Monthly Archives: October 2012

Wikipedia as textbook

I’ve been kicking around some ideas to avoid (for the students) the incredibly high cost of the texts I was planning on using next semester in Modern Physics and Theoretical Mechanics. I wanted to get some of the thoughts down … Continue reading

Posted in physics, teaching, technology | 49 Comments

Backwards on a train

I had quite an interesting experience on a train today. I almost missed it, so I was kind of out of it when I finally found a seat. I was facing backwards, but I didn’t put much thought into that. … Continue reading

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Matching students with projects

The 2012 Nobel Prize in economics went to Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley for work they did on market-matching theories. These theories work to optimize the matching of items from one list to items in another, especially when preference is … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, teaching | 6 Comments

Twirling hanging chain

If you take a hanging chain and oscillate the top back and forth, you can find that there are certain frequencies that give the chain a stable (though still oscillating) shape. These shapes are Bessel functions and the first few … Continue reading

Posted in physics | 1 Comment