Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Random CCP Tetrahedrons

These three videos form a series, and a rather simple trajectory. First, I show what a theorem about CCP tetrahedrons actually means in practice, by randomly generating CCP-vertexed tetrahedra and showing they have whole number tetravolumes, within the limits of floating point accuracy.

But why settle for the limited precision of floating point numbers?  In the 2nd part, I dive into using an extended precision number type from the 3rd party Python module called gmpy2.  We go from 100 bits to 200 bits in precision, confirming our tetrahedrons are ever more closely approaching whole number volumes.

The third video serves as a synopsis by bringing the first two Jupyter Notebooks side by side within JupyterLab.  I review how to make changes to the content, fixing a typo and changing an embedded Youtube in the derived copy.  I insert the above Youtube into the Notebook itself.

Also, during Part 3, I launch into a bit of a Quaker rant about how my curriculum is "more American" than that of the competition, in that I'm including, not censoring, the "Bucky stuff".

Buckminster Fuller was the USA's premier futurist until LAWCAP decided it wasn't quite ready for GRUNCH yet, and hit the brakes.  Those of us who were ready, kept moving forward and took the lead.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Place Based Education

In place-based education, we typically frame lessons (teachings, dharmas) against the backdrop of a kind of tourism: exploring a geographical area, providing both timeline and trajectory.
Hyperlinks to focal topics, presuming we have some, may play off environmental features, such as architecture as a link to geometry (octet-truss) or Earth's rotation (pendulum) or literature (Narnia, C.S. Lewis).

Accessing entirely "other" worlds is often accomplished not by "zooming out" so much as by "zooming in": a specific detail (perhaps a flyer stapled to a phone pole, a restaurant menu, a free newspaper, a festival booth) takes us off on an instructive tangent.

Yet we have our place to which we return, thereby anchoring the narrative to a contextualizing (and increasingly familiar) context.  Sesame Street (a TV program for children), but also many other TV shows, are "place based" in design, although the "place" is often fictional.

Fictional places are OK too, however consider the possibility of leveraging whatever reality you actually live in.  Investing time in studying your own environment (for real) is a big part of what place-based education is all about.  Students will benefit by gaining traction within a non-fictional viewpoint, which may yet seem "otherworldly" or "alien".

Place-based education is both a way of learning, and a way of sharing or teaching. Learn the stories of your place, then weave those in, with your own spin and interpretation, as you share your place with others. I'm providing examples.

Note that place-based education does not require touring far afield. If your lifestyle features a lot of travel, the place may keep changing. However rooting yourself in a specific place (e.g. both these slide shows feature Portland, Oregon) is perfectly legit and will, over time, take your students deeper into the lore, while facilitating omni-triangulation (connecting the dots) regarding your locale.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Euler's Formula (Part Two)

 Would you like to see Part OnePart Three?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Self Updating

I play in the ML / DL playground sometimes, however I'm not the dedicated machine learner this guy is, on Medium.

From him, I learned about CatBoost, which I hadn't heard of.

Time to update my terminology.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Map Wars

This is a "back to school topic" brought to you by... The School of Tomorrow.

The Descartes stuff enters in because it's that difference between flat and curved that he's talking about. Now lets go back to what scares people away from the Dymaxion Map: grid talk.

Such talk was typical in World Game workshops, but went nowhere much after that...

... until the Paradise Fire in California, which helped motivate Cal Tech (and California more generally) to open source more of the thinking and planning process (I learned this at OSCON 2019).

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Synergetics for English Majors

In having Synergetics be directed to English majors, I'm helping journalists see they don't have to sit around waiting for some verdict from STEM professionals.

The ripples in English are happening already.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

More Place Based Sharing

Does your place-based curriculum include sharing curated stories and exhibits with strangers who wish to orient themselves to your locale?  In recent videos, we've been exploring Hawthorne Boulevard between SE 39th and 50th.  In the humble episode above, we jump south to the next major thoroughfare:  SE Division.

Some communities have hosted museums about their own roots for a long time, having enjoyed an endless stream of tourists, assuming "enjoyed" is the word.  Others have no such experience and upon facing the challenge, are not sure where to begin.  Where is our common history archived?  With the newspapers?  With City Hall?

Sometimes the visitors (so-called tourists) are invaders, planning to deprive the locals of continued access to life support in their region, in which case momentos of the indigenous culture may be on the list of things to destroy.

History is a source of case studies.  I learned a lot from seeing life unfold in the Philippines.

The Oregon Curriculum Network doesn't have a budget for something like the Birmingham Civil Rights museum, an excellent example of a place based set of exhibits. 

However I'm more just into demonstrating the concept.  We have lots of local schools, each capable of hosting media in the process of sharing a place-based curriculum with the students.

As a local tourist, when you land in a new place, you might consider several institutions as sources of history.  They may actually have an agency geared precisely to the needs of tourists. 

However, to the extent that "place based curricula" catch on, one might expect the local schools to become sources of reference materials, in conjunction with libraries. 

A lot of these materials are online.  However physical galleries with exhibits may likewise be in the picture.  Check local listings.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Tractor Graphics

What you'll find in many curricula that take up coding, is code that builds upon itself.

Taking advantage of what we've done already, we branch this way and that, exploring different topics.

A rigid march through a terrain is different from exploring it. The latter job is for scouts and surveyors, the ones who map out a territory.

The marchers usually come through when preplanned routes have been paved, or call them roads.  We're bringing people through at high volume at a steady pace.  The route may have some known obstacles or rough patches.

Then you get the Roman soldiers and what not.

In Placed Based Education, we encourage students to learn about, and share about, their immediate neighborhood, looking for ways to contextualize what's local in contained scopes.

For example, in these videos, we're exploring Asylum District (centered around one Hawthorne Boulevard, named for the first doctor to run a mental asylum in the state of Oregon).

I use the local scene as a jumping off point to begin exploring more of American History, which includes Americans in the north asserting their Manifest Destiny over peoples (other Americans) to the south.

This pattern has a lot of inertia and we see more consequences of this ideology in our own time.

In the Youtube below, I get the wrong Roosevelt, saying "FDR" instead of "Teddy".  In the subsequent Youtube, I go back over that history, fix the mistake, and take a somewhat deeper look.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The Bizmo Meme

This one gets deeper into the Bizmo meme, suggesting one of the hallmarks: institutional wealth (as in the military, but then universities have their fleets of this and that).

I'm not looking to privately own and maintain this one particular business mobile.

Rather, I would at least like to download some playlists and connect to work environments, to stay productive en situ.

This is a lifestyle I've been seeking to promulgate, knowing it won't work for me if it won't work for others, by definition.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Safe Campus Cities

Any talk of holding or detention centers (on what charge? for what offense?) sparks worries that cross the road to ignite corresponding concerns in our plans and storyboards for campus facilities aimed at accommodating people with only a few assets.

If you have a lot of assets back at home, you're not expected to store all these on campus, unless your goal is to contribute to the pool of recyclables.  Let people mix and match.

Large open spaces for assembly scare people, although the sound stage motif is very common. Corporate events, such as celebrating a new computer language, may use a sound stage and go for a "rock concert" look and feel.  Any lack of large open spaces for assembly also scares people.  You need those.  Thriving communities have those.

We're clearly entering Christopher Alexander territory in looking for the pattern language of the campus.  Occupy went here, exploring for models.  We didn't have a lot of pods to play with, wired to both receive and transmit.

I'm aiming for the "comfy carrel" or "cave" that's not locked from the outside.   You will say I'm avoiding designing prisons.  I'll say that's correct, not a proficiency.  However I'm a student of institutions and learn from fact and fiction regarding many.

The dystopian Black Mirror type episodes, around some cultural innovation, provide points of resistance and give people pause.  "Do we really want to go there?"  Oft times, we really don't, and yet there's somewhere else, close by, same neighborhood, we consider a worthy destination.  We need to aim.

Soylent Waffles

Saturday, August 03, 2019