All posts by Jonas Reitz

Group Process Paper – Grading Criteria

Hi everyone,

I am sure you are all working hard on your Group Papers (due Tuesday!).  As you know the paper is worth 35 points, and I wanted to give you some idea of how these points will be assigned (this list of grading criteria will be developed into a more formal rubric in future semesters).  I will be filling out the sheet below for each paper submitted.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Prof. Reitz


Semester Project – Puzzle Process Paper
Grading Criteria

_____ points (3 possible).  Basics/formatting.  Length (1500 words required).  Group members names.  Semester/Date/Course.

_____ points (2 possible).  Puzzle description. Description given in own words, demonstrates understanding of puzzle mechanics.

_____ points (16 possible).  Proof process narrative.

_____ points (4 possible).  Shows progress across various stages of the project.  

_____ points (4 possible).  Includes all participating members of the group.  

_____ points (4 possible).  Includes objective facts (“what we did”) as well as experience (“how it felt, what it was like”).  

_____ points (4 possible).  Tells a story.

_____ points (5 possible).  Conjecture.

_____ points (3 possible).  State your group’s conjecture.

_____ points (2 possible).  Proof or disproof of conjecture. If no proof or disproof was obtained, these points can be earned by clear explanation of proof process in the preceding account.

_____ points (9 possible).  Images (3 points each).  Original or clearly attributed.  Includes caption.  Connection to puzzle/process is evident.  


____ points TOTAL (35 possible)



Want a paid position blogging for the OpenLab?

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to make you aware of some paid positions that are available writing for the OpenLab.  I know from reading your OpenLab assignments this semester that many of you are great writers, with unique and interesting perspectives and lots to say.  You can get paid for doing just that!  Check out the link for application details, but heads up – the application is due DECEMBER 1st.

OpenLab blogger and photoblogger positions

Prof. Reitz


Great courses being offered in the Spring

Hi everyone,

The following courses are being offered next semester in the Math Ed program –  they are great courses, and the work you are doing in this class is excellent preparation for each of them.  If they fit your schedule, I highly recommend them (one or more!).  If you feel ready to take one but don’t satisfy all the prerequisites, come talk to me (or Prof. Douglas,, head of the Math Ed program).

MAT 3075 Real Analysis
MAT 3050 Geometry I
MAT 3080 Modern Algebra

Prof. Reitz

Semester Project – Group Process Paper

UPDATE REGARDING SEMESTER PROJECT:  As you may recall from the Course Description, the semester project is worth 10% of your overall grade.  The project consists of a number of interrelated activities (many of which have already been completed) – complete details can be found on the Project Overview & Deliverables page.  The group paper assigned here forms a significant portion of the project.

Semester Project – Group Process Paper

In his essay A Mathematician’s Lament, Paul Lockhart says “A good problem is something you don’t know how to solve.” This is quite different from most of the “problems” that appear our mathematics education.  In the past weeks, you’ve all spent some time individually and in groups working on such a problem (the MIU game, Bridges and Walking Tours, and Mutilated Checkerboards puzzles).

As a group, write an account of your experiences working on your puzzle/problem.  You should include the following elements:

  • Description of your puzzle, in your own words.
  • An account of working on your puzzle as a group, from playing with the puzzle to formulating and perhaps proving a conjecture.  What did your group do/think/feel?  You can include examples of puzzles and solutions if you wish, as well as work by individual group members completed outside the group (both optional).  Your goal is not to go over every detail, but to tell a story that your readers will enjoy – “what was it like”?.
  • A statement of your group’s chosen conjecture, and a proof (or disproof) of the conjecture.
  • At least three images (more if you wish).  They can include images of puzzles you’ve created or solutions, but you can also be creative with images or photos related to your puzzle, your group or your story in some way.  Each image should have a caption describing.  NOTE: You may freely use your own drawings, images or photos.  If you wish to use photos from another source, they must be from a legal source (for example, Creative Commons licensed, with proper attribution – the library or your professor can help with this).
  • Basic details: the names of all group members, the date, course and section numbers, and your professor’s name.

Details:  This assignment is due Tuesday, December 2nd.  Each group should submit one paper, of no less than 1500 words.  You may decide as a group how to divide up the work.  Be aware that you will be asked at a later time to describe your own specific contributions as well as those of each group member.


Week 11 Assignments

Written work, due Tuesday, November 25th, in class:
Sec 11.0 p178: 3,4
***Sec 11.2 p187: 1,2,7, *In addition, complete Example 11.8 at the top of p180.6
*** NOTE: You may hand in Sec 11.2 on Dec 2nd (after the break) with no penalty)

WeBWorK – WeBWorK #7, due Tuesday, November 25th, at midnight.
OpenLab – ****OpenLab #11 due Tuesday, December 2nd.
**** NOTE: There is no OpenLab #11 – work on your group paper instead!