A little message to Patrick Honner, a Brooklyn math teacher

Hi Patrick!

I’m the one who just sent this little response through your Twitter account where you say, “I asked my BC Calculus students to integrate 1/(x² – 1) today. One of my students did this! I was blown away by her creative thinking. #math #mathchat #APCalc

I replied: “Yes, blown away! Amazing. BC is Boston College? Math teacher equals professor? Incredible. And here I thought we were being smart to do base-2 notation from the Planck base units to the Age of the Universe in 202 steps. It turns out to be so idiosyncratic, I had to pull it back.”

More reflections: So, if I I use 2 in your example, I have 1/3, and if 3, then 1/8, and 4, 1/15… Your student obviously takes us deeper. Can you help us follow her?

Also, would you explain the reason for your challenge and her response — her thoughts and insights — for those us us who would love to inspire our own students to think outside the box as well as through many boxes at the same time!

BTW, our work resulted in this little website: http://bblu.org We initially thought it would be an excellent STEM tool — everything, everywhere throughout the universe and for all time. It got under my skin so I continued with it: here http://81018.com Probably I am making a huge fool of myself, but the really smart ones haven’t kicked me with a simple response. Being called idiosyncratic is OK, in fact, it is self-evident. But what’s wrong? There must be something wrong with the Planck base units. I think both Planck and Wilczek are probably wrong.

That blog is on an earlier page here: https://81018.com/references/

Thanks again for sharing your wonderful teaching experience. Power to you!

-Bruce

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