Science

As we move into an exploration of science, we are going to consult the views of some scientists.  If you intend to pursue a degree in (any) natural science in your future (or business, or economics, psychology, political science…), I’d highly recommend you purchase a copy of the text we will read next: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn.  If you want a simple method to purchase it, you can click here to go to Amazon and have it delivered to your home.  You can certainly buy it somewhere else (or look for it on your bookshelf at home).  For students who would like to do so, you can check one out at school on Friday.

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Probability and the final

Today, we are bringing to closure our study of math at the same time we move toward our final exam.  We also talked about the Monty Hall Problem and ‘intuitive’ math.  For a more in-depth explanation, consider this blog.

The final will involve 30 multiple choice questions and an essay question.  The multiple choice questions will involve content from two important sources: The Ways of Knowing unit and the Math unit.  With this in mind, your First Journal and the current Math Journal will be of value to you as you study.  There will be no material on the final from the History unit.

As you aim to study, consider these reminders:

  1. You should know this material, you learned it earlier
  2. You should review the thinkers (‘experts’) from these two units
    • Know what their ideas are, their philosophies, and their primary sources
    • Know the concepts necessary to understand the author (i.e. Forms, a priori knowledge)
  3. BRING YOUR MATH JOURNAL TO CLASS THE DAY OF THE FINAL
    1. You may be allowed to use your notes from the film Pi on the test
  4. If you do these things, you will probably do well. (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun)

Mathematics invented?

Hopefully your week back from break went well.  Here’s an overview in case you missed a day.  During the week we:

  1. read three texts that informed our understanding of math
    1. from French mathematician Henri Poincare
    2. from MIT professor Max Tegmark
    3. from blogger Doug Muder
  2. We worked toward consensus in a Structured Academic Controversy
  3. We grappled with a definition for math in our consensus groups
  4. We interviewed someone of our choosing
  5. We read Plato’s Meno (w/help from this cheesy youtube version) and considered his views

As a way to bring to culmination our week, students did the following on Friday, January 8th:

On Friday, we worked to build an expository paragraph to our initial question: “Is mathematics invented or discovered?”.  In your response include:

  • your definition for mathematics
  • at least one excerpt/example from the three experts above
  • an idea from your interview
  • one peer’s view from the week of discussions
  • a concession statement

Though the paragraph does not need to be typed, it does need to be good.  Include it in your journal for Monday.