Evil Clicktons and Incompetent Developers

More and more educational platforms include equation editors, and some even claim to support LaTeX. But is such a message always true? Indeed, in some types of Canvas and Piazza pages, you can not only insert an equation by clicking on the corresponding button, but also switch from the “Clicktonian language” to “LaTeXian”. However, let’s see what happens next.

If I decide to correct the equation, it turns out that it is only saved as graphics, not as code, and fix = retype. WTH? !! This is not a support, but a tripping! A statement of support for LaTeX indicates either dishonesty or incompetence, but rather both.

No dual mode delivery

In MAT 244 and MAT 334 (Fall) and APM 346 (Spring) of 2920/21 there will be only online classes and no “dual mode”. Why?

All mathematical classes, and MAT 244 “Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations”, MAT 334 “Complex Variables” and, especially, APM 346 “Partial Differential Equations” have a lot of formulas. Which means, in person classes, that they should be written on the blackboard (which is the common practice, and it is the best) or projected on the screen as a slideshow (which is a rather standard practice in seminar and conference talks).

In the dual mode it means that while some number of students are in the lecture hall, the rest are watching it as a broadcast. The normal ratio was planned to be 1:5–1:7.

And this online majority gets a raw deal! If the blackboard is small, the result is not too bad but if it is a large stacked blackboard, then without a professional technician on-site formulas on the blackboard are poorly readable or not readable at all.

On the other hand,  pdf slideshow in the lecture hall defies in-person teaching, at least, in mathematics. Further, pdf slideshow from the screen in the lecture hall is definitely worse than one directly broadcasted from the computer in Zoom.

Plus these students have no interactivity, while in Zoom Lecture there is a rather limited interactivity. The same is true for Tutorials, but in Zoom Tutorial TA can provide more interactivity (since the class is much smaller).

Instructor  can send slideshow to both the screen in the lecture hall and Zoom but it  leads to a double workload during the lecture and to the worse experience in Zoom learning, than in pure Zoom meeting.

Conclusion: while the dual mode delivery is reasonable for some classes but definitely not for mathematical classes.

At the moment APM 346 (Spring) is scheduled as a dual mode, but it will be fixed, so

LEC 0101 + LEC 9101 → LEC 0101 (online),

LEC 0201 + LEC 9201 → LEC 0201 (online),

TUT 0X0Y + TUT 9X0Y → TUT 0X0Y (online),

TUT 5X0Y + TUT 6X0Y → TUT 5X0Y (online).

My Talk at Geometry & Dynamics Seminar (Tel-Aviv University, May 27, 2020)

Heavy atoms and molecules: Thomas-Fermi and Scott approximations

The purpose of this talk is to discuss the rigorous mathematical results:

  • Thomas-Fermi approximation to the ground state energy, excessive
    positive and negative charges, and ionization energy (old results).
  • Thomas-Fermi and Scott approximations to the ground state density (new results).

Slides

Student Teaching Evaluations

Very interesting article from MAA:
STUDENT TEACHING EVALUATIONS ARE EFFECTIVE, BUT NOT IN THE WAY YOU THINK, by Keith Devlin

These evaluations positively correlate with the student’s achievements in the current course, but negatively correlate with student’s achievements in the follow-on related courses.

Students of less experienced instructors who do not possess terminal degrees perform better in the contemporaneous course being taught, but perform worse in the follow-on related courses.

My Research Monograph @ Springer-Verlag

Microlocal Analysis, Sharp Spectral Asymptotics and Applications

Volume I. Semiclassical Microlocal Analysis and Local and Microlocal Semiclassical Asymptotics

Volume II. Functional Methods and Eigenvalue Asymptotics

Volume III. Magnetic Schrödinger Operator 1

Volume IV. Magnetic Schrödinger Operator 2

Volume V. Applications to Quantum Theory and Miscellaneous Problems

MAT244 @Fall 2019 Enrolment Issues

Please note

  • Instructors cannot help you to get into class. At the moment nobody can: all Lecture Sections are full. Furthermore, LEC 0101, LEC 0201 and LEC 5101 are at their rooms capacities.
  • Moreover, waiting lists are in total around 40 (as of August 1).
  • LEC 5201 is limited by 120 and it’s room (LM 162) capacity is 154; so it may happen that this section will be expanded to its room capacity (decision is with the Dean’s Office).
  • All other sections could be expanded only if moved to larger rooms. For day sections (LEC 0101 and LEC 0201) I consider this as highly improbable.
  • For LEC 5101 I consider this as rather improbable, but let us wait to see.
  • Will be the fifth lecture section created? I consider this as highly improbable.
  • Basically you chances are mainly with someone dropping from the class. There is an important date (September 18) which is a deadline to drop the class without financial penalty and the deadline to use ACORN to get into class, choose Lecture and Tutorial section.
  • If you really want to take this class now, I suggest not to be picky and chose whatever is available. Chances are that later (it is difficult to say when, but after September 18 for sure) I will be able to help you to adjust your sections.

Class Coordinator
(Victor Ivrii)

Prerequisites and Corequisites

Recently I have taught three courses:

MAT244H1 – Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations.

  • Prerequisite:
    • Calculus I: (MAT135H1 & MAT136H1)/ MAT137Y1 or Analysis II (MAT157Y1)
    • Linear Algebra I: MAT223H1 or Algebra I: MAT240H1
  • Corequisite:
    • Calculus II (MAT235Y1/​ MAT237Y1) or Analysis II​ MAT257Y1

I believe that

  • MAT135/MAT136 and MAT235Y1 are too weak and should be quashed and
  • Linear Algebra II: MAT244H1 or Algebra II: MAT247H1 should be Recommended.

MAT334H1 – Complex variables

  • Prerequisite:
    • Calculus II: MAT235Y1/​ MAT237Y1/​ or /Analysis II: MAT257Y1
    • Linear Algebra I: MAT223H1 or Algebra I:​ MAT240H1

I strongly believe that

  • MAT235 is too weak and should be quashed, while
  • Linear Algebra I/ Algebra I is not needed.

APM346H1 – Partial Differential Equations

  • Prerequisite:
  • Calculus II: MAT235Y1/​ MAT237Y1 or Analysis II: MAT257Y1,
  • Ordinary Differential Equations: MAT244H1/​ MAT267H1

I very strongly believe that

  • MAT235 is too weak and should be quashed, and
  • Linear Algebra II: MAT244H1 or Algebra II: MAT247H1 should be added as a prerequisite, and
  • Complex Variables: MAT334H1 or Complex Analysis I: MAT354H1 should be added as a corequisite.

I also very strongly believe that MAT334 and APM346 are excessive for economists etc and should be replaced by a single one semester class

Elements of the Complex Variables an d Partial Differential Equations