## The Education Bubble

Now that The Spoiled One is in her sophomore year of high school, we are starting to look at colleges and suffering a bit of sticker shock. This is surprising since we went through this three times already with her older sisters. What we were surprised to find is that even though tuition was pretty…

## Ugly Code for Hidden Pictures

In some ways, this has been an extremely productive week and it’s only Monday, although when you work every day, it’s hard to say when your week starts. Sort of a zen-like question of where the circle begins, isn’t it? I’m not complaining. I love my work so much it is hard for some people…

## Thinking about math in Las Vegas

I was ambivalent about going to Las Vegas for the regional conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics because my time is pretty limited. I’m really glad I went. Some thoughts on fractions: What IS a fraction? Partitioning. A part of a whole. More than that, each part is equal. Are fractions numbers?…

## 44 things and counting

There have been some interesting posts lately regarding the 100 Thing Challenge. In brief, the idea is to reduce all of your personal possessions to 100 things. Let’s be honest. That is never going to happen here at The Julia Group. When I brought it up, The Invisible Developer suggested that he could perhaps reduce…

## Wonder why girls don’t like math? Look at yourself!

Having taught math myself for the past 30 years, and with a brother who is a middle school math teacher, I am obviously not tarring all math teachers with the same brush, but I am really starting to get pissed off here. I have beautiful daughters, and it is not just me who says so….

## Systematic random sampling: As useful as Roman numerals?

Why do we still teach systematic random sampling as an option? As you may recall from your Statistics 101, simple random sampling is when you select from the sample at random. So, if you want 100 people out of a sample of 10,000 in a dataset, you would pull a random sample by, most likely,…

## Sexual harassment can be complicated

Feeling confused and hypocritical. I have read a lot of sad posts lately about sexual harassment, by women in the technology industry who were sexually assaulted, women in science who were verbally harassed. The reaction to the harassers of many people (and I admit, my initial response) has been akin to “burn ’em at the…

## It’s Okay to Screw Up, Just Don’t Give Up

Funny the things that can bring back memories. There is a store in the Promenade that sells niku-pan. If you don’t know what that is, you’ve never lived in Japan. Imagine a cheap biscuit filled with gravy and a tiny amount of some meat-like substance and you have the idea. It’s cheaper than ramen noodles,…

## Probability, small business and the government shutdown

I have a meeting scheduled for Washington, D.C. that includes federal employees and government contractors. Many of these people are not working now and the building where it is supposed to take place is closed. I had to decide whether or not to buy my plane ticket today and take advantage of the three-week advance…

## Learning and leaves on Oregon Day

Maybe when I get even older than I am now, my retirement plan will be to go to really beautiful places and learn stuff. I could take a class in Hawaii, attend a workshop in Halifax or visit museums in Venice. Actually, that’s kind of what I’m doing now. Today, I had the opportunity to…