Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Another Hergert Numbers Christmas

Just when you thought we had exhausted all possible Hergert Numbers photo items, we present the Hergert Numbers Rubik's Cube. Yes, each side has a different picture of someone (not all me) in their Hergert Numbers shirt. As if solving one of these things isn't hard enough, you first have to figure out what side the square you're looking at even belongs on! This is sure to provide hours of enjoyment.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hergert Numbers at AMATYC 2012

It's taken me forever to get this posted, but I'm finally putting up the pictures from our trip to the 2012 AMATYC Conference in Jacksonville, FL last month. On our first day in town, we headed out to St. Augustine to do some sightseeing. Above, you see Mrs. Hergert Numbers in front of the original Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. This was her contribution to our vacation plans.

We spent the next day on campus at Jacksonville University (my alma mater). As we were walking across campus, we stopped to talk to Dr. Peter Ryan who is the only math teacher left from my time at JU. We had a nice conversation about math teaching for about 45 minutes. Of course, I took a few minutes to tell him about Hergert Numbers and sent him on his way with a handful of HN business cards.

On Friday night, I stopped by a table in the hotel bar where a couple Illinois folks were seated. As I was about to leave, I paused to give a plug for Hergert Numbers to the people I didn't know at the table. A woman from Kansas took one look at my business card and exclaimed, "You're Hergert? Ha ha!!"

The following day was my talk on inflection points. I was pleasantly surprised to get about 40 people in attendance, which is not bad on a beautiful Saturday afternoon that was much more conducive to listening to the waves come ashore than listening to some guy ramble on about Calculus.

That same day, we left for home but only got as far as Charlotte, NC before a canceled flight extended our trip for a day. Since I was out of clean clothes, I broke out one of the Hergert Numbers t-shirts that I brought to the conference to sell. So, from now on I'm definitely bringing a spare Hergert Numbers shirt with me when I travel!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hergert Numbers AMATYC Talk

On Saturday November 10th, I'll be giving a talk at the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) Annual Conference. The title of my talk is "What's an Inflection Point?" and will look at the various definitions of inflection point that have appeared in Calculus textbooks over the years. I'll also talk about the efforts of a math professor to convince people that the term "flexpoint" would be a better word for what we currently call an "inflection point". If I get the chance, I may throw in a mention of Hergert Numbers.

The content of my talk was assembled from four papers published between 1938 and 1968. For anyone interested, I've posted these papers at the URL's found below.

Ewing paper (1938)
Bruckner paper (1962)
Walker paper (1956)
Mulcrone paper (1968)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hergert Numbers @ MathFest 2012

I had the pleasure of watching Ellen Borgeld (on the right) & Elizabeth Meena (Hergert Numbers' #1 proponent) deliver a fabulous talk on Arrow Path Sudoku Puzzles this morning at MathFest 2012. You can view their presentation here.

Not surprisingly, my Hergert Numbers t-shirt sparked many conversations with folks who walked up to me with quizzical looks as they tried to figure out just what it meant. So, I retold the story of the origin of the shirts and gave out this web address many times throughout the day. It was a hallmark day for "spreading the word"!

So, if you're new to Hergert Numbers and you want to get involved, all you need to do is send me $11, a shirt size & color preference, and you can become a part of the Hergert Numbers movement. And if you already have more t-shirts than you could ever want, you can still support the cause by adding the term "Hergert Numbers" to your mathematical vocabulary. After all, that's what this is really all about!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hergert Numbers in the Windy City

I realized earlier this week that it's been a ridiculously long time since I updated this page. I've been putting all my focus into Facebook & Twitter lately. But yesterday my wife & I took the train into Chicago and I couldn't resist wearing my Hergert Numbers shirt.

The main purpose of our visit was to go to the Chicago History Museum which we tried to catch a couple years ago but we ran out of time in our day back then. The picture above is from the "Facing Freedom" exhibit which explores ways that fighting for freedom has shaped US history. You could take your picture and have it become part of a display that would change the picture every 5 seconds or so throughout the day. I had to do mine twice since I was standing too close the first time so you could only see "rgert Numbe" and "EAD THE WO" on my shirt.

If you go to the Hergert Numbers Facebook page, you'll see a few other pictures from the museum.

Later on, we ventured down Michigan Avenue to take in the sights and sounds of absurdly high-priced merchandise. One of the best places to find such merch is Crate & Barrel. While meandering about the store, a clerk came up and asked about my shirt. I gave him the 30-second layman's version of the story and he seemed satisfied. Apparently, he couldn't think of anything "mathy" to say, so he told me about a customer he once had named Jessica Neptune who had recently completed her doctorate in history at the University of Chicago. He actually remembered what her research was about, so I'm really hoping he'll remember something about Hergert Numbers to share the next time someone with a math shirt comes into his store. That's what spreading the word is all about!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spreading the Word on One Wheel

Many of you know that I started riding a unicycle about two years ago. I didn't want to make the claim that I could really ride a unicycle until I could pass the first skill level as defined by the Unicycling Society of America. One way to get certified is to record yourself and have an examiner verify that you have indeed performed the required skills.

For this level, the requirements are to mount the unicycle unassisted, ride 50 meters, and dismount gracefully with the unicycle in front of you. I've been able to ride the 50 meters for about a year and a half without difficulty. The dismount has taken a little concentration since I got into the habit of stepping off forward rather than backward when I was done. But that was just a matter of paying attention to how I finished and wasn't a big deal. The mounting unassisted part has come much more slowly. Over the past several weeks, I was finally able to do it fairly consistently and was ready to make my video.

For certification, I posted a raw video, but here's a spruced up version that I hope you'll enjoy. And, of course, I couldn't do something like this wearing just any old shirt. If you have video of yourself doing something entertaining in your Hergert Numbers shirt, please share!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

GeoGebra talk @ Allerton

Later this week, I'll be spreading the word at the IMACC Annual Conference at the Allerton Park Conference Center in Monticello, IL. On Saturday morning, I'll be giving a talk entitled "GeoGebra: Do You Really Get What You Pay For?" where I'll be demonstrating some of the cool things you can do with the free, open-source program GeoGebra.

Rather than print up a bunch of handouts and either running out or having a bunch left over, I decided to post the handout for my talk here.

GeoGebra talk handout

If I see any Hergert Numbers fans at the conference, I'll be sure to post their picture!