Timothy Faulkner

0) Have you submitted responses for weeks 5 through 13? (This is the minimum requirement for satisfactory completion of the course. Folders should be complete by Sunday May 5 at midnight.)


1) How has your view of yourself in relationship to mathematics changed over the course of the semester?

I am an English major so my relationship to mathematics grows more and more distant each year, but I like to come back to it every once in a while--it's reassuring to know it's always there.

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 appealing aspect of this course is the ability to represent and visualize these higher dimensional mathematical forms. The animations and artwork are attractive and enjoyable and show us what we can learn when learning math and beauty meet.

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?

Well, for one thing it took a while to get up and running. For people who do not know html, there was an added obstacle to getting the work done. There actually seemed to be less interaction in a course where people write on paper. Just because it is assumed everyone has a computer or access to one doesn't mean that they used it everyday to read and exchange ideas. In fact, for some people, the computer screen is an unwieldy and poor medium of communication. However, in some respects, it is a very convenient and worthwhile approach to explore.

4) Comment on your experiences with the technology used in the course. What can be done to make things easier in the future?

I primarily found that my lack of html skills meant that I was just going to write a couple of paragraphs of text because I could not create a document with an elaborate format. The web I find to be a deadend, but I'm somewhat anti-technology like the Unabomer (except for TV, I love TV.)

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 responses)?

I tried to read comments but frequently they couldn't be found. So each week I read the three or four entries that I knew would be there. Prof. B's responses were always there and treated everything seriously and mathematically. I would have liked a greater range of approaches besides math (as it says in the coursebook).

6) Describe in some detail your activities as part of your final project team.

I created the literature subsection of the maze page. I tried to focus on providing a range of examples which seemed important pieces of literature in a historical context. Each of the authors I presented is a very important figure in the literary world. My comments were intended to lead whoever read them in the direction of their own thoughts on these pieces; it is very difficult to present good criticism of literature on the web...

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?

Working on a team meant that I didn' have to waterdown my focus and cover all of the topics which arose; however, this also meant that the end result was diminished because I couldn't contribute to each topic--we each took a topic and let each other take the topic wherever, which meant that I probably would have done the whole thing quite a bit differently, but in regards to certain areas (like computer algorithms) I would have been at a loss.

Prof. Banchoff's response