Category Archives: Teaching

Structuring flipped classroom lectures

Over the past years of teaching, I noticed myself drifting more and more to the “flipped” side of things. I never made a conscious decision to do so, but it made more sense to me to work through the hard parts in the class while offloading easier things to pre-class work.

What I struggled with (among other things) is the structure for class preparation and class activities. Since I never took a flipped class myself, I was lacking a mental model for how to plan day-to-day activities. Thankfully, Robert Talbert published a manual for how to do just that (among other things), called Flipped Learning: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty. Stylus Publishing, LLC, 2017. [link]

While I still haven’t read the entire book, I did focus on the part where Talbert discusses day-to-day class prep. He gives a wonderful structure to one’s activities around planning the class. While none of the steps are surprising, having a step-by-step checklist takes care of the mental load of “what’s next, what did I miss” that comes with doing things haphazardly. I typed up a three-sheet summary of his prescriptions to put on my desk so I don’t have to leaf through the book. I figured someone else could benefit from it as well, so here I share it.
 

Google Docs link

Feel free to leave comments/suggestions on it for a few weeks.

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Scientific software workflow

We know the big differences between trying out a calculation on a back of an envelope and writing a rigorous proof. Likewise, there are differences between prototyping in a Matlab script and writing a reliable pre that supports a reproducible research project. In a 15-minute presentation for a introductory workshop on scientific software at UW Madison math department, I showcased my own workflow on a simple example of plotting several solutions to an ODE in Matlab.

Repository for the workshop can be obtained by

git clone https://bitbucket.org/mbudisic/workshopworkflow.git

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Two mode decompositions: POD and DMD

This is a short overview of the Proper Orthogonal and Dynamic/Koopman Mode Decompositions, which are commonly used in analysis of velocity fields of fluid flows. While I worked with the theoretical side of Koopman modes, I never implemented the numerical code myself; I wrote these notes up a I was teaching myself the basics of numerics of these decompositions, and consequently used the notes for two lectures. The notes are based References at the end of the post. Caveat lector: Notes may contain gross oversimplifications — the emphasis was on understanding and not on precision. I welcome your corrections and comments below. (You can always stop by my Van Vleck office if you’re in Madison to discuss any part of this).

UPDATE: I have now posted my own implementation of several algorithms for Koopman mode decompositions. [GitHub]

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Madison Math Circle: Mathematics of epidemics

Last night I had an amazing time at Madison Math Circle, hanging out with a bunch of bright school kids, who were undaunted by either diseases or mathematics. Since I had quite a few questions after the lecture, I decided to post an overview so anyone interested can go over it themselves. For those of you who attended and have further questions, or even wish to explore mathematical dynamics on your own, feel free to leave a comment below or e-mail me at marko@math.wisc.edu and I’ll try to answer all your questions and provide some guidance for future.
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Link

MATH319: Techniques in ODEs

The website for the Spring 2014 course MATH319 at UW-Madison is online.

Basic readings in ergodic theory

For those of you who would like to read more about the basics of applied ergodic theory that I talked about in 703 today, there are a few accessible papers and books below the fold. You are always very welcome to send me an e-mail or drop by my office (VV517) if you want to talk more about any of the papers or the topic in general.

Please e-mail me if any of the links below the fold don’t work, or if you have trouble locating the pdfs for the papers.

Here’s a simple demonstration of Arnold’s Cat Map. V.I. Arnold, a cool cat himself, figured out, decades before the age of the internet, that putting an image of a kitteh in your research vastly increases its appeal.

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