Saturday, June 7, 2014



June YouTube Wednesdays!
Last, but not least, we talked about Watson the SuperComputer on NOVA and Jeopardy. I hope you enjoyed our YouTube interludes. Have a great Summer, see you next year!

May YouTube Wednesdays!
YouTube Wednesdays would not be complete without the Nova about Cliff Stoll and the Cuckoo's Egg!

April YouTube Wednesdays!
We started one of my favorite YouTube Wednesday features. In the name of AP Computer Science review of Computer History and Computer Literacy, I played the only National Geographic Special not about warm, fuzzy animals! It's called "Miniature Miracle: The Computer Chip" and it's all about the history of electronic computing. I remember seeing this live on NBC around 1983 listening to Alexander Scourby's iconic voice and Elmer Bernstein's phenomenal musical theme! 

I used to have this on online, but YouTube made me take it down. I copied it from my VHS version to a DVD. I then uploaded it to YouTube as MP4 files. So, I still have these files to play with VLC, unfortunately I can't show them to you online. You can get your own VHS copy on EBay or Amazon if you like! Here's a little review from 1985 in The New York Times!

BTW, we also have some great new student made filks this year:

"Up All Night to draw Fractals"

"Let It Go preCalculus"

"Robin Thicke Calculus"

"Drunk In Love Calculus"

"Started From Math 1"

February & March YouTube Wednesdays!

We haven't had a lot of time of late for YouTube Wednesdays what with all the Snow Days and February Break. We did manage to start a NOVA called "Ancient Computer" about a lump of bronze found off the coast of Greece. It was found with several lost works of art dated circa 70 BC. However, noone thought anything of this lump of bronze until someone decided to X-ray it! 

I'm showing this episode of NOVA for 10 minutes each Wednesday through the end of March. BTW, this used to be on YouTube. Unfortunately, the Nova YouTube Channel was converted to show only 2-3 minute previews, so you have to go to to view full episodes. I used the PBS app on my Kindle Fire HD 8.9 over WiFi. I also used an HDMI cable to attach the Kindle to the SmartBoard in HDMI mode.

ALERT: Look what Neil DeGrasse Tyson is up to! Dr. Tyson was one of our "Guest Speakers" during our Astronomy Month YouTube Wednesdays (see November below). He has now taken it upon himself to update the seminal Carl Sagan series named Cosmos. You can catch the new and improved Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey starting this Sunday at 9PM on NatGeoWild.

Midterm Week: Ingite, TED and Filk!

Showing a 5-10 minute YouTube at the beginning of class once a week is a great way to start a 5-10 minute discussion on interesting topics related to your curriculum to which students may otherwise never be exposed!

Recently, I tried out an Ignite Thursday. The Ignite Show used to be on the BBC. It was great in that the speaker had exactly 5 minutes to speak. Also, the speaker had 20 slides to talk about that auto-advanced every 15 seconds. Needless to say, this make for a very quick, if informative, presentation.

I found a nice Ignite by a curator at the Walters Museum, William Noel. His talk was about how he discovered long lost texts by Archimedes buried inside a medieval palimpsest. What's amazing about this discovery is that the text shows Archimedes doing advanced Combinatorics and Calculus circa 200BC! 

That Ignite video led us to a TED Tuesday also by William Noel! Now I think I have to show a documentary about the Antikythera Device! There's a nice NOVA about Ancient Computers and here's a related youtube.

By the way, I also throw in Calculus Filks at random intervals whenever we cover a related topic:
Definition of Continuity

Definition of the Derivative

Position, Velocity, Acceleration

Product Rule

Quotient Rule

Chain Rule

L'Hopital's Rule


More AntiDerivatives

Some Physics

Some BC Calculus

Even Outer Space

Don't forget VI Hart!

January YouTube Wednesdays!
Now we turn our attention to Nova and Fractals:

December YouTube Wednesdays!

December 9th was Grace Hopper's birthday and the Hour Of Code! So, we revisited Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace. We were also practicing preCalculus and Calculus Carols which are the best math filks ever.

Who was Ada?

Calculus Sleigh Ride!

Oh Calculus, Oh Calculus

November YouTube Wednesdays!
This month I covered Conic Sections and Planet Orbits in preCalculus class. So, Youtube Wednesday saw several Astronomers as Guest Speakers. We have several Guest Speakers and Documentaries though out the year.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Bill Nye

Phil Plait

Carl Sagan

October YouTube Wednesdays!
October is devoted to one of my all time inspirations: Admiral Grace Murray Hopper.

60 Minutes!



September YouTube Wednesdays!

I started the year with the definition of filk:

 /filk/ n.,v. [from SF fandom, where a typo for `folk' was adopted as a new word] A popular or folk songwith lyrics revised or completely new lyrics and/or music, intended for humorous effect when read, and/orto be sung late at night at SF conventions. There is a flourishing subgenre of these called `computer filks',written by hackers and often containing rather sophisticated technical humor.

Then I proceeded to show some Math Filks! I always start with Mathematicious which is a review of Regents Math. Then I introduce Tom Lehrer!

Regents Math Review!

Base 8 Arithmetic!

Periodic Table of Elements!


Well, that's all folks!


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