I’m going to talk about logs here. I have more to say later, but this is a basic intro sketch.

First I’m going to talk about the stuff of elementary school. When it comes to mathematics, most people find comfort in elementary school mathematics.

So, consider the humble number line:


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Like most Indo-European languages, English has a lot of gendered words. Most have standard gender neutral alternatives (boy/girl/child, brother/sister/sibling, etc.), and a few do not (Sir/Ma’am, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, etc.).

This article is specifically about Mr./Ms./Mx., but I’ll start with niece/nephew. The nonbinary/genderqueer community has suggested a few gender neutral forms, the most prevalent being “nibling”.

This has raised a question: Is “nibling” a gender neutral term that also includes all nieces and nephews, or is it a term specifically for the nonbinary children of one’s siblings?

Personally, I like it as a gender neutral form, especially in the plural. I…


Mathematical terminology and notation through a linguistic lens

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

Introduction

The first time I attended graduate school was for Linguistics. My first year, I taught English as a Second Language. My most resistant students were Mathematics majors, because many of them held the opinion that mathematics is a universal language. Why bother getting fluent in English?

More recently, the idea that mathematics has cultural bias has become a lightning rod for conservative pundits, both in and out of mathematics, to mock social justice advocates.

We are taught, after all, that mathematics is the holder of objective truths. 2 + 2 = 4. This is an unmalleable truth. …


I designed this for teachers who prefer a visual summary of the key ideas on pronoun use for transgender and nonbinary students. I also have longer text-based pieces for those who want more details: Non-Binary Students; Non-Binary “They” and Style Guides; Non-Binary Students and Pronouns

(Infographic last revised 5/23/21.)


I designed this for teachers who prefer a visual summary of the key ideas on degendering language. I also have longer text-based pieces for those who want more details: Non-Binary Students; Non-Binary “They” and Style Guides; Non-Binary Students and Pronouns

A separate issue: “Parents” can be problematic because not all of your students will have or live with their parents. So please be mindful of that as well.

(Infographic last revised 5/23/21.)


An open tool box showing some tools
An open tool box showing some tools
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This is a common criticism of Common Core (CCSS): It offers these strange new methods that students must use.

Except… only the first part of that is true. CCSS does offers some new strategies, but it doesn’t say that students have to use them.

This article isn’t a defense of CCSS, by the way. It’s far from perfect; it has plenty of problems. But one of its problems isn’t dogmatic adherence to specific methods.

So why do people think it does that? That’s been simmering in the back of my mind for a while, but it’s finally coming forward: Because…


Four quadratic functions on a coordinate plane.
Four quadratic functions on a coordinate plane.

When I was in school, I was taught the Quadratic Formula. I was taught that it was the most efficient, more reliable way to find the roots of a quadratic function.

This is what I was taught: Given a function in Standard Form, ax² +bx+ c, its roots can be found by evaluating:


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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my name.

My legal name is “Paul”. It’s the name I’ve worn most of my life.

When I was too young to remember, I was Timmy. That was based on my middle name, which is Timothy. My older brother went by Mark, his middle name, and I went by Timmy.

At some point, he switched back to his first name, John, and I switched back to my first name, Paul. I was too young at the time to remember why.

When I was in school, I wanted to be a writer, and I…


Photo by Brian Stalter on Unsplash

I have taught high school mathematics for nearly a decade. I have a BS in Mathematics. The Algebra II curriculum, which I largely built for my school, is based on “the story of functions”.

And yet, it was only the other day that I noticed something that was woefully wrong about the way that I’ve been presenting functions.

Mathematics education is filled with convenient half-truths. When we introduce division, we try to ignore what happens with the remainder. We call it the number “line” even before we introduce either negatives or non-integers (the positive real numbers are, technically speaking, a…

Clio Corvid

They/them and Mx. I think and write often about social equity. I teach high school mathematics. I have a bunch of articles on The Good Men Project.

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