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Math for the people, by the people.

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diy math course this fall

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diy math course this fall


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This course is designed to build independent study and peer-support
skills for mathematics learners at all levels. It will require both
self-directedness and active participation.


Joe Corneli (Board Member at; Ph. D. student at the
Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK;

This is a mathematics course open to all topics and levels (unless
participants come up with a compelling reason to focus during the
course). The main "pedagogical" reasons for such radical openness

(1) To give people one extra reason to take initiative in their own
learning. One might say "I've always wanted to learn about P vs NP",
another might say "I've always wanted to learn precalculus" -- both
are overcoming a mental and emotional hurdle. I'm not suggesting that
it's the *same* hurdle, but there are probably some similarities. In
the same way that a writer's workshop can serve writers with different
interests, this "DIY Math" workshop can serve mathematics learners
with different interests by providing a place to talk about their
challenges and successes.

(2) To help people develop skills at co- or peer-to-peer teaching.
Ultimately people have to do their own homework exercises and so on,
but one can also learn a lot in mathematics by helping others. My
"teaching philosophy" is that there are no stupid questions, even if
there are a lot of dumb answers. Let's see if we can get better at
answering questions together.

There is no official text book, but participants may want to take a
look at "How to solve it" (or other books) by George Polya.
Participants will get access to a new "beta" grade libre software
platform being developed to support mathematical communication; we'll
also have a mailing list available as a fall-back mechanism.


The willingness to learn.


I hope the participants will want to both *ask* and *answer*
questions. Collectively I hope that they will have varied backgrounds
and aspirations.

EXPERIENCE: I have a bachelor's degree in mathematics from New College
of Florida (2002), and I did a couple years of math grad school before
switching to a more "DIY" approach. My current Ph. D. project has to
do with "Crowdsourcing a Personal Learning Environment for
Mathematics", and this course can be considered to be an informal dry

Sign up is August 25th through September 8, and courses start September 15th. I think if you visit during sign up the rest of the process should be self-explanatory. In the mean time, I set up a mailing list to discuss ideas about the course at -- feel free to join that group and start discussing things :).

I'm game. What do I need to do?

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