Archive for September, 2010


The Epp text, as I remarked in the previous post, is comfortingly similar in its notations with my own long-dormant lecture notes; I propose to remark for a while on the differences and see what happens.

From the first section, the most striking change is Epp’s introduction of (boldface) symbols t and c for tautology and contradiction (respectively; duh). I’ve always been in the habit of using (“small caps” in MEdZ #1 [The Hip-pocket Vocab]… the glossary for the “lecture notes” I mentioned a moment ago.. but represented here with ordinary capital letters) the symbols T and F (standing for, you guessed, True and False) rather than t and c. I used to read about logic a lot and don’t remember encountering Epp’s notation… but this proves nothing. Maybe there’s some good, though very likely somewhat philosophical, reason for having different symbols for (what amount to) theconstants t and c (say) and the “truth values” T and F. But probably I’ll never guess it; maybe it’s from too much time thinking “1” and “0”.

Anyhow, it’s interesting among other reasons for putting typography right up front (“t” had darn well better be distinguished from “t” in our context since sooner or later somebody’s gonna look at variables p, q, r and so on and need a couple more and make the obvious choices…). Which brings us to handwriting.

I went ahead and introduced the convention that “boldface in the text gets ‘barred’ in handwritten work”; thus \bar{t} := {\bf t}. This is very common in courses involving (so-called) vectors, which often appear in contemporary texts as boldface letters and in handwritten work as barred letters. Now to see if anybody picks up on it.


university hall basement

i started a new job yesterday.
more of a “gig”, really, i guess.
i was hired on the day *before*
yesterday as sort of a fill-in.
good thing for me i can teach
any undergrad math class at
the drop of any hat. also that
i showed up on the first day
of the quarter to put up posters
(for my sprouting-not-blooming
tutoring business… i’ve met
about half a dozen tutees thus far
and made a few hundred bucks…
i’ve just set up my first appointment
for the new quarter minutes ago…)
and just happened to’ve stopped into
the right office at the right time.

anyhow, after 5 quarters without a college,
starting this gig (at big state u) is a joy.
invigorating nay uplifting. and it’s even
*real math*… a “discrete mathematics”
course aimed at computer majors…
*and* with better-prepared students
than i’m used to working with.

last night i passed around
MathEdZine #1 instead of syllabi.
there’s rather an amazing amount of
overlap in the “coverage” of the zine
and the opening-day material for “366”
(i.e., my “discrete” course). to wit:
and, or, conjunction, disjunction,
negation, logical operation, statement,
logically equivalent, contradiction,
tautology, proposition, distributive
and DeMorgan’s law
are all defined *both* in my 8-page minizine
(printed on both sides of a single
eight-and-a-half-by-eleven sheet;
folded and stapled) *and* in Epp 2.1
(the section of susannaa s.~epp’s
[4th edition] containing “material” for
last night’s lecture). with more
overlap to come. our notations
even match up surprisingly well.

now to get together a real syllabus
and, who knows, maybe even sketch out
some sort of *strategy*…