Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ask Aleph!

As I was working on a new math video today, I decided it was probably a good idea to have a separate account for my math videos. Thus Ask Aleph was born! Ask Aleph is my new YouTube channel where people can submit questions about difficulties they have with mathematics, and I try to come up with a simple way to explain the answer. I have additionally transferred this blog over to this account as well!

The first video "Differentiation is Linear " comes from one of my own personal questions I had when I took Calculus I. I never quite got the answer until I got to Linear Algebra, so I introduce the Linear Algebra definition of Linear to make sense of this statement for someone who has just taken Calculus I.

If you have a question that has confused you about mathematics, go ahead and email me, and I'll try to get a video up about it!

 Also, if you saw my earlier videos, you might have noticed that the quality of my videos has improved some. Instead of my incredibly janky setup where I stream to Twitch and export to YouTube, I use the record setting on Open Broadcast Software, and only use it to record video. I record and edit the audio through Audacity. To edit the sound and video together, I was going to try to Blender, but I was running into some troubles, so I stuck with just using Microsoft Movie Maker, until I can find some more time to tackle a more complex video editing program. Unfortunately, I lost a lot a video quality during some process. I'll have to figure out where that happened and improve it for next time!

Friday, October 16, 2015

What am I doing with this Math Degree?

This month I have started actively seeking out new students to tutor. With this, I have been trying a new tutoring style where I am trying to engage with my students on a more macro level. Instead of just helping them week to week, homework to homework, I am attempting to learn more about their math schedule and study habits when they aren't there. I am looking to find out when their tests and quizzes are to make sure they start preparing adequately ahead of time.

One of the other things I am doing is I'm making videos on topics I don't feel like I adequately covered, or just for questions that stumped me while I was tutoring. (I don't charge for the videos). What I hope to communicate through this method is, math isn't a knowledge base you just perfect memorize you go on. Even math majors can become temporarily stumped by a question, but with time and thinking, we can achieve understanding. (The videos are of questionable quality. I'm working on trying to get the static out of the background, and perhaps have a better system for recording videos than streaming on Twitch then exporting to YouTube). 

My videos right now, are very tailored to what we were discussing in the tutoring session. As in, I don't go into great detail about what the student already knew, but briefly cover it and then jump straight to the part which was more difficult to work through .But watching these videos now, I feel like I should perhaps do a more general video that describes the topic, and then do a second video talking about the specific (using a related problem, so I don't take away the experience of the student being able to engage with the material they were assigned). 

Aside from tutoring, I have also decided to apply to be a part of  Ada Developers Academy Winter cohort. This program is very appealing to me. It is a year long, tuition-free, intensive program for women interested interested transitioning to software development. I think this could be a great opportunity to transition my love for problem solving that I learned into mathematics into a career. When I was in junior high and high school, I loved spending my night looking through the source code on webpages, trying to teach myself html. When I reached college, for some reason I can't fathom, I never even considered how to transition this into a career. 

Another reason I am considering this program is, although I like tutoring and I have several years of experience doing it, I think it's going to be really difficult to make a salary in which I could support myself doing it. I think also, one of the things that bothers me about private tutoring is that I'm essentially only working with students whose parents make enough money to afford them. I could volunteer, but all of the hours that students generally can be tutored (4-8pm on weekdays) I need to use to private tutoring to make enough money. I think if I could get a solid career in web development, I could invest a little time each week to volunteering for a tutoring program for students who can't otherwise afford such a service. 

Also, I feel like once I learn more about web development, perhaps I can get inspired to link my expertise in both areas to create something that could really help out a lot of students.