teaching machines

Prior Art

A year ago I made a little widget for visualizing the additive color mixing of RGB triplets. I had been teaching a course on front-end web development, and I wanted a tool to illustrate mixing that was easier to access than the traditional many-chambered Venn diagram. Just this week I discovered that my widget is […]

From * To Javascript

Educators must contend with students’ prior knowledge of a subject. Sometimes the prior knowledge is advantageous—but not always. What we “know” may be wrong or incomplete. The same is true with programming languages. When learning a new language, you must contend with the baggage you bring from other languages you know. Suppose you are C […]

STEM in Education 2018 Workshop

Welcome to the notes for the Computational Making with Madeup workshop at STEM in Education 2018. It’s my hope that you read the abstract for this workshop, and you consent to our stated goals: In this interactive hands-on workshop, participants will learn to build models using Madeup and gain skills and resources they can use […]

Stepping Up in Deltaphone

Recently I added chords to Deltaphone, which required me to rethink how I was structuring the blocks to play notes. Previously, the play block came in two forms. There was a form for an absolutely-specified note, like “play C natural in the fourth octave.” And there was a form for a relatively-specified note, like “play […]

Kookaburra in Deltaphone

Though we have been in Australia for several months, we have hardly seen any of its unique wildlife. Fearing that we’d return home with no distinctly Australian experiences, we set out to find some animals. Given the number of news reports I’ve heard about kangaroos injuring humans, we decided to take it slow. We headed […]

Sensing Shapes

In the late 1600s, William Molyneaux posed a question to a friend: Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which […]

Flips and Twists

Living in the Southern Hemisphere after a lifetime in the north draws one’s attention to geometric concerns. I regularly trace a path through time and space to remind myself if I am 15 hours ahead of my colleagues back home or behind. Different stars light up the sky. Many phenomena, like the seasons, flip. But […]

Stolen Rings

Recently, I stole something precious from a friend. I was sitting in Andy’s office, and there it was. An interesting shape. Three rings nestled inside each other. They could rotate independently, but if any translated, the others would follow. I had to have these rings. So, I stole them. Well, I stole the idea of […]

Introducing Deltaphone

A collaborator and I have been talking about turtle geometry lately. Meanwhile, I’ve been taking the piano lessons I was never forced to take as a child. One thing led to another, and now these two separate activities of my life have had a child. That child is named Deltaphone. Deltaphone is a blocks programming […]

Vector Giraffe

One of the ways I hope to make it through my children’s teenage years is to make games with them. I think we’ll be able to skip over drugs, alcohol, tattoos, skateboards, and pubescent love entirely if I play my cards right. To that end, I’ve made decent progress on getting my kids to learn […]

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