Become a Future Science Leader!

No matter whether you’re an aspiring Biologist, Physicist, Chemist, or inventor, the IB Diploma is a fantastic stepping stone to studying your subject at university. However, an ambitious student can be left directionless with so many choices and questions – which subject should I follow? How do I break in to the science industry? With that question in mind our academics set about creating the perfect course for aspirant scientists - “Future Science Leader”. What is it? Future Science Leaders is a new ...

Understanding Conditional Probability

Conditional probability appears  difficult, and I think that's because it comes with yet another probability formula seemingly designed to confuse IB students! But forget the formulae for a moment, and consider these two problems: Two dice are thrown. What is the probability that: a)   The total on the dice is both greater than 9 and a double.   b)   The total is a double given that it is greater than 9? In problem (a) we have no information, so the total could be any ...

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 ...

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 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 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 ...

Exciting, Cost-Effective Online Workshops from Triple A Learning

Here at Triple A Learning, we are constantly examining ways to extend our resources and workshops to meet the needs of IB schools and I would like to tell you about Triple A Learning workshops running alongside our existing IB-approved online workshops from October 8th, 2012. For fuller details about the content and structure of these workshops, please browse our workshop site by following this link. New Triple A Learning workshops (Scroll down and select Triple A Learning IB Workshops) Our own Triple ...

Expecting the unexpected, Benford’s Law and Buffon’s Needle

Something good about some Probability topics is that they can provide counterintuitive  explanations. Surely you know many examples, and maybe also  the two specific ones I'd like to share today. 1) Benford's Law If you have access to a list with an enormous quantity of data, let's say the total number of print materials in US libraries, the Twitter users by followers count, or the distance of stars from Earth...what do you think is the probability that the first digit of any of ...