics reform?

    SvaraRadera
  18. Exactly: Win-Win or maybe you can't everything at the same time...

    SvaraRadera
  19. Alright, and what leads you to believe that? On what basis do you believe that there would be strong public support for your ideas?

    SvaraRadera
  20. Because everyone, pupils, parents, teachers and politicians, are fed up with current math education.

    SvaraRadera
  21. Indeed, many are, but what makes you think that YOUR ideas on mathematics education reform would go over so well?

    SvaraRadera
  22. BS worked well at Chalmers as long as there were teachers there willing to do the job. The new BS will work even better if it is not sabotaged.

    SvaraRadera
  23. I'd be interested in seeing some results from the time when BS was used at Chalmers. Where can I get ahold of it?
    Also, why is it no longer being used? You say that teachers are fed up with math education, and that your reform program is the solution, so certainly the problem wasn't that there weren't "teachers there willing to do the job"?

    SvaraRadera
  24. Most of the teachers offering BS at Chalmers have left Chalmers and are now working at other universities. For info contact Nils Svanstedt, one of the BS teachers still at Chalmers, using BS material.

    SvaraRadera
  25. Thank you for that information; I'll make a note of it.

    SvaraRadera