Baseball and Not Baseball

What I Learned This Week

Setting Up a GroupWise Rule

Trott’s Response

Trott is playing ball with the president. I expect this is in hopes of getting the GOP agenda passed. I hope this turns out OK for all our sakes. This is a dangerous game given Trump’s statements about the press, and the judiciary and Bannon’s seeming influence towards white nationalist policy.

trott-response

 

 

Email to Representative Trott RE:Immigration

I previously sent you a letter with a more moderate tone via USPS, but I’m inspired to write by  a cowardly act by Mr. Trump to ban refugees from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

The proximate cause of my writing is a friend who retweeted names from the St.Louis turned away in 1939 from the US. Many of the the names on the manifest of that ship were later killed in Auschwitz. The United States was wrong then and it is wrong now.

While immigration is largely the purview of the executive branch I hope I can have your reassurance that you will do all you can to change this decision. As a resident of the Detroit area who works in Dearborn, the Muslims I know are hard-working people seeking the best for their families like all Americans and American immigrants and indeed almost everyone in the world.

I hope the United States can continue to be an inspiration to the world and not a nation of cowards. I hope 80 years from now someone does not weep for the Syrians we are turning away as much as I weeped tonight for the Jews we turned away in 1939.

Feel free to respond. Be aware I will likely share the response on social media. And for God’s sake have some empathy.

Letters to Stabenow and Peters

Note: I emailed these because these are allies and I wanted to make it easier on their staff than on Trump’s or Trott’s. (Although I expect Trump may not even have his staff read these).

Dear Senator Stabenow:

I would like to thank you for your support of progressive issues over the year. I know with the current make up of the Congress, and the current occupant of the White House you will have to work very hard to preserve that progress.

I write about a more fundamental issue. In a letter to Mr. Trump I spelled out a few things that have me concerned about the health of our governing system. I indicated that:

  • A president must report truthfully to the press. A president must not attack the press for doing their essential job. Tyrants and autocrats casually lie to the press. People hiding their true intentions lie to the press.
  • A president must respect the first amendment. A president must not single out people, or groups of people based on their ethnicity, or religion. A president must respect the rights of people to peaceably assemble.
  • A president president must release tax returns and other documents so that the people can be reassured that the president’s decisions are based on his opinion of what is best for the people and not on what is best for the president.

I’m sure my list of bullets could be extended. I further indicated to Mr. Trump that if he continues to attack the press, to call for registries of citizens based on their religion, to call for further restriction on voting, to try to roll back civil rights, or to try to restrict access to health care, then he will surely hear from me and see me.

I vote, I write letters, I mobilize others, I support financially candidates who share my views, and I will join protests to preserve the Republic and to ensure equal opportunity for its citizens. I hope and expect I can count on the support of my senators in this endeavor.

Yours truly,

Jeff Morford

Letter to Trump (1/22/2017)

Mr. Jeff Morford

Mr. Donald Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. Trump:

We have so many differences of opinion and basic philosophy that it would be hard to enumerate them. Let me focus instead on a few key principles that I think are essential to preserving our democratic republic for future generations.

  • A president must report truthfully to the press. A president must not attack the press for doing their essential job. Tyrants and autocrats casually lie to the press. People hiding their true intentions lie to the press.
  • A president must respect the first amendment. A president must not single out people, or groups of people based on their ethnicity, or religion. A president must respect the rights of people to peaceably assemble.
  • A president president must release tax returns and other documents so that the people can be reassured that the president’s decisions are based on his opinion of what is best for the people and not on what is best for the president.

I’m sure my list of bullets could be extended. However, be aware that if you continue to attack the press, call for registries of citizens based on their religion, call for further restriction on voting, try to roll back civil rights, or try to restrict access to health care, then you will surely hear from me and see me.

I vote, I write letters, I mobilize others, I support financially candidates who share my views, and I will join protests to preserve the Republic and to ensure equal opportunity for its citizens.

Yours truly,

Jeff Morford

Letter to Representative Trott (Sent 1/22/2017)

Mr. Jeff Morford

Representative David Trott
625 E Big Beaver Rd #204
Troy, MI 48083

Dear Mr. Trott:

I am not naïve and I know that with Republicans in control of the presidency and both houses of congress you will pursue the agenda of those whose votes you received. This will often not agree with my views about the best direction of the country. These differences are, however, in some ways trivial compared to the greater risk I now see.

I am disheartened beyond simple policy at some of the ways the Republic is going. While this is not directly your responsibility as a House member, the Senate ignored the constitution in not fulfilling its duty to advise and consent on the filling of a Supreme Court vacancy. Further, we have a president who has already resorted to telling petty, easily disprovable lies. Historically this has been one of the approaches autocrats use discredit a free press. The free press is essential to making sure the government does in fact represent the people and not just the interests of the leader and his inner circle. The president has called for registry of citizens based on religion. This strains, if not outright violates, the religious freedom clause of the Bill of Rights. The president has refused to let the people know what potential conflicts of interest he has. True he cannot legally have a conflict of interest outside of emoluments, but his lack of transparency will lead many to question his every decision.

I would like to try to preserve the democratic republic for my children and theirs. So, the list in the paragraph above worries me greatly.

I guess I write to you knowing that we will have differences in many policies. I hope, however, that we can agree that:

  • The president must report truthfully to the press. The president must stop attacking the press for doing their essential job.
  • The president must respect the first amendment. He must not single out people, or groups of people based on their ethnicity, or religion. He must respect the rights of people to peaceably assemble.
  • The president should release tax returns and other documents so that the people can be reassured that his decisions are based on his opinion of what is best for the people and not on what is best for his companies

I’m sure my list of bullets could be extended. However be aware that if the president, continues to attack the press, if he, or Congress call for registries of citizens based on their religion, if he, or Congress call for further restriction on voting, if he, or Congress try to roll back civil rights, if he, or Congress try (verb agreement corrected 1/23) to restrict access to health care- especially for women, then you will surely hear from me and see me.

I vote, I write letters, I mobilize others, I support financially candidates who share my views, and I will join protests to preserve the Republic and to ensure equal opportunity for its citizens.

Yours truly,

Jeff Morford

An Example for Class

A student asked a question, so I made a real video. I noticed two things. Even after I thought I made clean corrections there were still errors. None seem too horrible though. The other thing I noticed is that math translation is hard. Not only are variables sometimes interpreted as words, numbers are sometimes written as Arabic numerals and sometimes spelled out. I am not sure if there is a way this is supposed to be done. In future videos I will probably try to make it look as much like the equation on the screen as I can.

Auto-captioning does help a little, but correcting Youtube captions did double my production time.

I also am now linking to Youtube instead of directly publishing the videos. That means there are ads after my video plays. Eventually I can save some money by downgrading my WordPress plans to ones that don’t have direct video upload. But, the students pay the cost through the ads.

Captioning

NOT BASEBALL

Google writes that Youtube now auto captions. I’ll probably test that later this weekend. I did want to show what adding auto captions did with an existing video.

A picture of the screen to start auto-captions.

Look for this screen to start your auto captioning.

It sort of got the words right . . .

This shows some of the (semicorrext captioning)

This shows some of the (semicorrext captioning)

I edited some of the captions to show I could. I’m not actually using this in class so I wasn’t very concerned about perfection. I corrected the first minute and 3 seconds in about 5 minutes. I left the rest wrong to give a sense of what needs fixing. Writing a script and recording this video took around 20 minutes. Captioning would take about another 20, although it might get quicker if I learned to speak slower and use the editor more efficiently. It does make the video viewable on a bus for students though.

Turn on captions and enjoy (especially the last 3 minutes).

TeamMaker App

NOT BASEBALL

I give pair quizzes in some classes. The students get part of the time individually so that they can still use the quiz as a formative assessment. Then they get some time in pairs. I say this is fine because the pairs are chosen randomly or the pairs are not repeated, and the quizzes are easy enough for individuals to do.

I usually use the non-repeated because randomly choosing the groups takes too much class time. There are Google Sheet Templates and apps like Names in a Hat that would do a good job, but they require just the names of the people who are there that day. An absent student needs to be removed the day of selection, and then re-added before the next day of selection.

TeamMaker avoids this. It has a toggle by names. Toggle the student off if they are absent and run the selection.

You can toggle off the names of absent students without having to delete and re-add their names.

You can toggle off the names of absent students without having to delete and re-add their names.

TeamMaker also defaults to making groups slightly larger if the number of people is not divisible by the number of groups which is the way I prefer it to work. The app is free if you can tolerate x-ing out ads every few picks, or $0.99 via in-app purchase if you prefer an ad-free version.

110 Syllabus Winter 2017

[This was an attempt to publish from stackedit.io to a blog. As you can see the table of contents failed to be transferred correctly. Otherwise it did OK].UPDATE:  I fixed it by exporting from the full page view of stackedit and then viewing the source and replacing the code here.

HENRY FORD COLLEGE

Mathematics Department Course Syllabus

General Instructor and Course Information

MATH 110-71 and 73: Intermediate Algebra (4 cr. hrs) WINTER 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Mr. Jeff Morford (“Jeff”, or “Mr. Morford” are acceptable)

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Telephone: (313) 317-4046

E-Mail: jmorford@hfcc.edu

Office: G-120D

Office Hours: 11-Noon on Monday through Friday. I can be in my office before the 5:25 class most Tuesdays and Thursdays if you contact me ahead of time.

Catalog Course Description: Covers solving quadratic, rational, and square root equations; an introduction to functions; graphs of linear and quadratic functions; rational expressions; rational exponents; and radical expressions. Includes techniques of problem solving and applications. Requires a scientific calculator and access to an online homework management system.

Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in Math 080 or Math 089 or a satisfactory score on the placement test.

Course Goals:

  1. To develop in students intermediate algebraic skills necessary for success in subsequent mathematics courses and other courses requiring mathematical skills.

  2. To develop in students intermediate algebraic skills necessary for success in

subsequent mathematics courses and other courses requiring mathematical skills.

  1. To develop in students the problem-solving skills needed to interpret, analyze and

solve applied problems requiring intermediate-level algebraic skills.

Core Course Topics and Objectives

(* indicates critical thinking objectives)

1. Factoring Polynomials

Factor polynomials by factoring out the greatest common factor.

Factor four-term polynomials by grouping.

Factor trinomials.

Factor perfect-square trinomials, the difference of two squares, and the sum and difference of cubes.

Apply the appropriate factoring strategy to factor a polynomial.

Solve quadratic equations by factoring.

2. Rational Expressions and Rational Equations

Simplify rational expressions.

Perform algebraic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on rational expressions.

Simplify complex fractions.

Solve rational equations algebraically.

Solve rational equations for a specified variable.

Solve applications that can be modeled by rational equations.*

3. Functions and Graphs

Write equations of lines using slope-intercept form and point-slope form, including parallel and perpendicular lines.

Define a relation and express the domain and range of a relation in set builder and interval notation.

Determine algebraically or graphically whether a relation is a function.

Use function notation.

Solve applications that can be modeled by a linear function.*

Evaluate polynomial and rational functions and specify their domains.

4. Radicals, Rational Exponents, and Complex Numbers

Evaluate perfect roots.

Convert expressions in radical form to exponential form and vice versa.

Simplify expressions involving rational exponents.

Simplify radical expressions.

Perform algebraic operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication on radical expressions.

Rationalize the denominator of a radical expression.

Solve radical equations algebraically.

Solve applications that can be modeled by using Pythagorean Theorem.*

Write square roots with negative radicands as imaginary numbers.

Add, subtract, multiply and divide with complex numbers.

5. Quadratic Functions and Equations

Solve quadratic equations using the square root property.

Solve quadratic equations by completing the square.

Solve quadratic equations using the quadratic formula.

Solve equations that are quadratic in form. –

Graph a quadratic function by hand after finding the vertex, the axis of symmetry, and the intercepts.*

*Fulfills HFCC General Education Outcome for critical thinking and problem solving.

Materials

Textbook and Materials

Algebra: A Combined Approach Package for Henry Ford College , by Elayn Martin-Gay

(Pearson; ISBN-13: 9781323172995)

• A scientific calculator is required of each student.

• The Student’s Solution Manual is available in MyMathLab.

• MyMathLab use is required in this course, and an access code will be packaged with a new textbook. The MyMathLab student access code can also be purchased separately at the bookstore or through the publisher when registering online for MyMathLab.

MyMathLab Instructor’s Course ID:

You will have required MyMathLab homework due emost Tuesdays at 8AM. (It is really an 8 hours extension of a Monday at 11:59 PM deadline and not a push back of a before class deadline.) The code you need to create your course and start working is: morford04928

Core Course Topics (textbook)

Before doing 6.1 you may wish to review special products from Section 5.6 and assign the MML review for special products.

Chapter 6: Factoring Polynomials (Sections 6.1 – 6.7)

Chapter 7: Rational Expressions (Sections 7.1 – 7.7)

Chapter 8: Graphs and Functions (Sections 8.1 – 8.4)

Chapter 10: Rational Exponents, Radicals, and Complex Numbers (Sections 10.1 – 10.7)

Chapter 11: Quadratic Equations and Functions (Sections 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.5, 11.6)

Instructional Policies

Assignments:

Homework: I will check your homework on the days indicated in MyMathLab. Your homework score will count as 10% of your course grade.

Quizzes: You will have a quiz on (or due on) most Thursdays. I will drop your lowest two quiz scores and take an average of the remaining quizzes. Some quizzes may be on MyMathLab instead of in class. Your quiz average will count as 20% of your course grade.

Tests: You will have 5 tests, one on each chapter. I will drop your lowest test score and take an average of your remaining tests. Your test average will count as 60% of your course grade.

Final Exam: You will take a cumulative final exam worth 20% of your course grade.

Attendance:

College Policy: Regular class attendance is necessary if a student is to receive maximum benefit from classes. Students are expected to attend all the sessions of the classes in which they are enrolled, and absences in no way lessen student responsibility for meeting the requirements of the class. Penalties may be imposed, at the discretion of the individual instructors, whenever the quality of the student’s work has been affected by absence or tardiness.

Students, as a matter of courtesy, should contact their instructors concerning absences. Lack of attendance may affect the student’s final grade.

Absences in connection with participation in authorized college activities must be considered in the total picture of absences for all purposes, and it is the responsibility of the student to make up work missed.

Students are required to be present at the final examination. In case of absence, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor in regard to makeup.

Never Attended Designation

Since student success depends on active engagement, Henry Ford College requires students to actively participate in their learning with regular and sustained interaction. Students who have NOT actively participated in a class by the College’s Never Attended deadline will not be permitted into that class even if they are enrolled in the class and will receive a Never Attended (NA) designation as the grade for the course. Note that merely attending class, obtaining a syllabus, or logging in to an online class will not necessarily be adequate.

Consequences of receiving a Never Attended (NA) designation and grade:

• The student may not participate in the course.

• The student is responsible for paying the tuition and fees associated with the course.

• The grade for the course on the student record will be NA.

• The student will receive no credit hours for the class.

• The NA grade will negatively affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

• The NA grade will negatively affect a student’s ability to maintain and/or receive financial aid.

Instructor Policy: A student must attend a full class session and actively participate by working problems assigned to individuals, by cooperating with others in groups, and by taking notes during lecture in order to avoid the never attended designation.

Grading Procedures:

I will create a weighted average of the grades as specified in the section about assignments. Then I will round that score to the nearest percent. I will then assign grades based on this table.

Percentage Score Grade
90 to 100 A
85 to 89 B+
80 to 84 B
75 to 79 C+
68 to 74 C
55 to 68 D
0 to 54 E

Discipline

Generally there are not discipline problems in college classrooms.

However I have occasionally noticed some problems. These include student conversations that disrupt discussions and lectures, or use inflammatory or insulting language. Students are expected to conduct themselves with polite demeanor towards fellow students and the instructor. In addition, sleeping, doing work for other classes and eating more than a small snack and leaving the room without a serious reason are disruptive.

Students who disrupt class in the above ways will face appropriate campus discipline policies. In extreme circumstances students can be removed from the course without refund of tuition.

Electronic Devices

Cell phone ring tones disrupt the classroom. If your employer or day care provider requires you to have a cellular phone make sure it is set to silent and leave the room to answer any calls. Violation of this policy will be handled according to appropriate campus discipline policies. In extreme circumstances students can be removed from the course without refund of tuition.

Before texting or accessing the internet for something not related to the class remember that your brain cannot easily follow two or more tasks at once. You are not fully present when you are continually sending and reading text messages, reading and updating social media, or using your phone for other purposes. If your grade is not an A or if you need to learn the material well enough to take another class you may wish to give your full attention to the course for at least two hours per day.

You may not use any device that can access the internet or a phone network during a test. If you do I will immediately collect your test and grade it as though you finished.

Drop Policy:

College Policy: A student may officially drop a class without academic penalty until 60% of the class is completed. (The exact date may be found by reviewing the current semester Academic Calendar that can be accessed from http://www.hfcc.edu/programs/academic_calendar/default.asp.) A “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. If a student stops attending a class without officially withdrawing from the class, the instructor may record either an E or DR grade.

Instructor Policy: Students should drop through the registrars office. In case of emergencies I can issue a DR grade at the end of the semester. In most semesters no student has what I consider an emergency.

Academic Dishonesty:

College Board of Trustees Policy #8500 (adopted 3/17/97):

…It shall be the policy of the College that determination of the fact of academic dishonesty by a student shall be a matter of individual judgment by the instructor. The instructor may administer a penalty up to, and including, failure in the particular course…

Instructor Policy: Students who cheat on exams receive an E in the course. Further I file a letter with the registrar explaining the reason for the E grade. Cheating on other assignments follows a progressive penalty beginning with a 0 on the assignment and ending with an E in the course and a letter to the registrar for repeated offenses.

Mathematics Department Policy on the Cut-Off Date for Drop Downs

“Registered students may only drop-down (move-up) to another full-semester math class within the first three weeks of the Fall and/or Winter Semesters. During the fourth and fifth weeks of the Fall and/or Winter Semesters, registered students may only drop-down (move-up) to a twelve-week course. (In the Spring and/or Summer semesters, students have only one and one-half weeks to drop-down (move-up) to another class.)

In order to drop-down (move-up), a student must:

  1. Obtain the written permission of his/her current instructor stating that the student was misplaced.

  2. See the Associate Dean of Math & Science for assistance in finding an appropriate section. The Associate Dean of Math & Science will select a section with fewer than 32 students to which to add the student and contact the Registration Office.

The Associate Dean of Math & Science will exercise due consideration with respect to classroom size and total contractual load, and will notify the teacher of the section in a timely manner.”