Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hergert Numbers now available in polos!

Tonight we did a late Christmas gift exchange with Mrs. Hergertnumbers family and I received a Hergert Numbers polo shirt (from the Mrs. of course)! This is like Hergert Numbers formal wear. I don't know if this shirt is quite wacky enough for Wacky Shirt Wednesday, but it's much appreciated! I now have Hergert Numbers apparel for any occasion.

It's too small to read in this picture, but that red line on the chest is the Hergert Numbers URL. Did you notice the Hergert Numbers bobblehead in the background?

Merry Christmas and Spread the Word!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hergert Numbers in Lecture Notes!

This fall, the Hergert Numbers movement took a giant leap forward. The definition has now been included in the lecture notes posted online by Professor Steve Kifowit of Prairie State College for his Calculus class. Steve's definition is a little more formally worded than the t-shirts, but he checked with me to be sure it captures the spirit and intent of the Hergert number concept.

Now, all we need is for Steve to develop his notes into a full-fledged Calculus textbook and we'll be on our way!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hergert Numbers Birthday Cake!

Happy Birthday to me!

Tonight, I celebrated my birthday with my family in the best way I know how - a Hergert Numbers birthday cake. It was delicious! I really enjoyed the "ert" portion of the cake. Tomorrow night, I may have to go for some "Herg".

In case you're wondering what birthday this is, just find the Hergert Number for f(x)=x^3-129x^2+12x-14

I also wore my Hergert Numbers baseball cap all day long at RVC since that was an early birthday present.

Thanks to all who have supported the Hergert Numbers movement this year. Send me your pictures!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hergert Numbers in Boston!

How did you spend your Veteran's Day this year? I got up bright and early and headed out to the oldest ballpark in America - Fenway Park in Boston - to spread the word. It was a chilly morning (as you can see by my bright red nose), but I temporarily removed my jacket to display my Hergert Numbers spirit for the official tour photo.

As many of you know, I was in Boston for the 2010 AMATYC national conference where 1285 math teachers had gathered to learn about and share all things mathematics. I couldn't think of a better time to continue my quest to popularize the term Hergert numbers. So, I printed up business cards to give out to colleagues I met throughout the conference. It's too early to tell how much they helped, but it sure made for a convenient conversation starter.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't get a photo with my HN shirt or hat on the Harvard Bridge where the smoot marks are painted, but I only got there at night and it may have been a little dangerous to lie down on the bridge sidewalk for the proper pose with all the bicycle traffic. On the other hand, it'll give me something to shoot for the next time I'm in Beantown.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hergert Numbers in the JCSM!

This post is long overdue. Back in June, the last steel beam was put in place in the Jacobs Center for Science and Math on the Rock Valley College campus. To honor the milestone, the college let those who will be occupying the building sign the beam before it was put installed. I couldn't help but add a plug for the Hergert Numbers movement with my signature.

It's ironic that I'm doing this while in Boston at the national conference for the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges trying to spread the word far and wide. Unfortunately, my best picture so far is not digital, so you'll have to wait until I get back to Rockford and can scan it before I can put it up. I guarantee that it won't take me 5 months like this post, so check back soon!

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Hergert Numbers Apparel!

There's a new player in the Hergert Numbers fashion line-up: the Hergert Numbers baseball cap!

This afternoon I got this as an early birthday present from Elizabeth, Carson, Rachel & Josh. I was so excited that I wore it on my walk home from school. Their timing was perfect as next week I'm off to Boston to the national conference for the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges where I'm hoping to spread the word to colleagues from across the nation. Now, I can sport both my t-shirt and this fabulous hat!

Of course, a trip to a new city wouldn't be complete without a few pictures with my HN garb, so be on the lookout for a post or two in the next week and a half.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bringing the Hergert Numbers to the Mountain

You know what they say - if you can't bring the mountain to the Hergert Numbers, then bring the Hergert Numbers to the mountain. And that's exactly what Rock Valley College math professor Paul McCombs did this summer. While on vacation in North Carolina, Paul posed for this picture at Grandfather Mountain, which has been designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve. Raise your hand if you knew there was such a thing as an International Biosphere Reserve. Liar! For more info, including fabulous pictures of the Mile High Swinging Bridge, go to

Paul must have worn his Hergert Numbers t-shirt almost non-stop on vacation as you'll find many other pictures of him in the slideshow. As always, thanks for spreading the word!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hergert Numbers Wedding!

Today, I had the honor of attending the wedding of Rachel Swaney and Josh Slabaugh. They were among the very first people on Earth to own Hergert Numbers t-shirts as they were in the Calculus class in Spring 2009 that kicked off the "Spread the Word" campaign.

As it turns out, Rachel & Josh were merely casual acquaintances until they were in that class together and sat next to each other. One thing led to another and, as they say, it was a match made in Calculus. She was clearly the derivative of his integral. Hopefully, by the time they start a family they will be able to adorn their offspring in Hergert Numbers onesies and bibs.

Congratulations to Rachel & Josh and I wish you a long and happy life together taking pictures of each other in your Hergert Numbers t-shirts.

Monday, July 12, 2010

High Speed Hergert Numbers

It took awhile to get a copy of this picture, but this was worth the wait. This is Carson and Rob riding the Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey back on May 17th. This is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world at 456 feet high and 128 miles per hour. They were fortunate enough to be in the first car on the first run of the day.

You'll also see them in the slideshow with a girl they met at the park that day who was asking about their shirts. Who knew Hergert Numbers could help you pick up girls, too?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hergert Numbers Rock!

The Hergert Family is in the midst of the 2010 Hall of Fame Tour. We stopped at the College Football Hall of Fame yesterday and will hit the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow. But I couldn't resist spreading the word at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland today. They don't allow cameras inside this one, but I got this shot before we entered. We snapped a few other photos here that I'll add to the slideshow, so be sure to check those out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hergert Numbers in the Bahamas

The summer vacation season continues with yet another Hergert Numbers appearance. This time RVC math professor Diane Koenig is seen with her shirt on Disney's private island in the Bahamas.

She also sent me pictures of her twins in their shirts from the same vacation. Since this blog only allows one picture per post, I've added them to the slideshow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Latest in Hergert Numbers Paraphernalia

That's right! It's the first in an extremely limited supply of Hergert Numbers bobblehead dolls. There are actually only two in existence. I got one for Mrs. Hergertnumbers for her birthday and another one for myself. I got them through in Atlanta, but when they shipped they came from China via Anchorage. I was wondering why the email messages with photos to approve at various stages in the bobbleheads' development were always sent at 2:00 in the morning. Amazingly, it took only about four days in transit from halfway around the world.

I'm not sure where Mrs. Hergertnumbers will keep hers, but you can bet that mine will be on display at RVC once school is in session in the fall. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by for a visit and make my head bobble!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Four score and seven years ago...

Who's that with Honest Abe? It's none other than Tony Paris who teaches math at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, IL. If you think this is somewhere in the Land of Lincoln, think again! Tony took his Hergert Numbers shirt on vacation to the Gettysburg National Military Park. That's the second HN sighting in Pennsylvania in the last couple weeks. The word is bound to be spreading!

BTW, this was not the "item" I alluded to in my previous post. That's still coming on Friday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hergert Numbers iPod!

It's really hard to take a decent picture of such a shiny surface, but if you look closely at the engraving you'll see the world's first Hergert Numbers iPod. Apple came out with a deal last week for college teachers or students where you could get a $200 rebate if you bought an iPod Touch and a computer at the same time. The idea is that the rebate is equal to the cost of the cheapest iPod Touch, so that would be free. I chose to go for a slightly bigger one, but it's still a great deal and I was going to get a new laptop this summer anyway.

Stay tuned - there's an even better Hergert Numbers item coming at the end of next week.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hergert Numbers at Independence Hall

On July 8th of 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read publicly for the first time in the courtyard outside Independence Hall. Today, I declared that possible inflection points shall be called Hergert numbers from this day forward in that same courtyard (shown above).

While I wore my shirt for about 8 hours of sightseeing today, I only got one bite from a guy working at the site of Benjamin Franklin's house. He asked, "What kind of numbers?" because my backpack/man purse was blocking part of the name. So, I gave him the short story of where the term comes from and how I was working to popularize it. He couldn't help much as far as getting into the standard Calculus vocabulary, but he was very supportive of the idea. He also told me if he were in charge, he would make policemen, military soldiers, and teachers the highest paid occupations. So, if a former tour guide dude from Philadelphia ever runs for President of the United States, make sure you get out and campaign for him.

And while you're at it, please wear your Hergert Numbers t-shirt and help spread the word!

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Hergert Numbers

Today, I took the Hergert Numbers movement to the City of Brotherly Love - Philadelphia. I proudly wore my shirt as we did an extensive tour of the historical district of the city. In the Liberty Bell Center, they had pictures of many famous people with the Liberty Bell. Folks such as, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dalai Lama. I think the photo above should be added to this group, as well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spontaneous Hergert Numbers Outburst

There was a gathering of Hergert Numbers t-shirt wearers spotted outside the Rock Valley College Math Lab this afternoon. We have not seen this many in one location since 2009 when the craze began. We now have photographic evidence that they come in a color besides blue. I think a green Hergert Numbers shirt would be a lovely gift for St. Patty's Day!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gustafson Prize winner supports Hergert Numbers

This afternoon, the Rock Valley College Mathematics Department gave out the R. David Gustafson Prize, awarded annually to the top math student at the college. You can read more about the award here. This year's recipient was Carson Meena, who has been a longtime supporter of the Hergert Numbers initiative.

The only question is, with a camera present from local ABC affiliate WTVO and an overflow crowd of people jammed into the classroom to see the award presentation, what's up with Carson's choice of math t-shirts? I hope Carson remembers this lost opportunity the next time he receives a prestigious math award.

But seriously, congratulations to Carson on this outstanding achievement! He undoubtedly deserves this honor.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sub Surprise!

Mrs. Almy had to go out of town for a meeting, so I volunteered to teach her class for her today. I got to the classroom a few minutes early and was getting myself situated at the front of the room when a group of her students wandered in. Much to my surprise, two of them were wearing Hergert Numbers t-shirts! And to add to the surprise, one of them was a fabulous kelly green!! I had never seen a Hergert Numbers shirt in any color other than the original blue, so that was quite a treat. I later found out that there's even a purple shirt out there somewhere.

It's awesome that the Hergert Numbers sensation is spreading to classes other than my own. Now, we just need these students to fan out across America as they transfer to finish their college careers and take the message with them. And in no time at all, Hergert Numbers will be standard Calculus terminology!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Tradition Unlike Any Other: Hergert Numbers at The Masters

This week, I had the rare opportunity to go inside the gates at the most exclusive golf tournament in the world - The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. I couldn't help but take advantage of this opportunity by spreading the word by wearing my Hergert Numbers t-shirt. Calculus is obviously a huge part of golf as the players try to maximize their driving distance and minimize their score, so it seemed only natural to bring awareness of the Hergert Numbers to the greatest golfers in the world.

I had a bit of a challenge getting to Augusta as my plane out of Chicago was struck by lightning on takeoff and an 8-inch crescent shaped piece of the wing went missing. After about 30 minutes of contemplation, the pilots decided to head back to Chicago (and the thunderstorms) to get a new plane. After a couple hours of delays, we were airborne again and made it to Columbia, South Carolina in time for a couple hours of sleep before venturing off to the tournament.

Since sponsorship is such a large part of being a professional golfer, I think my next goal is to arrange for a tour pro to be sponsored by the Hergert Numbers. I think the definition would look great on a golf bag!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

2010 IMACC Conference

Since I was the president of the Illinois Mathematics Association of Community Colleges (IMACC) for 2009-10, I couldn't help but take advantage of this opportunity to spread the word as much as possible over the course of the annual conference that was my responsibility to program.

Here, I'm pictured with Doug Shaw from the University of Northern Iowa who reacted quite enthusiastically to the Hergert Numbers concept. He was very pleased to be presented with his very own Hergert Numbers t-shirt as a token of my appreciation for the three excellent talks he did on Friday.