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Charlie Sitler

What It Takes to Learn Your Way: Small Class Size

This post is part of a series inspired by Dream School: NYC, a SundanceTV docu-series that follows 15 New York City teenagers who left high school and are now trying to get back on track to graduate. The Beekman School partnered with the show to help customize the learning experience for the students.

“Simpsons” Overtakes “Big Bang” in Mathability

Of course it caught my eye.  Any headline containing both “The Simpsons” and the phrase “most mathematical” was a slam dunk. And so it was with great interest that I read the article sent to me by Maren from The Irish Examiner detailing the lecture by Professor Simon Singh in which he praised the popular TV show The Simpsons for being "the most mathematical TV show ever".

Faculty Q&A with Math Teacher Charlie Sitler

Ask Charlie Sitler for his favorite mathematician and he’ll be glad to tell you: Georg Cantor (1845-1918). “I crossed paths with his ideas at Fordham College. Cantor proved that there were actually different types of infinity—a veritable hierarchy of infinities, if you will. It was mind-blowing! Encountering Cantor’s theories made me want to teach math even more.  I wanted everybody to know there was so much more to math than y = mx + b.”

When did you know you wanted to teach?

Love and Mathematics

Ah!  It’s Valentine’s Day, and a young man’s fancy turns to…mathematics?

Not really.  But mathematics, or at least the language of mathematics, can be useful in discussing helpful advice to promote love in your life.  In fact, I encourage you to consider matters of affection stated in terms familiar to any calculus or precalculus student. (And you thought you wouldn’t use calculus in “real life”!)

First, however, I want to discuss an idea attributed to Michelangelo that I have always cherished:

A Fixed Point

Science is elegant.  Mathematics is beautiful.

That was the insight that came to me as I unexpectedly found myself leafing through a whole slew of Scientific American magazines from years gone by.  And with that insight came a whole new appreciation of the subject of mathematics that I had devoted my life to teaching. I was struck by how quickly some of the science articles had become outdated, while the math articles retained a timelessness that reflected the one-pointedness of mathematics itself--the fact that the truths of mathematics belong to eternity.

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