Home > Website of the Week Archive Detail

<< Prev 1/9/2011 Next >>

Function Sense for a Few Cents

You may be familiar with Judah Schwartz, emeritus Professor at MIT, Harvard, and Tufts. He is perhaps best known for his devlopment of software resources such as The Semantic Calculator, The Algebraic Proposer, You Do With A Broken Calculator?, The Geometric Supposer Series, The Calculus Toolkit, The Function Analyzer, and Div, Grad, Curl & Almost All That!.

Currently, Professor Schwartz is offering on-line Developing Function Sense, a shareware work in progress. Based on a specific philosophy perspective, its focus is the teaching of functions in middle and high school algebra. His belief: "approaching algebra through the study of functions using symbolic and graphical representations simultaneously and in parallel from the outset is a pedagogically powerful teaching and learning strategy."

Before looking at the book's content, spend some time reading his side-bar comments. They will help you decide if you are up to tackling the book... mathematically, philosophically, and pedagogically:

  • Why he wrote the book and the intended audience
  • What to expect from the book and what not to expect
  • The important task of developing "function sense"
  • Role of conjecture in math and seldom asked questions (SAQ)...I loved this section!
  • What you need to use this book effectively, as it will involve downloading and installing an Interactive Graphs folder and the Graphing Calculator Viewer
After reading all of this, jump into the book itself...enjoy, learn, and share....and teach, learn, and share....and start raising your own SAQs!

The book is offered as shareware. Thus, if you find the book of value, please send Professor Schwartz a multiple of pi dollars...he even provides an on-line calculator and order form for your use.