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This is a day full of wow.

I have everything for my SpARC presentation put together. 9:20 tomorrow in room 210E of the science building, for those who want to come. I noticed during my talk that I really did spend more time explaining what fanfiction and YTMND are than what clearing the neighborhood is.

Am I nervous? A little bit. I guess I'm a little afraid I'm going to screw things up really badly, but on the whole I feel ready. It'll kick in a lot tomorrow.

I've been putting stuff off to an extent that is ridiculous. I have a number theory assignment due Friday, and I've hardly started. Unfortunately, it's the hardest of the lot, which makes sense because, well, it's the last one. Why on earth do I put off so much? And why on earth did I say it was fine to open the math center on Thursday night because the Calc II students have an assignment due Friday (by some weird coincidence, also for Dr. Koch)? Oh yeah. Because I volunteer for almost everything. *collapses* I should probably stop taking on so much stuff.

Also, my last.fm stuff is scrobbling again! Yay! For some reason it stopped over the last few days and started again. Weird.

Speaking of music, who on earth has a music collection with this many tracks? 200,000 tracks. Managing that would be a full-time job. Mine's around 5000 tracks, and I still barely manage to listen to everything.

I'm definitely e-mailing Jonathan Coulton to tell him I'm using "I'm Your Moon" in my SpARC presentation tomorrow. Yes, I really am, just to show how some people in the wider Internet community reacted.

Speaking of JoCo, here's a live performance at...somewhere. I don't remember now. He plays "Code Monkey", "Re Your Brains", and "Flickr". (Yes, he wrote a song about Flickr. It's pretty cool.)

Someone didn't learn eir US history, thanks to stupid_free. Wow. Yes, the guilty party is American. Just... wow.

poisonedwriter showed me this today: Mathematicians set Chinese test. It compares the Chinese pre-entry test to university and the diagnostic test for first-year English university students. WOW. Just... wow. Unfortunately I don't have the time to enter that competition, and I don't think Dr. Koch would be too pleased if I did this instead of the number theory assignment. Sad times. I want to eat my cake, too.

But that led me to this, an article saying that English schools were fearing for their standings in maths and sciences, so they were discouraging students from taking upper-level maths. No. NO. That's just the wrong way to go about it. If you're going to discourage them by telling them that it's hard, then they're going to believe that it's hard and that they'll never be good at it, and they'll live their entire lives believing it. What if they happen to be really good at math and it's their passion, but they don't find out until they take A-levels? I know people who were actually told they were bad at math, and they believed it. This happened to a really good friend of mine, and when she came to ASC, she took the easiest math class she could--finite math. She loved it. (Well, still loves it, since she's taking it this semester.) Not enough to be a math major, but it showed her that she doesn't have to be afraid of math. That's what's happening here--they're instilling fear of math into students before they can decide for themselves whether they like it or not.

*jumps off soapbox* Enough on that for now.

What I'm really excited about, though, is the Scottie Math Bowl, which is at 12:15 tomorrow in Lower Evans. Come cheer on All Your Basis Are Belong To Us! (Or cheer on bluefate's team. Fine. But still, show up!)

Now to bed. I need to be well-rested for tomorrow.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 25th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
Not counting my massive bootleg collection, my playlist numbers over 13,000 tracks.
Apr. 26th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
If you haven't noticed yet, there's a major problem among science and math students and faculty. One of arrogance and disregard for anybody who isn't a science or math student. Most physics students in my classes consider themselves the elite of society, way beyond going down a level to encourage and explain things to people not as educated as them in subjects. I find this very disconcerning and try to act opposite of that as much as I can.

If you look at the great scientists of history who weren't just robots...Einstein, Planck, Feynman, Hawking, they all believed that they had a responsibility to educate the "common man" public to the nature of their works. Most of my peers view such a thing as "dumbing down" the math and physics, but I can recognize how inspiring it can be to young people. I sincerely doubt any of my classmates, or myself, would have ever become Physics majors if we didn't grow up reading layman books like a Brief History of Time.

I think my greatest disappoint of my academic career so far is finding out that scientists are just as much douchebags as average people.
Apr. 27th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
Well, being a scientist doesn't necessarily make one better. We actually had this discussion in my astronomy class on Thursday, about elitism in the scientific community, and it was interesting to hear about it from several perspectives, since not everyone in the class is a science or math student. A lot of humanities students in the class mentioned being slightly in awe of those in science and math, as if they we really are super geniuses. Of course, this isn't true, but some people really do take this seriously, and it can lead to some serious elitism.

I'm like you in that way. I like to show people that what I do isn't scary, and that they too can understand it. Sure, maybe they won't get every single detail of abelian groups, but they can at least see why I laugh at the abelian grape joke. And I don't believe we're in danger of dumbing things down--after all, we have to get people interested in math and science somehow, and shoving huge textbooks in their faces usually isn't the best way to do it.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )