Friday, December 30, 2016
AP Calculus BC 2016-2017:
This unit was all about applying what we know about Anti-Derivatives! We solved Variable Separable Differential Equations. We calculated the Area Between Two Curves. We found Volumes Of Revolution and Volumes With Known Cross-Sections in terms of the differentials dx and dy! We even derived formulas for Arc Length and Surface Area.
This chapter was all about Sequences and Series! We talked about summing Arithmetic and Geometric sequences analytically and graphically! We derived the formula for finite Arithmetic and Geometric Series as well as infinite Geometric Series. We graphed sequences and sequences of partial sums using Sequence Mode on the TI-84C. We played around with Pascal's Triangle, Binomial Expansion Theorem and Binomial Probability Distributions. We even looked at Recursively Defined Sequences modeling Annuities and Mortgages!
AP Computer Science 2016-2017:
We spent a bit of this month finishing Lab05/Chap06 on Conditional Statements, Boolean Expressions, Truth Tables and Predicate Methods! Then we did a WEEK Of Code devoted to Daniel Shiffman's excellent tutorial on Processing. Now we are in the midst of Lab06/Chap07 about Iteration!
YouTube Wednesday: Cliff Stoll on Nova!
Teaching With Technology,
Well, that's all folks,
Dec Meeting: Fire Up The Cluster!
This month's meeting was about introducing the idea of a COTS or COW Linux Cluster running MPI. COTS, BTW, stands for Commodity Off The Shelf. In other words, a cluster made of commonly available hardware such as the PCs in my classroom!
We downloaded the latest ISO of the Pelican HPC DVD which can boot up the whole room in about 5 minutes! We couldn't get all 100 cores running for some reason. However, we did get 88 cores running at bout 44 GFLOPs.
2016-2017 MANDATORY MEETINGS
09/14/2016 (organizational meeting)
10/26/2016 (installing Ubuntu 16.10 64bit)
11/09/2016 (installing Ubuntu 16.10 64bit)
12/14/2016 (Pelican HPC DVD)
01/11/2017 (openSSH Public Keys)
02/08/2017 (openMPI Software Stack)
03/08/2017 (Fractal Plots)
03/22/2017 (Fractal Zoom Movie)
(03/29/2017 is a make up day)
04/26/2017 (POVRAY Animation)
05/10/2017 (Blender Animation)
(05/24/2017 is a make up day)
So, what's all this good for aside from making a Fractal Zoom or Shrek Movie?
Mersenne Prime Search
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Computer Algebra Systems (CAS)
These are but a few examples of using Computer Science to solve problems in Mathematics and the Sciences (STEAM). In fact, many of these applications fall under the heading of Cluster Programming or Super Computing. These problems typically take too long to process on a single PC, so we need a lot more horse power. Next time, maybe we'll just use Titan!
Membership (alphabetic by first name):
DanielD(12), JevanyI(12), JuliaL(12), MichaelC(12) , MichaelS(12), YaminiN(12)
BenR(11), BrandonL(12), DavidZ(12), GabeT(12), HarrisonD(11), HunterS(12), JacksonC(11), SafirT(12), TimL(12)
BryceB(12), CheyenneC(12), CliffordD(12), DanielP(12), DavidZ(12), GabeT(11), KeyhanV(11), NoelS(12), SafirT(11)
BryanS(12), CheyenneC(11), DanielG(12), HarineeN(12), RichardH(12), RyanW(12), TatianaR(12), TylerK(12)
Graham Smith(12), George Abreu(12), Kenny Krug(12), LucasEager-Leavitt(12)
David Gonzalez(12), Herbert Kwok(12), Jay Wong(12), Josh Granoff(12), Ryan Hothan(12)
Arthur Dysart(12), Devin Bramble(12), Jeremy Agostino(12), Steve Beller(12)
Marc Aldorasi(12), Mitchel Wong(12)
Chris Rai(12), Frank Kotarski(12), Nathaniel Roman(12)
A. Jorge Garcia, Gabriel Garcia, James McLurkin, Joe Bernstein, ... too many to mention here!
Saturday, December 17, 2016
preCalculus, Calculus and CompSci Carols, Oh My!
Here we go again!
It's time for Calculus Carols!
Every year, the day after Thanksgiving Break, I give my Calculus class a Calculus Carols Song Book. Every day, before December Break, we sing one song from the book. We sing every day so as to practice, aka rehearse, the songs for our Caroling Day before break. Every period on Caroling Day, we go all over the school and sing these songs to anyone who would listen!
The Calculus Carols Song Book includes holiday Filks related to Calculus that previous years' students have contributed or that we just copied off the web. You can listen to some Filks created by my students in the YouTube videos included herein. Unfortunately, we never did get around to including these songs in the song book. We should probably get on that!
What's a Filk you ask? This term is commonly used at Science Fiction and Fact conventions referring to a recognizable tune where the words have been changed to make a statement or to poke fun at something. In our case, we poke fun at math class! Filking is a huge genre onto itself. There's even Filker Of The Year awards at all the top conventions!
However, during the past few years, my preCalculus students also wanted a song book, so we've been developing one of late. Oh, you guessed it, my CompSci students wanted in this year too! So, what you find including in this blog post is a set of 3 song books. One for preCalculus, one for Calculus and another for CompSci class. We wanted a dozen songs in each book but we couldn't find enough songs, so some of the songs overlap from book to book. Be warned, however, the CompSci Carols are mostly Tom Lehrer songs and not all holiday themed. Enjoy!
Friday, December 16, 2016
The Hour Of SAGE 2016!
Every year, around Admiral Grace Murray Hopper's birthday, we celebrate CS Education Week and participate in The Hour Of Code. The Hour Of Code started a few years ago and has grown by leaps and bounds! This year it is estimated that 1000s of schools particiapted. Further, 1000000s of students wrote 1000000000s lines of code during their Hour Of Code, many for the first time ever!
Many of the activities at the Hour Of Code website are based on the Blockly or Scratch programming languages using online IDEs and target younger students. I've used these in the past but thought I'd do my own this year based on Python and SAGE (see above) tailoring my presentation to a High School audience.
Python is a very popular programming language used to teach Mathematics and to do real Science. SAGE is a supercomputer at Washington State University funded by the NSF free for you to use where ever you have an internet connection. You can use SAGE on your cellphone or tablet using an app and you can use SAGE on your cellphone, tablet or PC using an internet browser.
I ran my Hour Of SAGE with all my classes on Monday 12/5/2016 and with all the remaining Honors Math classes on Wednesday 12/7/2016 as an in-school field trip. So, here's what I did on Wednesday:
STEP01: I went to each class and spoke about taking AP CompSci next year. I gave out the following letter too. The CSAP letter I gave to every class except for my current AP CompSci students. I gave them the CSI letter. We used to have an intro programming course based on Python called CSH but we don't have the enrollment to justify it anymore. We also had a class called CRL (Calculus Research Lab) as a co-requisite for AP Calculus using SAGE to complement Calculus class and to introduce the concepts of Scientific Computing aka Computing Science.
STEP02: I then march the whole class to my PC Classroom to have them do some coding all period! Put yourself in the students' shoes. Most of these students have never coded before and never saw my Lab before (see picture of my room in the banner of this blog). Imagine walking into a dark room. The only source of light was from 24 student PCs and a SmartBoard. On the SmartBoard you see the HourOfCode website masthead with the Game Of Thrones original sound track playing in the background. Sorry, I tend to be a little dramatic.
STEP03: Then I show the following motivational video about coding as a profession.
STEP04: Then we use SAGECELL to do some coding. I start very simply with the basic arithmetic operators in Python: +, -, *, /, //, % and ** aka ^. We follow by using the same operators algebraically. I finish with coding a simple python script or two related to the math the students are learning tailored to algebra, geometry, precalculus or calculus (see the first video at the top of this post). With my AP CompSci students I introduced the Processing IDE instead.
STEP05: We finished with a pep talk from President Obama!
STEP06: Last, but not least, I gave out Certificates Of Completion!