Looking beyond the basics, Scratch gets even cooler when connected with Microsoft Kinect to allow anyone to make motion games.
This entry was posted in Software, Teaching and tagged games, games in the classroom, scratch. Amy Cavender is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and Associate Professor of Political Science and interim Director of the Center for Academic Innovation at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Brian Croxall is the Digital Humanities Strategist at Emory University's Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC) and Lecturer of English. Kathleen Fitzpatrick is director of scholarly communication of the Modern Language Association and Visiting Research Professor of English at New York University. Lincoln Mullen is a PhD candidate at Brandeis University and a historian of religion in early America and the nineteenth century. Anastasia Salter is an assistant professor of digital media at the University of Central Florida. Mark Sample is an Associate Professor at Davidson College, where he also directs the college's Digital Studies program. About that time, Derek Bruff published this blog post about his use of Application Projects, and I gleefully appropriated his ideas and materials for my own class. The overall goal of the Application Project is simple: Find a real-world problem that can be solved using linear algebra, and then solve it. At the end of the two weeks, teams submitted a 3–5 page project proposal in which they formally stated their team members, stated the problem or problems they intended to solve, gave some background on the problem, brainstormed ways they intended to approach their problem and resources they might use, and set goals for a status report they were required to give a little later in the course. The biggest problem was (and has always been) teams declaring a problem that was either too general, too simple, or already taken by another team. About three weeks into the project (and three weeks from the end of the semester) teams submitted a progress report intended to catch me up to speed on their work and show that they’d met the goals they set for themselves in the proposal. I’m a big believer that if you are going to do interesting work, the results of it need to be displayed in public. For fun and a little extra credit, I also had a balloting station open where visitors could vote for their favorite project in three categories: Most Attractive Poster, Most Interesting Topic, and Most Sophisticated Use of Mathematics. Poster from one of the traffic flow groups who learned as much about local government as they did about linear algebra. On the final exam, I asked students what was the most interesting thing they did or saw in the entire course, and the vast majority said the application project.
Application Projects are hard, fun, and an awesome learning experience for students whose shelf life far exceeds the date of the final exam for the course. This entry was posted in Linear algebra, Math, Teaching and tagged Application projects, Linear algebra, Poster projects. I am a mathematician and educator with interests in cryptology, computer science, and STEM education. The Chronicle Blog Network, a digital salon sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, features leading bloggers from all corners of academe. Brenau University named David Morrison vice president for communications and publications and Jim Southerland provost and vice president for academic affairs.
As part of an ongoing academic and administrative realignment, Brenau University named David Morrison vice president for communications and publications reporting directly to Brenau President Ed L. At the same time the university reinstated previous titles for the university’s top academic officer Jim Southerland, who will be provost and vice president of academic affairs. The anticipated funding for that in 2010 dollars is more than $50 million, which includes costs for new and renovated buildings, endowments for faculty superstars in about 10 academic and research disciplines, and expanded technology for research, study and instruction. The new organization elevates to department status the Office of Communications & Publications, which had been part of external relations and development departments.
David Morrison joined the Brenau administration in 2007 after service as associate editor of the Auburn University alumni magazine and as a member of the journalism and communication faculty at Georgia State University. Jim Southerland has spent virtually his entire academic career at Brenau, more than four decades of which as a history professor.
Going forward, the university provost and vice president of academic affairs will have additional responsibilities for overseeing the university’s registrar and Brenau Academy, the grades 9-12 residential prep school on the Gainesville campus that now offers a graduating high school seniors a two-year Associate of Arts degree through the Brenau “Early College” program.
About Brenau – Founded in 1878, Brenau University currently enrolls about 2,800 students in graduate, undergraduate and preparatory programs on campuses and online. Reach out to the author: contact and available social following information is listed in the top-right of all news releases.
When 1,400 letters from World War II soldiers turned up last September in an old library basement at Bryant University, the discovery unleashed a torrent of memories and emotions. The letters were addressed to members of the Bryant Service Club, a student-run organization that sent gifts and notes to alumni fighting in the war.
To locate veterans and former members of the club, the university notified alumni who graduated from what was then Bryant College between 1927 and 1947. She engaged students in a research project called Bryant College Goes to War, in which they helped digitize the entire collection and interview local alumni. The Chronicle welcomes constructive discussion, and our moderators highlight contributions that are thoughtful and relevant.
For classes in labs where installing software is tricky, there’s also a web-based version in beta that worked fairly well for me.

What I particularly like about Scratch from a programming perspective is how the tool doesn’t obscure the logic of the code. As the platform is primarily education-focused, the ScratchED resources reflect both the strong history of Scratch in K-12 and after school programs and some of the uses in higher education. Templeton is the Anne Morrison Chapman Distinguished Professor of International Study and an associate professor of English at Converse College. Houston is an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a personal productivity coach for academics and professionals.
I’ve modified the process and the workflow over the last few years, but the whole experience is largely the same as when I first started, and I’ve started using Application Projects not only in linear algebra but in any 200- or 300-level course I teach that has an applied slant to it, including discrete math and my cryptography course coming up in January 2014. The only stipulations are (1) the problem has to be significantly more in-depth than a simple homework problem, (2) the problem has to be small enough that it can be completed in 6–8 weeks, and (3) the problem has to involve real-world situations or — very preferably — real data. The purpose of the proposal was to make sure students had clarified in their own minds what they were going to do and what their goals were for the next three weeks. So the heart of the application project is a poster session that took place on the next-to-last day in class. During each shift, one team member was responsible for being at the table to host any visitors while the other member(s) circulated through all the other posters and asked questions of the people “on duty” there. The students who were not on duty at their poster were responsible for grading the presentations they visited, using the rubric.
The whole project was worth 80 points and between 15% and 25% of their semester grade — students got to choose how much they wanted it to count within that range. They pick one basic linear algebra topic and go deep with it, which is helpful because we have to cover so much in the course, sometimes it can lead to shallow understanding. The biggest example of this was from two of the teams using linear systems to model traffic flow through city streets. Several teams chose problems related to Markov chains, and during the poster sessions we had great Q&A about steady-state vectors, stochastic matrices, and so on. As far as I am concerned, they’re a permanent feature of any application-friendly class at the sophomore level or above I teach from now on.
I am affiliated with the Mathematics Department at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. In that post he is responsible for all academic policies and procedures, hiring and overseeing faculty, and development of curriculum and all academic programs. However, it will also maintain outstanding undergraduate education, including the 132-year-old residential Women’s College in Gainesville and coeducational programs online and on regional campuses.
The OC&P team has responsibility for all internal and external communication, media relations, Web site development and maintenance, public relations, public affairs support, and many other university branding and marketing functions, including publication of the award-winning alumni publication, Brenau Window, and oversight of the university’s book publishing arm, Brenau University Press. Prior to that, he was a reporter and editor for several publications, including The Atlanta Constitution and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and was a regional executive for national and international public relations firms. The Georgia native earned an associate’s degree at Columbus State College before completing bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in history at the University of Georgia. Tim Daniel, headmaster of Brenau Academy, will join the university Council of Deans as part of the change.
The main campus of the Georgia-based liberal arts institution, which includes the Brenau Women’s College, is in Gainesville with regional campuses in Augusta, Kings Bay and the Atlanta suburbs, Norcross and Fairburn. Renza, a co-founder of the Bryant Service Club before being drafted, wrote the club a thank-you note for a sweater that it sent him shortly before the Battle of the Bulge. Moroney, director of library services, and a student stumbled upon a box of dusty scrapbooks while doing research on an unrelated project. That's when Kurt Spear, a rising senior and quarterback of the football team, met Howard Peach, a veteran and author of four letters from the collection. Golub's story of stumbling upon the charred remains of American soldiers in the Philippines to Nicholas C.
Renza apologized for being so slow to thank the club for the hand-knitted sweater he had been sent a month earlier. Renza, a co-founder of the Bryant Service Club before being drafted, is going strong today at 87 years old.
The block-based code structure is drag and drop, but most of the fundamental structures are available. Linear algebra, for me, is the cornerstone of a modern mathematics education precisely because its concepts and its mechanics lie at the heart of so much real-world stuff — from web search algorithms to scheduling problems to computer graphics and many other areas. Around week 6 of the semester, I introduced the Application Project and had students form into teams of 2 or 3 to start researching potential problems. So I had a sense all along the timeline of how teams were doing, and the built-in accountability throughout the process helped keep teams on track. I showed students the blog post from Derek along with some photos from past poster presentations to give them an idea of what a poster is and what a poster session is like, and I gave them this web site for ideas and guidelines on how to make good posters. Students were asked to develop a 3-minute “elevator pitch” for their project — something that would communicate the gist of their project in a quick way to an average person.
I spent about 4–5 minutes at each station asking questions or listening in to people’s presentations and grading them on the fly, and doubled the points from the student rubric. This year I had a first — a single project that won, actually dominated is a better word for it, in all three categories.

This is a simple application in the book, and the teams took the idea and tried to apply it to an actual city street grid. Schrader said the appointments strengthen the university's academic and administrative organization as it executes its long-term strategy to become a doctoral degree-granting institutiion.
In addition to its consultative role with the president and top administrators and day-to-day support for all departments and university-related activities, the department will have responsibility for developing and implementing the marketing strategy and communication plans for university fund-raising campaigns. He joined the Brenau faculty in September 1969, and the British, American and Latin American history expert has twice receive the student Pan-Hellenic Council outstanding faculty award among other honors.
Brenau’s 2010 ranking as one of the top 10-best higher education values in the Southeast by U.S. Out of curiosity, the pair perused the pages of aged, crisp letters and realized they were holding something untouched for decades. Corac ci's chilling account of exploring a concentration camp just days after it was liberated. The reason, he explained, was because he had lost all of his belongings in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Playing with Scratch reminded me how powerful it is for a language that uses building block code, and made me reconsider it for introducing fundamental programming to some of my non-coders in the classroom.
And yet, in a typical one-semester course on linear algebra you only get to touch on a handful of applications, and those tend to be sort of domesticated.
Students were encouraged to look for problems in their textbook, from MAA publications, from professors in their major field (we had a lot of students from other disciplines taking the class for a math minor), or from library research.
It turned out that six different teams ended up proposing the same problem, namely to focus on the Hill cipher and show how it could be used to encrypt and decrypt data. The poster session was scheduled for the usual class hour, but in an atrium area that joins two wings of GVSU’s science building — it’s a very public place with a high level of foot traffic. One of the challenges of the presentation is that students would have to adjust their pitch to their audience on the fly — bring it down a notch if a visitor didn’t understand the math, kick it up a notch if it’s a faculty member visiting.
With this level of assessment, every student in each team had to be knowledgeable enough about the project to be able to present it well and answer questions intelligently. Yeah, it’s a little crass to be so loose with extra credit, but it added to the fun and many students went all out for it. Army veteran has a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Litoff, a professor of history at Bryant who just happens to specialize in World War II correspondence. You can check out some of the Scratch projects by participants in the Learning Creative Learning course in this gallery (mine is here).
A few years ago, I decided I wanted students to explore more than just the stock examples in the textbook, and I wanted them to do so in an authentic way that reflects real-world mathematical practice.
The reason six different teams collided on this problem was that the “problem” was way too simple.
Students set up their posters around the periphery of the atrium so that anybody and everybody coming through would see them and have the chance to visit. I’d call out the shift changes every 15 minutes and team members would rotate through either being the presenter at their project or the person being presented to at someone else’s project. They spent hours on the phone with state and local transportation departments trying to get data for how much traffic flows along a street at a certain time of the day.
Brenau University also has been cited as one of the best colleges and universities to work for by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The main information document I gave to the students is here, and there’s a list of suggested problem areas in the back of that document — not problems themselves, because I didn’t want teams just picking problems “off the rack” with no personal investment, but general areas for exploration. Encryption and decryption with the Hill cipher is exceedingly well-understood, and if this were covered in our textbook, it would be a basic homework problem if the book treated it. Scratch provides a platform for anyone to try making animations, interactive experiments, and games. I had to contact all six of those teams and have them take another few days to retool their project topics. Another team just got completely stonewalled and eventually had to go out in the freezing cold with a clicker and a stopwatch and measure the traffic flow on their own. In the book, these problems present the traffic numbers as if the data are just obviously out there and available — it glosses over the hardest problem about using math in the real world, which is the problem of incomplete information. These students had to deal with it head-on, and I think that’s an outstanding lesson to learn when you’re in the second year of math major. One team stuck with it and did an analysis of the Hill cipher when applied to Italian (one of the team members is fluent in Italian)— not extremely difficult but novel enough to be interesting and raise some interesting questions that can be solved with linear algebra.

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