Archive for the ‘Math’ Category
Thanks to the generous and exacting skills of video maven Sam Judson ’11, Edmund Burke School’s Pi Day 2011 is up on youtube!!! The Pi Day Assembly focused on Euler’s Identity with an intro by math teacher Rachel Braun, followed by a song (parodying “Every Time We Touch” by Cascada) presented with the assistance of Rachel’s able crew of mathematical seniors: Nell, Mary, Natalie, Emma L, Maria, Brenda, Sammi and Kyla. Part 1 with an intro describing Euler’s Identity is here ; part 2 featuring the song is here .
….can’t mention Pi Day Assemblies without a big shout out to Stacy Smith!!!
As you begin to dissect your way through the new week, we bring you another photo from the annals of our Math Master & Commander, Steve O’Keefe. This pic captures the roiling seas of the Bio Lab, and reinforces the sailor’s warning, “ay, t’is better to be standin’ or sittin’ in the lab than to be a-lyin’ down.”
Do students need Algebra 2? Should students be required to take Algebra 2 to graduate high school? Burke thinks so; all students take three years of high school math to graduate, including Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry. We make this possible for all learners, offering three levels of instruction to students encountering what the Washington Post called the “intricate mysteries” of Algebra 2 ideas.
In a front page article, the Post article quoted moaners and groaners about the difficulties and relevance of Algebra 2; the quiz the paper provided for readers to try our hands at Algebra 2 concepts included an exponential decay expression. “What exactly does this have to do with real life?” the Post asked. Columns and columns of lamenting followed, all the way onto page A15.
Along the way to A15, there was an interesting graphic in the article about Chernobyl 25. The Post reported the critical information that half the cesium-137 released in 1986 will have degraded to relatively stable barium-137 by 2016, with a quarter of the cesium-137 remaining in 2046.
Isn’t that just exponential decay?
They’re learning about it in Algebra 2.
With the threat of snow flurrying about, here’s a photo that math Master & Commander, Steve O’Keefe, took last year during Snowmageddon ’10. Reminiscent of The Band’s seminal album, Music From Big Pink, this smaller pink house, covered in a blanket of snow, tucked into downtown Bethesda. And as a special bonus, this cozy Pink House was also the site of last Friday’s cozy Welcome Party for incoming Head, Andrew Slater. For more PhotO’Keefe’s click here. And as snow starts to lightly fall, take a listen from the Band’s no. 1 song from Big Pink.
Here’s a Holiday Portrait of the Artist As a Camera Man. I’m sure math teacher, Steve O’Keefe, knows the equation that describes the shape of the ornament and his image on it. Here’s a couple photos from the Math Master & Commander’s holiday trip to Longwood Gardens (a truly beautiful place in any season).
Another photo from math Master & Commander, Steve O’Keefe. This time from Italy, showing what it means to march forthrightly into the new week. As you’ll from this one and the following pics, it looks like Steve could be working for Vogue or Ralph Lauren:
The one on the right give a whole new meaning to Zoolander‘s “blue steel.”
As winter begins to close in, here’s another photograph from Master & Commander, Steve O’Keefe, which, in turn, conjures up images from this personal favorite poem by William Carlos Williams –
A Sort of a Song
Let the snake wait under
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
– through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
[Ed: After a long hiatus, Ed(mund)ification is back! Edmundification is a periodic safari in search of the heart and mind of the various exotic inhabitants of the Serengeti that we call Burke. Patterned on Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire, we pose a series of semi-incriminating questions to a BurkeWorld teacher, student, parent, alumnus, or pet. Think of it as a cross between Wild Kingdom, Inside the Actor’s Studio and gossip rag TMZ. You can check out past editions of Ed(mund)ification here.]
Math whiz, Michelle Johncock, has said that, although she loves to run, she won’t do more than a half marathon. Burke.Word finds this hard to believe, because Michelle does nothing half way. If you are in battle, on the soccer field or against an algebraic equation, you want Michelle on your side. No matter the size of the opponent or the odds, she comes armed and ready to “throw down” with the same clarity of purpose, energy and fearlessness (trust me, I’ve seen what she’s done to much larger, hairier soccer opponents). Want more proof, check out the slideshow of Michelle performing the alternate story of the 3 Little Pigs. Or you can take a look at how easily she dispatched the following marathon of questions (in minutes, btw)!
What is the most embarrassing song on your ipod?
When all my CD’s were stolen from my car 6 years ago a VERY sweet Burke XC runner made me two mix CD’s laden with country music and Disney tunes…I currently own both Kenny Chesney’s “Keg in the Closet” and Phil Collins singing “Be a Man.”
I wish I knew how to…
Play the piano. Thew?
Tell us a piece of good or bad advice you’ve received that will stay with you.
When I was 15 Atis Kleinbergs once told me that you should never be dependent upon someone else for your happiness. You gotta know how to make yourself happy first and foremost. Best advice I ever got.
What can’t you live without?
Music… and the ocean.
What do you really care about?
Education, theatre, my friends, my family…
Is there other sentient life out in the universe? – What’s it like?
Hells yeah, cause if not, it’s an awful waste of space. It’s like us, only better looking, better smelling and without pollution.
Do you sing in the shower or the car?
Not as much in the shower but like crazy in the car.
What phrase do you use too often?
“You cannot distribute a power over addition or subtraction!”
What mild mannered person at Burke is secretly a super hero? What’s their power? What’s their super name?
Wendel is definitely a super hero. His super power is so secretive I’m not sure he even knows what it is, but it involves a bike helmet. He is known as Lednew…
What’s your super power?
Wouldn’t you like to know…
In the ear of the listener.
Being able to see past the obvious. Oh, and a good Fibonacci series.
What are you thinking when you are running?
I’m usually solving the world’s problems. That or trying to get a single track of a song out of my head. At times I’m just thinking, “Molly – slow down.”
Where do you most like to hang out at or near Burke?
Thew’s room. Or with Karma.
What have you learned while at Burke?
Expo marker dust does not come out of clothing or shoes.
What’s your most vivid memory of your time at Burke?
When Aaron P, Stephanie B, Stacy and I shrunk the atrium – replacing every piece of furniture with an exact miniature replica – (which bothered the seniors to NO END). The homecoming prank was then a convoluted and fabulous investigation into how this happened featuring Monica as Daniel R, Daniel as Monica, Oliver dressed in pink and green spandex and a moment when the shrinking ray hit Stephanie and she turned into Helen Chow. Good times.
If you could change one thing about education what would it be?
The over-emphasis on advancing students before they’re cognitively ready. It is frustrating to pretend that a. everyone can learn the same thing at the same pace, b. that somehow doing Calculus a year earlier than another person (or at all for that matter) makes you smarter than that person, and c. that challenge doesn’t come in all different shapes and sizes. School curriculum should be a rich and exciting ocean to swim in, not a stagnant pool to just get to the other side of as fast a possible.
Tell us about a time when you were really happy.
I jumped off the tallest bungee in the world when I was in SA and I was giddy and enormously relieved when it was over. I was with two of my favorite friends and I was two weeks from going home. There was so much going on to be happy about.
Close your eyes… what do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
I don’t know, and that’s the way I like it.
What scares you the most?
I’m frightened of waking up one day and realizing that I passively allowed my or my friend’s rights to be taken away. It’s hard to know when the right time is to get involved in an issue or an idea, but since I’m usually ten minutes late to everything there’s a good chance I’ve already missed out on something important. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is needed for evil to triumph is good men to do nothing,” or something like that. I don’t want to do nothing.
What role in a play or movie would you most like to play?
I’ve always wanted to be a stunt-woman – so it’s not so much a role as a job…
What is success?
Realizing that while there is more you want to do, you have the capabilities and opportunities in your grasp to do those things.
Who do you think that Edmundification should spotlight next?
Daniel Running – he saw me get this email and is desperately jealous.
What question would you like to ask the next Edmundification Celebrity?
What’s the secret to the universe?
Steve O’Keefe, Chair of the Burke Math Department, spends a lot of time with his trusty digital Canon. In addition to countless sports photos that Burke.Word has appropriated from him over the past couple of years, Steve has a ton of great nature, travel and other photos that we’re highlighting. Today’s photo is in honor of Steve’s background in the US Navy. Steve has said that as a result of his time in the Navy he “can bring big ships alongside piers without doing much damage” – which he may have had to do from time to time while at Burke. The Master & Commander took today’s geometrically pleasing picture recently while at a sailboat race at the US Naval Academy. Check out another PhotO’Keefe original here.