By my count, this past week I produced and posted 22 different screencasts to YouTube! Almost all of those are short instructional videos for our calculus students taking Mastery Exams on precalculus material. But I did make two more MATLAB-oriented screencasts, like last week. These focus on creating contour plots in MATLAB.
Here’s Part 1:
And Part 2:
I found this topic really interesting and fun to screencast about. Contour plots are so useful and simple to understand — anybody who’s ever hiked or camped has probably used one, in the form of a topographical map — and it was fun to explore the eight (!) different commands that MATLAB has for producing them, each command producing a map that fits a different kind of need. There may be even more commands for contour maps that I’m missing.
I probably won’t match this week’s output next week, as I’ll be on the road in Madison, WI on Monday and Tuesday and there are several faculty meetings in the run-up to the start of the semester. But at the very least, I need to go back and do another two-variable function plot screencast because I inexplicably left off surface plots and the EZMESH and EZSURF commands on last week’s screencasts.
Students and faculty at University Preparatory School in Redding, CA have created the world’s largest Sierpinski triangle constructed entirely out of Doritos. (Well, it’s probably the only one, but still.) It is 64 feet long and made out of 12,000 Doritos. This was done as an entry to the Doritos Crash the Superbowl contest. Watch, and be awed:
Can a 128-, 256-, etc. foot long Dorito Sierpinski triangle be far behind? I bet the parent company for Doritos would seriously consider some corporate sponsorship.
Thanks to Cory Poole, math and physics teacher at U-Prep, who sent this in. That’s a great, creative way to get students interested in math. (And you can eat it when it’s done.) There’s more on the video here.
Work has been more active than usual lately with some protracted Promotion and Tenure Committee business on top of a 14-hour course load this semester, so pardon the light blogging. I do have a few quick thoughts:
- No, I didn’t watch the Jericho season 2 premiere last night yet. 10:00 Eastern is way past my bedtime. I do have it on the DVR at home, though, so once the kids are in bed tonight I’ll be digging in. The entire first episode is online already, so maybe I’ll get a headstart if I
ignore enough of my work get a break today.
- I’ve been spending my post-kids-in-bed time at home this week watching season 1 of LOST at ABC’s website. Corey at Ubiquitously notes the huge quality difference between ABC’s online video player, which streams HD video full-screen, and CBS’s Innertube player. ABC’s version is really very impressive, with a crisp, DVD-quality presentation, non-irritating treatment of commercial insertions, and minimal hiccups in the streaming process. The only drawback is that my Macbook heats up to the point that it feels like I’m holding a hot pan in my lap while I am watching. (But the same thing happens when I watch streaming video at CBS too.)
- I just wrote a problem for my Differential Equations class about blanching asparagus. I feel like I have really arrived as a math teacher.