Explaining professoring to foreign parents 

Recently my dad came to visit, and he asked me questions about my job that made it clear he doesn’t really know what profs do. This isn’t exactly a surprise: my dad is a Frenchman who never finished high school (or more exactly, he never passed the baccalauréat). Really, why would he be familiar with …

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Mono…! D’oh! Or, why we should invest in infrastructure maintenance

I haven’t blogged in forever. Not to excuse my lack of output but I do have a new baby and classes and a six year old and I am department chair. So I’ve had other stuff on my mind. Still, I’ve missed blogging. It’s a good way to stay abreast of current events and express …

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LEGO FSEM redux

Last year I developed and taught a new LEGO-themed freshman seminar. Turns out I’ll be teaching it again this coming fall, so I have added motivation to take a critical look at successes and failures of my new course. While I don’t want to dwell on failures, fact is I made a big gamble in …

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Balancing classes and baby

So: I had a baby. And the semester wasn’t quite over so when I got home from the hospital I had to do some grading with a newborn and no sleep. Surprisingly, it worked out ok thanks to some advanced planning, some technology, and a lot of help. First, I need to thank my department …

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