Retiring on Sept1!

The title really says it all, but though I look forward to a new level of freedom I will miss the daily interaction with students and colleagues.

This site may disappear more or less promptly, but I will be continuing with some of my work-related (and other) interests at my own domain

Have a Heart!

ok – Let’s see who stands where here.

As posed by Bruce Aubertin:

Andy and Barb are a couple at a casino, gambling on getting two aces in a pair dealt face down from a (well-shuffled) standard deck of 52. At one dealing Andy happened to glimpse that one of the cards was a heart, and whispered to Barb, “Hey, let’s up our bet, because the probability of two aces given at least one heart in the pair is a bit higher now (the house is playing this one as a fair game, and Andy thinks if they bet big when they get a glimpse like this then they can beat the house in the long run). Barb replied, “Don’t be stupid Andy, our chances are exactly the same, I mean what if you saw a club or some other suit, you only saw the suit, it’s not as if you saw one of the cards was an ace!”

Who is right in this?
(Barb is supporting Andy, a bit of a math geek, through school.)

The above was prompted by a discussion near the end of the ‘Playground’ problems section of the latest ‘Math Horizons’ magazine (see the section headed “Five more minutes, kids!”).

So, what do you think? Click Here to vote (password is “glimpseheart”)

Please answer by voting (anonymously) above.

Mathematical Paintings

From the MathForum newsletter:
David Crockett Johnson was perhaps most famous for his children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon. From 1965 until his death in 1975, Crockett Johnson painted over 100 works relating to mathematics and mathematical physics. Of these paintings, eighty are found in the collections of the National Museum of American History. They are presented on this site, with related diagrams from the artist’s library and papers.

We are all Connected – Maplesoft Blog

A recent posting from the Marketing Engineer at Maplesoft (publishers of the ‘Maple’ computer algebra system) does exactly what I wanted to do in my earlier posting about the “Get Connected” theme of this year’s “Welcome to Langara” day.

And here’s a link to another take on the same theme.

Blog Action Day

This year’s Blog Action Day is devoted to the theme of Climate Change and an understanding of mathematics is certainly essential for anyone involved in making making decisions about how to respond to this issue (which in a democracy is presumably all of us).

. . . more onMath and Climate

Connections in Mathematics

Since the theme of this year’s Welcome to Langara Day was “Get Connected”, it seems worthwhile to look at some of the ways in which this applies to Mathematics, and this post amplifies on the three themes identified in the departmental posting linked to above.

Continue reading ‘Connections in Mathematics’ »

First Week of Classes

Now that the Fall Term Is Under Way, there are only a couple of days left for registration, but for any students entering classes after the first session it is important to know what has happened so far. In my Math 1170 classes on Tuesday we went over the information in the course outline, did a bit of review of the Real Number System, and started on the PreTest. Any latecomers should download the pretest and take 35 minutes to do as much of it as you can, and then maybe take more time as needed to add to or change your work – but using a different coloured pen or pencil. For those who also miss Thursday’s class, the solutions and marking scheme will be posted on the course information page and you should use them to mark your own work, giving two marks for each question – one for the timed work and one for the time unlimited version.

For any of the questions that you had difficulty with, it is important to resolve those problems over the first weekend – most of the topics are covered in Chapter 1 of the text and if you have any difficulty with that you should see me as soon as possible.


The blog at squareCircleZ is a good source of math news and titbits – including lots of interesting applications that may help to motivate our students. The author also maintains a website where he has provided on-line tutorials on a number of college math topics.

iWeb Update

The mathstats files were transferred last week and redirection seems to be working fine so that all links to the old site continue to work (including the ~name links that led to our personal pages!) – for which many thanks to Bob Walker and Jeff Perreault. Also, the capability for embedding external video sources has been added to this WPMU installation so that the “Old News” posting below can be duplicated in iWeb just as it was on my alQpr site. I believe that Bob and Jeff will soon be enabling WPMU accounts for all faculty, and they have already set one up for the mathstats department on which I am experimenting with duplicating at least some parts of the old website so that they will be easier to edit.

Department Meeting

Wed Ap 29 from 1230-1430 in B146
Continue reading ‘Department Meeting’ »