Recent Posts by Anton Guertchev

Emotions in Learning and Make it Stick!

Well, the holidays are almost over and the busy classrooms will soon get most of our attention (and time). It would become more challenging to browse the increasing flow of information regarding the latest developments of pedagogical theory. I wanted to share a couple of links and resources that came to me through the blog of Annie Murphy Paul and especially a post regarding "The Feeling of Learning". In it the author points that "In educational settings, it’s the “academic emotions” that ...

IA Exploration – Advice from the Subject Reports

Now that so many mathematical explorations (three sessions - May and November 2014 and May 2015) have been written, assessed (and moderated) it might be a good idea to look carefully at the latest available advice on the internal assessment - the Mathematical Exploration. All the more that most IB students will by now be in an important stage of the development of their explorations - most probably closing on their draft :-P . One of the best sources for ...

Subject Reports Comments on Mathematical Exploration

By Friday, October 31, 2014 No tags 1

The latest subject report for the IB examination from May 2014 was eagerly awaited by colleagues as this was the first time the new syllabus was examined. Another reason for interest was to check and compare our understanding and practice in developing the newly introduced type of internal assessment for HL and SL - the mathematical exploration. Almost at the same time with the appearance of the May 2014 Subject reports on the OCC two other important documents were published regarding ...

Mathematical Impressions

In my first post on this blog (not so many months ago) I was wondering what will be our experience as teachers in helping the students developing their explorations. It is still early days, of course, and I am still waiting for some of my students to produce their "final" versions. Looking back however I believe altogether  the experience was a challenging but exciting and enriching one. Here is an example. My student Benedetto chose a topic related to the mathematics ...

The Mathematics of Juggling

It would be interesting to know how the process of developing the mathematical exploration  went for the first generation of students and teachers! The results must be now coming (with some delays ;-) ?). I must say I learned a lot from my students in the process... Here is one of the topics chosen by my student Benedetto - the mathematics behind juggling. It turns out that even the founder of information theory, Claude Shannon, did domes serious math on his ...

The Mathematics of Rating and Ranking

At the end of the year there is no shortage of lists of top sportsmen and sportswomen, movies, books, shows ... You probably have looked with attention at the rankings of the universities to which you apply. This year the tennis association celebrated 40 years from the introduction the ATP rankings. And the examples can go on and on. Here is the BBC giving advice on the World Cup seedings. Have you thought what are the methods, principles and assumptions that ...

The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st century

In the last day of 2013 it seems appropriate to browse two books published by the National Academies Press - both of them represent reports of an interesting project The Mathematical Sciences in 2025. They can be read online freely (and after a registration a PDF version can be downloaded as well). I find particularly interesting and informative the first report Fueling Innovation and Discovery:The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century It aims to "describe recent advances in the mathematical sciences and advances enabled ...

Thinking Mathematically

By Monday, November 18, 2013 No tags 0

Recently I have discovered by chance a book that many of you may already know - "Thinking Mathematically" by J.Mason, L.Burton and K.Stacey.   As it is usually the case, one thing leads to another (click after click :-)), and from the introduction of the book I learned about a video that records a "lecture" by George Polya "Let us teach guessing". It is long, old (almost archaic, from 1966!)  but brilliant and definitely worth seeing. [youtuber vimeo='http://vimeo.com/48768091']   Returning to the book - in the introduction ...

The dull number 1729 and Futurama

  Yesterday the BBC published a curious article "Why is the number 1729 hidden in Futurama episodes?". It is written by Simon Singh whose popular books about mathematics and science have been hugely successful. Some of them were made in very interesting documentaries like "Fermat's Last Theorem" and "The Science of Secrecy". His latest book is "The Simpsons and their mathematical secrets" :-) Some more information about the appearances of this "dull" number in Futurama are collected by its fans here. Mathematicians, not surprisingly, are interested ...

The Year of the (Mathematical) Exploration

This will be my first post aimed at colleagues teaching Mathematics for the IBDP  and I feel humbled and privileged by the task. I have no difficulties in identifying one of the most burning area of concern for us. In our school we are in the beginning  of  the process of developing the mathematical explorations for the first students (HL and SL), my students (most of them at least :-P ) have just submitted their outlines. We expect them to submit a ...

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