0) Have you submitted responses for weeks 5
- I submitted assignments for weeks 1-13, except
for the week 8 "Reflections" writing. I skipped this section
because I felt that I had kept up with the previous work.
1) How has your view of yourself in relationship
to mathematics changed over the course of the semester?
- I feel that I have expanded and integrated many
of the abstract concepts that I learned in previous math courses. The focus
on geometry in the course provided a very useful emphasis of concrete representations
of mathematical concepts that complemented my prior abstract representations
2) For you, what are the most positive and
the most negative aspects of the course? Would you suggest any major changes
in structure or emphasis?
- The most positive aspects selections of "B3D"
that related math concepts to historical and sociological perspectives.
I also greatly enjoyed designed HTML documents for both the weekly assignments
and especially for the final project. I enjoyed the "Hypercube"
video and visit to the "Higher Dimensional" art exhibit. I disliked
the format of some of the in-class lectures. I felt that they moved too
quickly over concepts that were perhaps beyond the scope of the course.
3) Comment at length on the concept of the
paperless course. What are the advantages or disadvantages of this approach?
In what ways could such an approach work in other courses?
- I very much appreciated and enjoyed the utilization
of the internet for holding a paperless class. I liked that we were able
to reduce the consumption and use of paper for ecological reasons. I enjoyed
having the creative freedom to design the HTML documents with color and
interesting formatting. Looking over other students' work and allowing
them to peruse mine was satisfying as well. I thought that the only disadvantage
to this technique was that people with little or no knowledge about computers
and the internet did not receive enough of a background on how to design
HTML and upload it to the servers. Another useful approach employs using
e-mail "attachments" to send files of word processor documents.
These are readable in both Macintosh and PC machines and allow students
to use their familiar word processing software. My Environmental Studies
11 class used this method to send writing assignments to T.A.s and it worked
quite well. These files could also be put on a server to be downloaded,
via FTP protocol for example, by other students to read.
4) Comment on your experiences with the technology
used in the course. What can be done to make things easier in the future?
- Provide more intensive and customized support
for students who are not familiar with FTP, Fileserve, etc. A special individualized
workshop at the beginning of the semester would have adequately provided
this. It also would have been useful to some students if they had learned
about various HTML editors available as shareware. This software greatly
simplifies the complexity of doing HTML. An example is the built-in HTML
editor in Netscape Navigator 2.01 Gold, or Hotdog Pro (both of which I
used to design HTML pages).
5) Describe your experience with the weekly
assignments and the "response from Prof. B." feature. Comment
on the public nature of these interchanges, and the possibility of linkings
among student work and communication with the other class members. To what
extent did you read the submissions of other students (and/or the professor's
- I felt like my work was more integrated with
the work of other students and that concepts were more freely shared among
the class as a whole rather than individuals. I felt that the linkings
did provide a fluid cohesiveness between both classmates and the class'
subject matter and more detailed information avaibable elsewhere on the
Internet. I tended to scan through most students' assigments and closely
read sections that caught my interest. I found that Prof. Banchoff's comments
were helpful in answering questions I had and providing greater depth into
subjects of personal interest.
6) Describe in some detail your activities
as part of your final project team.
- I designed the opening page of the project very
early on. I browsed the web for interesting pictures and design concepts.
our page. The layout of the opening page helped to organize the structure
and division of work of the project. I focused somewhat on miscellaneous
loose-ends of the paper. My main focus was to design a section of the expansion
of the universe and the big bang. I created a page that connected the big
bang to abstract ideas of relativity and related them to a theological
question. I created a page that described several experiments that verified
the accuracy of Einstein's relativity over Newtonian theory. I created
a "sub-page" that utilized a graphical picture to illustrate
one of these experiments (regarding a gravitational redshift).
7) In the old days, the final project was mostly
an individual effort, on the order of a ten-page paper. How would you characterize
the experience of working on a team, and how did that affect your effort
in the final project?
- I very much liked working in a team and found
the final results to be more satisfying as a result. I liked that each
group member could specialize in his or her own areas of interest while
simultaneously contributing to the strength of the project as a whole.
Mark Cecil, for example, used his creative writing talents in his "Einstein
at Bat" short story. I think each team member worked hard, especially
because the product of his or her work was visible, and a lack of work
would be noticeable in his or her respective section. In our project, the
work of each member did seem to unify and cohere at the end.
**Extra Suggestion to
If you would like to make your final project more
accessible to people browsing or searching the web, consider adding the
URL to your page to the Yahoo! search and reference server. To do so, simply
go to the Yahoo! page (the URL is http://www.yahoo.com/), and click on
the "Add URL" button at the top of the page. They will add the
URL to your project to an appropriate section. You may also add your URLs
to the Webcrawler (http://www.webcrawler.com) and the OpenText (http://www.opentext.com/omw/f-omw.html)
Prof. Banchoff's response