In this episode Professor Steven Strogatz joins us from the Cornell Math Department. He is a world-renowned mathematician, known primarily for his work in non-linear dynamics and chaos theory, and he is the award-winning author of Sync, The Calculus of Friendship, and The Joy of x. He also happens to be one of the best teachers at Cornell. During our a wide-ranging conversation, Steve talks with us about helping students discover for themselves the joys and frustrations of mathematical thinking.
In Spring of 2015, Sam Doernberg and Joe DiPietro taught Introduction to Neuroscience to 10 students in the Auburn Correctional Facility in upstate New York as part of the Cornell Prison Education Program. In this episode Sam and Joe tell us the ways in which the class was the same and different from the large lecture version of the class they taught to undergraduates at Cornell. They also share just how rewarding the experience was for all involved.
It’s been a long busy semester, but I finished my last day of teaching yesterday with an old friend: the poster session. My 60 students in Applied Econometrics have been working hard all term on group projects, and we took some time last night to share what we’ve learned in a pretty fun evening of music, snacks, and statistics.
Our guest in this episode is Professor David Easley from the Cornell Economics and Information Science Departments. David is a world-renowned researcher and he’s long been a champion of interdisciplinary work. Several years ago he created a brand new cross-field class with computer scientist Jon Kleinberg called Networks, Crowds and Markets. It’s been a huge success and more than 600 Cornell students are currently enrolled. It’s been taught by multiple instructors (currently David is teaching with computer scientist Eva Tardos), it’s been picked up by other schools, and David and Jon even turned it into a book. During our conversation David tells us how the course came about, how it was built, how it’s changed over the years.
Bill Goffe teaches economics at Penn State where he is both a consumer and a producer of evidence-based teaching. He is also an Associate Editor at the Journal of Economic Education. In this episode we talk about how to get the most out of the research-based teaching literature, how to use evidence to persuade your colleagues to change how they teach, and how to get started doing your own teaching-related research.
Edward and Doug discuss several challenges they’ve faced in teaching new classes this semester. Edward needs help motivating online students from 3,000 miles away, while Doug tries to energize students in an early morning econometrics class. Edward’s screenwriting class has a lot of moving parts to track, and Doug’s juggling in-class activities and short bursts of lecturing. Both of them wrestle with new Learning Management Systems and other technology. There’s something for everyone in this episode.
Kim Kenyon is an Associate Director of Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Excellence. In this episode she shares with us the many ways teaching centers support faculty from one on one consultations to classroom observations to multi-day workshops to informal “Walking on Wednesdays.” If you’ve ever been curious what happens over in that mysterious teaching center at your college, this is the episode for you.
In this episode we are joined by Associate Professor Jeff Niederdeppe from the Cornell Department of Communication. His research focuses on public communication about health and health care, and he teaches classes on planning and implementing communication campaigns as well as undergraduate research methods. Jeff shares with us how he brings his disciplinary skills into the classroom, as well as how and why he makes group projects a big part of his courses.
This semester I bring an absurd amount of hardware with me to class every time I teach. It takes a full 10 minutes to set up, and frankly doesn’t even work all that well. I’ll be making changes over the next few weeks, but here’s a snapshot of the current chaos.