Showing posts from September, 2016

Discipline, what is it and why do we need it?

Dictionary meaning of discipline: the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience

So discipline is all about rules and punishment for not obeying it.
To go deeper into discipline we should question, What should be the rules? And what should be the punishment?
Without defining the two, we can't really address discipline issue.

Most of the time neither the rules are defined and made public. Neither the rules are practical enough to be followed.

The first step should be to define the classroom rules, rules must be simple so that students remember the rule, as no one will remember complex rules:

While I teach I have made 4 rules that work pretty well.

1) As I teach with discussion friendly, inquiry-based learning, I faced a big problem, where students always try to talk out of the context and irrelevant things. So I made a rule that for half an hour no one will talk or ask any irrelevant questions (not related to the topic) o…

Bacteria and Competition: How it's similar to human? and Why we should have family planning?

Growth of the bacteria refers to an increase in bacterial numbers
When bacteria is grown in a liquid nutrient medium, the population is counted at many time intervals, and we get a bacterial growth curve that represents growth of cells over time.

Why bacterial growth curve is so important?
It gives the idea to learn about the impact of competition in the simplest way. It gives the answer what happens to a population when resources are limited.

Bacterial growth best suits even to describe the human population.
In science, there are 4 phases, but for simplistic understanding, without any scientific jargon it can be three stages: Thrive, Survive, and Deteriorate

Stage 1: Thrive
In this phase bacteria has sufficient resources, so bacteria flourish, prosper or grow vigorously.

In science, it's the lag phase and log phase.

In the lag phase, there is no cell division, but cells are not dormant, they undergo intense metabolic activity, synthesizing enzymes and various molecules
In log phase…

Jupyter notebook to write notes and exercises, learn by applying knowledge

Jupyter notebook can be used to make your notes and solve exercises with programming without using pen and paper. In order to write notes, you can use markdown which is a very simple markup language and can be learned within 15mins to get started. You can use latex and Unicode characters to write equations and symbols. To learn latex you can use google, e.g. website Jupyter notebook can be used in any subjects where the calculation is required, such as physics, mathematics, economics, even biology etc. No need to scratch your head, if you forgot the formula, or made mistakes in calculation when done with pen and paper. Learn by applying things that will be useful in real life situations

Everyone should learn code, in early age just like other subjects. One computer to each child is required.

When to respond to the attackers? Are you giving free airtime to them?

If you are popular and have power, everything you do, share influences others. Anything you speak or write publicly, it's shared by thousands of people. So it's become very important to learn how to speak and write publicly.  You become the center of information, which gets transferred to everyone.

Whatever you speak is most likely to be attacked because different people have different opinions, and some may have vested interest to attack. More controversial the topic is more attackers you will have. As a human we dislike attacks, so we start defending the attacks.

Does responding to the attacks helps?
In most of the time, it doesn't. You are only giving free airtime to them, knowing that you will respond, they will attack with a greater intensity.

So what to do in such situation? If the critic is as popular as you, he/she can propagandize his opinion in a biased manner, even spreading rumors, non-factual, partial information that is logically correct to convince people th…

Completely simplifying UTS Ticketing System which can be used everywhere

Simplifying UTS Ticketing System which can be used in every station:
We need two things:
1) OTP generator in Station (To track the location, no requirement of GPS)
2) A mobile app for payment and entering the OTP

Railways job is to provide a unique account id and password to each customer after authenticating them.

Use that unique account id and password to register on the app. You can add and change the mobile number. You can also change the password.

When you go to the station, in the OTP generator, enter the unique account id, and get the OTP displayed on the OTP generator. OTP can also be sent to the mobile. OTP will work only for 15 mins etc.

Enter the OTP on the registered mobile app, choose the route, pay and get ticket by SMS

Payment can be done with using payment gateways or with balance kept on the account. You can add balance with payment gateways, may be with depositing money through railways or directly through gateways when you have no balance in your account.

It solves …

Internet: Centralization vs Decentralization, but we need both and going open source

The Internet has become all centralized, whether you use a search engine, use social networks or anything you need to.

Complete centralization has many demerits
1) Our data is no more ours
2) Data remains in the hands of the giant, so is the ranking of data. You have no control over what you want to see, it's the machine learning algorithm that they use on our big data, which can be selective and can be biased
3) Increasing monopoly, all power remains with the only couple of superpowers
4) If the central server shuts down, the internet is gone, so we need a plan B.

So, centralization has become a necessary evil, because decentralization such as peer to peer technology doesn't solve the technical issues, that centralization solve.

Instead of making centralization and decentralization, mutually exclusive, there can be another way "a hybrid of both". Hybrid makes everything open source and distributing the power to everyone.

A hybrid technology need two things:
1) Many…

Way mathematics is taught, need a disruptive change

Mathematics needs a disruptive change, students who are not better problem solvers in all other fields are bad in it.

UNDERSTANDING how the calculation works is the most important step to test and analyze a problem.

A most common problem with students who are scared of mathematics is not understanding how fractions work.

What will happen if you divide a decimal number between 0 and 1 with 1000 and 10,000 etc?
What will happen if you multiply it with 1000 and 10,000 etc.?
What is the meaning of 1/3 * 1/4? What is actually happening in it?
How to divide a smaller number, for example, a decimal number between 0 and 1,  with a bigger number? What are you actually doing in this way, how will you explain it with the example, such as a cake or tiles?
How to subtract a decimal number between 0 and 1 with a number greater than one?

Fractions are everywhere, you will find not a single field in which you will not find its (mathematics) application, whether you do physics, chemistry, biology, sta…

Building scientific real world problem-solving temper among students by transforming our entrance exams

Using just MCQs for entrance exams has many drawbacks. MCQs just test examiner way of thinking, not students, neither it tests originality of students.

MCQs don't test what approach a student took to solve the problem, or why he/she was unable to solve it. Also, even if (s)he knows the strategy to solve the problem, many times (s)he can't reach the solution, because of mistakes in intermediate steps. The result is losing the marks.
There are situations like unable to do the calculations, unable to recall the formula, even if he/she understand how the formula works.

How many times you as a student feel frustrated for doing irrelevant silly mistakes and lose marks? I find many being frustrated for doing minor calculation errors, unable to recall even if they know it. Students are treated in a manner as if they are completely not allowed to make any mistakes.

A question in chemistry about the rate of reaction does not test your logarithmic knowledge of mathematics. Even though it…

PISA sample question: Why I was unable to solve a question?

In a test, it's important to know the thinking process of a student, why a student is able to solve a problem and most importantly why he/she COULDN'T.

If you understand why he/she couldn't do in details, you can address his/her problem and take corrective measure.

Mount Fuji is a famous dormant volcano in Japan.
The Gotemba walking trail up Mount Fuji is about 9 kilometres (km) long. Walkers need to return from the 18 km walk by 8 pm.

Toshi estimates that he can walk up the mountain at 1.5 kilometres per hour on average, and down at twice that speed. These speeds take into account meal breaks and rest times.

Using Toshi's estimated speeds, what is the latest time he can begin his walk so that he can return by 8 pm?

The answer says 11 a.m., but the problem with me is understanding the question itself.

I didn't know the meaning of trail, so I checked the dictionary,  which says a long line or series of marks that is…
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Introvert, open minded, always learning, scientific, critical thinker, logical

Interests are in programming, statistics, molecular biology, evolution, psychology, ecology and politics