Official Unofficial Pro-D inventory

First, the good news: I’m officially employed as a teacher-on-call.  This is fantastic news but still pretty surreal; the month and a half between practicum and now feels like it’s been an eternity.  But I’m sure that the first day or two of work as a sub will have an extreme “jump into the deep end” effect and I’ll remember how to swim in no time.

Today is a professional development (pro-d) day; for any non-teachers out there, that means a day allocated for teachers to get further training.  A paid day, if you’re a full-time teacher; just a day without work for me.  It has me thinking about the pro-d wishlist I already have stacked up, in the form of books I’ve started reading, books I want to start reading, video tutorials I haven’t finished working through, etc.  So even if I don’t get through any of these today, I thought I’d get my entire pro-d backlog list down and make myself feel like, hey, I’m actually kind of disturbingly ambitious and I should be happy if I even get through a couple of these in the near future!

Books:

  • Elementary Number Theory, Underwood Dudley
    • Started reading / working through; learned about diophantine equations, congruences; lots more good stuff waiting. ps. it’s awesome having a book on your shelf by an author named “Underwood Dudley”. It’s also awesome having a number theory book you got for free, written in the 70’s back when number theory was still an area that was proud for being math-for-math’s-sake with no immediate practical application. (In other words, written before public-key cryptography.)
  • The Colossal Book of Mathematics, Martin Gardner
    • Just grabbed this from the library. It’s a great collection of Gardner’s recreational mathematics topics; I expect I’ll read through some select chunks and then return it. Definitely want to finish reading the bits on topology.
  • Letters to a Young Mathematician, Ian Stewart
    • getting this from the library today

Online pro-d

Long term:

  • Grab my wife’s Abstract Algebra text and learn myself some more maths.
  • Topology: anyone recommend a great textbook or other resource to teach myself this?  I keep loving the recreational bits I’ve seen here and there, but wonder if I’m only seeing an incredibly thin slice of the topic and/or if it’s still as interesting as it sounds if I tackle it more comprehensively.
  • Eventually figure out the category theory -> monads -> functional programming connection that I caught a glimpse of last summer.

(I have this thing where I feel like I need to fill the gaps in my math training, if I’m going to turn myself into an excellent math teacher.  I have a huge applied-math chunk of training via engineering, but I’m pretty weak on proofs and abstract algebras and all of the other upper-level things that aren’t calculus.  I don’t know how far this will last, but I figure it’s a healthy motivation to nurture.  Even if it only gets me a little ways into a number of advanced topics, I’m sure that’ll help.)

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2 thoughts on “Official Unofficial Pro-D inventory

  1. It’s awesome having a book on your shelf by an author named “Underwood Dudley”. It’s also awesome having a number theory book you got for free.

    It’s gratifying to be thought in any way awesome, and I’m glad the number theory book was useful.
    However, authors don’t like to hear about books gotten for free. I’ve got s bunch of other books in print–buy one!

    Woody Dudley

  2. Thanks for mentioning it! I picked up the copy I have as a giveaway from my old engineering faculty; I had no idea there were newer editions still in print.

    That said, I’m impressed to find the new edition of the same book is available in paperback for relatively cheap.
    http://www.amazon.ca/Elementary-Number-Theory-Underwood-Dudley/dp/048646931X/

    I’d be curious to know how much the text has changed; were entire topics or chapters added or removed, or is the coverage about the same as in the 70’s edition?

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