Archive for the ‘technology’ category

Psychology by the numbers

September 29, 2013

funny - math - paranormal distribution

Psychology would seem, at first look, to be one of the sciences with the least involvement with mathematics. After all, psychology is all about the mind, all about people – what does mathematics have to do with that?

Well, as it turns out, a lot! The main reason is that mathematics is of use, is that psychology has one aspect that most people don’t consider. Most think of psychology as relating to a single person, but there is one other consideration. We also care about how groups respond, and how the individual compares to the group.

To this end, we need a simple way to describe groups, so we can compare them to each other and to the individual. The best way to do this reliably is to use mathematics – and we are interested in two particular concepts – the idea of what the average value of a group is, and the idea of how much the group is distributed.

In this post, I will cover the basic mathematics you will need to describe these concepts – which you will need for your Empirical Research Activity (ERA) report that is due at the end of term 4. The mathematics is *not* difficult, and you will be able to the majority of it on your computer, by using microsoft excel (or a similar piece of software).


Story Time!

June 5, 2011

Well, you’ve finished your exam and I’m sure you’ve been good boys and girls, so now it is story time!

Everyone by now must have selected a page (or pages) from John & Betty’s Journey into Complex Numbers, and planned with your partner what media you will be using to explain your section.

Will you use a poster? A podcast? A youtube clip? A powerpoint? An animoto?  A prezi? A mindmap? A skit? A song? A game?

It doesn’t matter what presentation type you choose, the challenge is the same – you must make the most of the advantages of the medium you choose. As an example, let’s discuss a YouTube clip.

Why would you want to use a YouTube clip? Well there are at least two reasons – one being that you want to capture movement – perhaps a physical demonstration of the concept or an act, and the second reason that you want share or embed the content in a website. If you don’t want one of these things, then you should select an alternative medium. For example, printing out a story about complex numbers, and then putting down the pages, taking a picture of each and putting the pictures into a slideshow and then uploading the result to youtube would be an ineffective use, and wouldn’t demonstrate intelligent usage of the medium.


Outclassing your ClassPad

February 10, 2010


So you’ve got this new calculator. It’s not like the one you were used to…

It’s bigger. It’s got *less* buttons. It’s got a touchscreen. It’s weirder than an Iphone with every single app installed.

And you have to use it…

Well, around about now, you may be considering one of the following options:

  1. losing it
  2. breaking it
  3. leaving it in your locker
  4. Quitting mathematics and running away to join the circus

Well, there are other options – namely beating it at it’s own game, and making it do maths until it squeals. Making it do the maths you don’t want to…

That sounds more like it. How many times have you had to do things like solving equations (or even… shudder… simultaneous equations)? Fractions? Surds? Finding the equations of lines? Force your calculator to do it so that you don’t have to!

Get your game face on, and check out the following links to learn how to use you ClassPad:

  1. ClassPad Videos : This is the *best* – do these and you’ll have that calculator begging for mercy
  2. ClassPad Downloads: Lots of useful stuff here – including “Canyon’s Corner” a helpful question and answer section
  3. ClassPad Lesson: Lots of stepped through instructions to show you how to do things. Worth printing off and storing for future refernce
  4. ClassPad Software: Additional programs to make your calculator do even more than it already does
  5. ClassPad Solution: Links and information for even more
  6. ClassPad Instructions: Even more worked ways to learn how to torture your classpad into submission
  7. ClassPad E-activities: You can make you classpad helpful in other subjects too…

Have lots of fun, and I expect to see those ClassPads in every class

Get Inspired by your Calculator!

February 8, 2010

So you have this calculator. It’s got lots of buttons, and does a ton of stuff, at least it does according to the manual…

Somehow, it seems more difficult to use for you than everyone else – perhaps an old calculator, like the one on the left would be easier to use…

No – there is a better way – you’ve got to go to TI BOOT CAMP!

Make that calculator work – learn how to make it work for you! VCAA will design exams that assume that you have particular calculator skills – and if you don’t have them – you can’t make your calculator work for you – you are at a disadvantage!

Fortunately, there are some really good websites that will help you become a TI black belt. You should complete one of these videos each night from the Introduction to Graphing, Introduction to Calculator and CAS and Activities using CAS: Systems of Equations sections. You can also use the Atomic Video Tutorials to brush up on some of the basic skills you will need.

Here are some additional notes (1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9 – yes, there is no “7”) to support your learning of this content.

Good luck, and remember to use your Math responsibly – Don’t Drink & Derive!

Add a comment to this post immediately if you are in my class – with your real first name so I know it is you!

Poster boy!

August 27, 2008

Well, we finished the project on posters and all of you should be receiving you posters back shortly. One person however did not submit a poster, but did do the following:

Excellent Effort! (direct link to file)

And a link to a previous post that talks about colour and the E-M spectrum

See you in class!

Learning about the Casio ClassPad 300

January 27, 2008

Wooden Calculator Calculators have evolved a great deal from their origin as simple counting devices, through to mechanical calculation aides (such as the abacus), to the first automatic devices (Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine), to where we stand now, with devices such as the Casio ClassPad 300.

The ClassPad is a CAS (computer algebra system) Calculator. This means that, unlike previous many types of previous calculators, the ClassPad can solve algebraic expressions in a logical, mathematical fashion. Previous types of calculators (including the TI-series (up to the 84+) could also solve many algebraic problems, but they used a method called “numerical approximation”, which is basically a fancy way of saying “guess-and-check”. Some of you may have already purchased a ClassPad for yourselves – the rest of you will have to if you intend to enrol in Mathematical Methods next year.