Sunday, February 27, 2011

Innovation in the classroom

In addition to supporting jury nullification, Prof. Heicklen in the previous post was also apparently an innovative teacher. From the NYT story:
Mr. Heicklen, a Cornell graduate, taught for more than 20 years at Penn State, where he was a faculty member known for his innovative methods, former colleagues said.

Mr. Heicklen would bring Penn State dancers, actors and cheerleaders into one course to illustrate molecular vibration and to celebrate scientific discovery. “People talked about this course for years,” Robert Bernheim, a retired professor, recalled.
Now there is an idea that sounds like both good fun and a sure booster of teaching ratings. Could the cheerleaders create a human pyramid in the shape of the normal distribution? Perhaps a skit about variable selection featuring students from the theater department? Maybe I could get one of those teaching innovation grants that the university hands out? Ah ... the possibilities ....

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