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All entries categorized “teaching”


Custom Homework Class in LaTeX

Tuesday, Jan. 24th, 2017 11:34a.m.

I have been using the exam class by Philip Hirschhorn in LaTeX to write out homework and tests for my class, The Epidemiology of Everyday Life. It allows me to write out problems with the ease of mathematical notation in LaTeX, provide solutions that can be turned on and off with a single line of code, and to easily tally points on various pages. If you haven't used it and teach a stats-based course, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

I ran into a problem, however, because I am a procrastinating perfectionist. I have had a desired to have all of my teaching handouts to have a similar look. I created a custom syllabus class to do that, and I really liked it. I wanted the homework to have the same look. And what better way to procrastinate than to try to figure out the arcane rules of LaTeX!?

  tags: LaTeX, teaching category: Programming

Investing in Education for the Long Term

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 10:45a.m.

It is rare when I find myself in agreement with Stanley Fish. But I think in his most recent column, I think that he finds such an unalienable truth among teachers that it is impossible, as someone interested in teaching, to disagree with. In his column, he discusses how disasterous a proposed Texas plan for higher education would be, if enacted, for the education of students.

No, it's not the Texas plan to teach elementary and high school students that Phyllis Schlafly is the second coming of George Washington. No, this plan involves the state's universities, particularly Texas A&M. Essentially, the plan wholeheartedly embraces the idea that students are, first and foremost, consumers and should be treated as such.

Fish goes on at some length about why this is such a bad idea. The value of an education is not the same as that of a new car, a television, or -- as he notes -- a hamburger. These are things meant to be enjoyed in the moment for their immediate value. And, given the extraordinary rise of both consumer credit debt and obesity, we have been thinking of ourselves too much as consumers.

  tags: teaching, This-American-Life category: Academe

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