* Adapt or Die.*

I am also interested in mathematical pedagogy. I think of research as `teaching myself' and of mathematical exposition, talks, and classroom work as `teaching others'. I take it very seriously in either sense, though (the usual paradox) it works best if you approach it purely from the point of view of having fun. I love teaching, and I love experimenting with different methods of teaching. My course Math 498/990 at SFU (Winter 1995) was an exercise in using the advanced technology SFU has available (they are very well-equipped and staffed, there; it was an ideal place to perform that experiment---I look forward to adapting what I have learned to the environment at Western).

But technology has affected research and exposition, as well. I use scientific computation
very, very heavily in my research (as previously noted), but heretofore not so much for
exposition. Well, perhaps my book Essential Maple is an attempt to use the old
publishing technology to explain the new mathematics, but until recently I had
never used the new technology to try to explain any mathematics. Remedying this is in part
what the Organic Mathematics Project at the CECM at SFU
was all about. I was privileged to be the Workshop Chair for the very first Organic
Mathematics Workshop, a forum for some very gifted people to try to increase the
`information transfer coefficient' by using new tools from the Web, namely latex2html
and the CECM-written Maple Forms Interface, to make the mathematics exposition
more connected to the rest of the mathematical world, more interactive, more lively,
live in the sense that people could * do * mathematics as they read it---in a
word, more `organic'.

This metaphor (coined by Peter Borwein) turns out to be very appropriate. Mathematics is in a time of tremendous opportunity. It is being used by more people than ever in history; most of the mathematics in use today has been invented since WWII, and the pace of invention has only increased. There are dangers in this, of course---principally from ourselves, in not laying claim to the mountain of mathematical work that is being done under other names (`economics', `robotics', `computer-aided design', `artificial intelligence', ...). Because of the dangers, we must adapt, and surf the wave or be drowned. Organic mathematics is a goal to aim for.

See http://www.cecm.sfu.ca/projects/OMP for more details.

Sun Dec 3 19:24:27 PST 1995