tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post1082217505429243639..comments2024-10-06T23:52:23.793-07:00Comments on Confessions of a College Professor: All the remedial classes in one place...Doomhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comBlogger15125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-73510379690077285492014-07-17T22:35:44.786-07:002014-07-17T22:35:44.786-07:00Linear Algebra is an isolated course. You don'...Linear Algebra is an isolated course. You don't need calculus for it, and you certainly don't need Diff Eq for it either. If you're really good in algebra, you can take it after algebra. You really need some skills and careful algebra to do well with it, which is why it's usually taken after Calc 2 or so (at which point you've got plenty of practice with algebra).Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-3391503522477864432014-07-17T22:01:18.207-07:002014-07-17T22:01:18.207-07:00Yea interestingly CCP doesn't have that 'b...Yea interestingly CCP doesn't have that 'business calc' that some places have in addition to I guess regular calc 1. I always wondered what was covered in them courses but I bet biz calc in them other places is likely stuff for just what economics/finance/accounting majors face (that being said those unis allow such majors to take the regular calc 1 or higher if they want).<br /><br />Prof Delaware has a free series on YouTube on College Algebra & Calc 1. The CA material seems to have more than some classes in real life.<br /><br />Also, is Linear Algebra taken after the entire calc 1-3 sequence but before Diff Eq?Jesshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17151299421522255994noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-84972292864869120132014-07-17T20:24:11.542-07:002014-07-17T20:24:11.542-07:00Adjuncts are a tough call; some of them have bogus...Adjuncts are a tough call; some of them have bogus degrees (and thus can't get full time positions), some of them are jerks (and can't keep full time positions) and many of them are just being screwed by admin. Usually, you're not going to get a good course from an adjunct, at least in math, because there are so many bogus "math education" degrees out there.<br /><br />MATH 150 is probably too basic for your needs; there might not be any probability at all in there, I'd have to see the book/syllabus. You're better off with MATH 251.<br /><br />For computer science, yes, you want linear mathematics, and probability. Both of those topics are absolutely essential if you write any sort of decision-making program (i.e., a.i., at the risk of overdoing abbreviations).<br /><br />I totally, totally, recommend Khan Academy (it's free, it's good), and know nothing of Professor Delaware...if he's free, I don't see the harm in at least seeing if he helps you.<br /><br />That's one thing about math: there are many approaches to teaching mathematics, and what works for one individual can be disastrous for another. You're risking very little with "free."<br /><br />If you're thinking about going engineering, then take the most advanced calculus you can; every 4 year program requires hard core calculus (not "Business Calculus", or, basically, any calculus that doesn't use trigonometry). You may as well start now.<br /><br />I took a student from remedial math to differential equations (which you take after calculus III), so it totally can be done.Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-56885554340668475302014-07-17T18:38:55.994-07:002014-07-17T18:38:55.994-07:00Thanks for all that. It is in Philly, & despit...Thanks for all that. It is in Philly, & despite there being offerings as high as Discrete Mathematics 1 & 2, Linear Algebra, Calc 3, & Differential Equations, CCP is a 2-year college & students are expected to transfer to a 4-year university when they finish whatever courses they're advised to by their major selection. The higher classes like Linear Algebra & DiffEq have just one section per semester, whereas the lowest classes like 016, 017, 118, etc have thousands of seats in dozens of sections across all semesters including summer. I believe that some classes, like 151 & 152, have few majors that really require them and mainly serve as for students who need a maths elective and took Intermediate Algebra (118) and don't want/need precalc 1/2 (161/162). I believe here at CCP, what others call College Algebra is Precalc 1 as it's all about functions & their graphs. 162, Precalc 2, seems to be some more functions & trig.<br /><br />The stat classes we do have are MATH 150 Introductory Data Analysis & MATH 251 Statistics for Science. Oops above. We have 2 if you don't count ECON 112/114. 254 says it is algebra-based & requires passing MATH 118 Intermediate Algebra or placement into 161 (precalc 1).<br /><br />I am in an interesting predicament of wanting to do comp sci & engineering down the road, but am lacking in foundational knowledge because of high school education was inadequate. Also, I don't know which teachers are full-time and which are adjuncts. I had unpleasant experiences at a 4-year uni before with a couple adjuncts. One time I had an adjunct who didn't know how to do something he was set to teach! Regarding College Algebra, would you recommend Khan Academy & this UMKC big YouTube playlist ( http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDE28CF08BD313B2A ) by Prof Richard Delaware? I'm looking to take Linear Mathematics, Computer Mathematics, & Probability out of personal interest even if my major doesn't require it because I enjoy maths & puzzles, & am a tech guy & could benefit from the knowledge.<br /><br />Thanks for such an awesome blog.Jesshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17151299421522255994noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-23074535988542077372014-07-16T23:36:38.159-07:002014-07-16T23:36:38.159-07:00Wow, that requires a long answer.
Statistics *can...Wow, that requires a long answer.<br /><br />Statistics *can* be high school or college, it really depends on the presentation. The 1000 level intro statistics I taught at Tulane was well beyond a 5000 statistics course at a nearby state university (which was about the same as the statistics I learned in high school, and similar to a 2000 level statistics course at another state U).<br /><br />A 152 Probability is almost certainly a high-school level course, but for "college credit". You'll probably have trouble transferring it to a university. That linear programming course sounds pretty fun, but be careful, that material only applies to a select few majors.<br /><br />Probability and Combinatorics is typically taught only in a very limited way in high school algebra, or in a less limited way in statistics. College courses that discuss it specifically are usually pretty involved (3000 level, I'll be teaching such a course in the Fall, coincidentally).<br /><br />3 statistics courses at a CC? That's impressive. I tried to convince a local CC that they should offer at least 1, but admin didn't really understand it. Good lord, they had no idea what the "central limit theorem" was, so when an educationist was using it for his grading scale (stupid idea) they needed my help...and when they were getting statistics for accreditation, they again needed serious help on basic ideas. Oh lordy, the cluelessness of Ph.D.s in Admin; I don't know how you can get a research degree in the social sciences without at least a crude understanding of statistics, but anyway.<br /><br />Back to the point, if your CC has that kind of array of math courses, then it's a "2 track" college. One track is bogus, one is legit. It's your responsibility to figure out which track you want. Many CC's are just 1 track (all bogus), so you're at a well above average CC.<br /><br />I'd need more information about your major and goals before I could point you in the right direction. Your best bet? Find out who's teaching the highest level math courses there, and start with the lowest level math course that guy teaches.<br /><br />Usually, CC's use Educationists to teach the bogus courses, but have people with real degrees to teach the real college courses. The guy(s) teaching the real college courses are the ones you want, and sometimes they teach the intro courses, too.Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-52173278402064346192014-07-16T22:15:15.185-07:002014-07-16T22:15:15.185-07:00Thanks for replying! Also, is probability & co...Thanks for replying! Also, is probability & combinatorics traditionally algebra or statistics? Is stats high school or university material? I've always been under the impression that in the past, high schoolers took stats.<br /><br />My local community college has separate courses for lower algebra levels, 2 precalc classes, the usual calc sequence, 3 stats classes, linear algebra, & differential equations, + these two classes: Linear Mathematics (151) & Probability (152). 151 covers basic algebra review, graphing linear equations, solving linear systems via matrices, linear programming via graphing & the simplex method.Jesshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17151299421522255994noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-52300132671467487222014-05-31T06:55:21.232-07:002014-05-31T06:55:21.232-07:00I should mention, the course syllabus and catalog ...I should mention, the course syllabus and catalog still says the College Algebra has matrices even though it's no longer in the course. Accreditation, of course, does not care and has no way of figuring it out.Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-19522933029757547452014-05-31T06:53:59.958-07:002014-05-31T06:53:59.958-07:00Since accreditation never checks to see if courses...Since accreditation never checks to see if courses are legitimate, it's quite possible to have a course called "college algebra" on one campus that is equivalent to "pre-remedial algebra" on another. Retention, not learning, is the goal on college campuses.<br /><br />My high school algebra covered matrices in a little detail (we did determinants of 3x3, but that's as far as it went). As luck would have it, I used linear programming for my honors thesis to optimize a mathematical game...I had to look it up in a book and program it into a computer. Not even the graduate courses at my campus covered it (but that's more of fluke of the faculty there than any slight against the institution).<br /><br />Anyway, I know of no college campus that includes matrices in "College Algebra" in much detail. There was a guy that at least had his students learn determinants of 2x2 matrices...but admin had him take that material out.Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-23362445789903301132014-05-31T05:53:23.790-07:002014-05-31T05:53:23.790-07:00About courses called College Algebra (and Intermed...About courses called College Algebra (and Intermediate Algebra, etc), it can be confusing knowing exactly what one's even getting unless they can see a full syllabus with mention of text book, chapters, and exercise sets recommended that students do.<br /><br />In my own experience, I have been to 3 different colleges (in the US) and one had a course called College Algebra that basically was most of a grade 7/8 course but with 2 chapters removed as it was a quarter-style class taught in 7 weeks. When I transferred to a university in the same city, they assumed I knew all of the material covered in /their/ course entitled College Algebra, which goes & I don't know if even high schoollers get some of that material in their algebra 2 class (stuff like quadratic inequalities involving rational expressions - many things to pay careful attention to detail with those if one's not extra careful). Naturally I had to switch to a lower course once I was placed into Precalculus due to that transfer credit.<br /><br />By the way, do or have any any College Algebra or Precalculus class in the US go into matrices and linear programming in much of any detail? I recall seeing some of it in some algebra 2 texts but mainly only a few basic examples with 2 expressions in smaller matrices & LP problems. I had to get a cheap text book called Finite Mathematics to get much of any decent matrix & LP details as well as exercises including word problems that didn't require skipping over a lot of stuff & looking into Linear Algebra. None of the regular Precalc or CA books had that stuff and Linear Algebra texts seem to be for more advanced students with knowledge of Calculus. There is another subject that deals with Linear Programming that may have more of what I'm looking for: management science. Familiar with that? As a tech guy, this stuff as well as logic & some discrete topics interest me.<br /><br />Thanks for such an enjoyable set of blog entries. I love reading this stuff. Good insight.Jesshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17151299421522255994noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-2227933562248517202014-02-28T15:24:11.657-08:002014-02-28T15:24:11.657-08:00Wow, thank you for the very kind words. For those ...Wow, thank you for the very kind words. For those that don't know Gatto, I encourage to seek his site and read his works. He has much relevant to say about public (government) school.Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-53997017261773934902014-02-28T12:18:14.468-08:002014-02-28T12:18:14.468-08:00God bless your soul Prof. Doom, you are the first ...God bless your soul Prof. Doom, you are the first person to blow the lid off of the ugly realities of higher education. I've worked in it for over a decade now and what you say is true. You're like the higher education version of John Taylor Gatto! You are the only person I've seen reveal these truths and try to explain the illogic that pervades higher (liar) education. Very few of those outside this fantasy land can begin to comprehend the real nature of the beast! Bravo!!!!!Johnhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/08355168465733989761noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-22747127083368414072013-12-07T19:45:39.900-08:002013-12-07T19:45:39.900-08:00We can't do "intensive" remedial sch...We can't do "intensive" remedial schooling...if we did that, most students would fail, and admin won't tolerate that.<br /><br />Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-89320281623842115392013-11-10T17:24:33.417-08:002013-11-10T17:24:33.417-08:00The math teaching in school is atrocious. By the t...The math teaching in school is atrocious. By the time the products of abysmally poor math teaching and abysmally designed curricula reach college, further math "schooling" is a lost cause: the only way to make up lost ground is several years of intensive remedial schooling. Which they don't get as college teaching tends to be more of what they got in school.AAhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13242448989166177843noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-73303880197780222012013-08-20T22:21:53.949-07:002013-08-20T22:21:53.949-07:00I'm sorry if you got that message, but that...I'm sorry if you got that message, but that's not what I'm saying at all. <br /><br />As I discuss in one of my earlier posts...academia isn't everything, you've been misled to think you *need* a degree. You don't. A degree is not an approval of anything; the vast majority of degrees are useless.<br /><br />My mother had no degree; she was a successful real estate agent, and ran an antique mall that grossed over a million a year...and no, my parents didn't hire an accountant to do the taxes (nor was my father an accountant).<br /><br />The founder of Wendy's didn't even graduate high school. Bill Gates doesn't have a degree. Karl Rove never went to college. My plumber makes more money than I do, and he has no degree. Being bad in academics means almost nothing--you write better than most of my students for what it's worth.<br /><br />Half of college graduates are in jobs where their degree is worthless. There are many folks with graduate degrees living lives in near poverty.<br /><br />Having a college degree is like having a black belt in karate: sure, it has its uses, but the bulk of humanity has done just fine without it, and it really doesn't help you on a day to day basis.<br /><br />Your life isn't meaningless, but don't let the excessive meaning you put into a degree drag you down.Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-87494397256603400172013-08-20T22:09:20.197-07:002013-08-20T22:09:20.197-07:00This blog makes me feel like one of the most worth... This blog makes me feel like one of the most worthless and moronic human alive. While I try to think positively of myself due to experience in some areas, I am pathetic when it comes to academia. The way this is worded reinforces a painful realization of what is realistically a determined future of poverty and struggle without a degree. From what I see, a degree is basically the approval of the government and the wealthy to allow you to "succeed" in life. Such as, have a job that pays you a wage that allows you to live comfortably, being socially held at a higher esteem, ect...<br /><br />I suppose I just have a hard time accepting that my life is meaningless. I am just another mindless monkey that will live a life of mediocrity, struggle, and pain; then die. The world being none the wiser or better off for my ever being there.silver_wasphttps://www.blogger.com/profile/14066742757343315632noreply@blogger.com