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Harel Barzilai, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology
Salisbury University
Salisbury, MD, 21801.
Office: 124 Henson Hall*
Phone: (410) 543-6472  
Fax: (410) 548-5559 (Dept)

Email: hxbarzilai at salisbury dot edu
For faster reply: barzilai at gmail
Web: http://barzilai.org

* Floor map of Henson

Info for Students: see Courses (at menu at top of page) For talks I've given a page will come, meanwhile see Projects section at top-right of this page.
"Staff Appreciation Video (Salisbury) "

..Thank YOU back, to all SU's great students!!

Photos from my sabbatical at
Cornell University — workshop I gave
for K-12 math teachers
minilecture followed by exploration/groupwork.
"When I am Gone" video poem by Al Brenner. See
Professional Information section for more about my interests and projects.

  • Hate Math? You are aren't in the that majority (humor)
  • Youtube videos: Alfie Kohn on math "hands on" versus actually "minds-on" activities.
          (See also Kohn on Brighter Side of Human Nature)
  • Tough Standards? Some people are asking "tough questions" about the Common Core State Standards Questions like, "The State Board can change/alter the CCSS by '15%' to accommodate local needs...What constitutes a percentage point when modifying CCSS?" and "Do you think that the fact that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent several hundred million dollars to create and promote the CCSS" with minimal if any teacher input... does that fact put "the democratic process in jeopardy?" here
        ♦ See also many comments at Diane Ravitch blog post about Ohanian on CCSS.
        ♦ The film opens with a bizarre metaphor of learning as a hurdles race at a track meet. The hurdles are set at different heights and different places in various lanes, and the script reader intones, "How can the race be fair if all the runners aren't running the same race. . . and the fans won't be able to tell how each racer is performing?" What does that mean? "If the school analogy held, this would mean the rich, the poor" the disabled, the obese... " the asthmatic, the Olympics trainee - all get the same track" Ohanian later points , adding later: "We don't expect all babies to walk or talk at the same age. Why do we think five- and six-year-olds should be standardized in their learning" .. here
    In a kindergarten class in Red Hook, Brooklyn, after three children broke down and sobbed on separate days last week, a teacher told The Post. "This is causing a lot of anxiety." The teacher said. "Kindergarten should be happy and playful. It should be art and dancing and singing and learning how to take turns. Instead, it's frustrating and disheartening."
        ♦ Great real life story:
    "Arguing about the content of the Common Core State (sic) Standards is a dangerous diversion, steering us away from the important question of Who decides? .., I offer individual, idiosyncratic stories about individual idiosyncratic kids' special connections with books. I was lucky enough early in my career to be hired as reading teacher..My boss there was himself a reader, and we decided to take the state at their word and be innovative. He let me use the book budget for voucher chips redeemable at a local bookstore. Every month I gave every student a chip good for the purchase of one paperback book. I took kids on a tour of the store the first time. After that, they were on their own. Their choices were remarkably smart. From time to time I was able to dip into the voucher chest and buy multiple copies of high interest titles such as Soul Brothers and Sister Lou and J. T., for group reading. When state inspectors came to see what caused standardized test scores to soar, they asked, 'What program do you use?' I replied, "We read a lot of Shel Silverstein" - because my boss had told me we must never let the very conservative school board know how we were spending the book budget. I kept the secret for the fifteen years I worked in the district.. No standards committee could have chosen as well as those kids did..The issue is Who decides? The decision should be local and never allowed to fossilize. The truth of the matter is that universal standards can't apply in a single classroom, never mind across the country. here

    "Einstein said that if quantum mechanics were correct then the world would be crazy. Einstein was right - the world is crazy." -Daniel M. Greenberger, American Physical Society Fellow, one of three scientists who created the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger state having "extremely non-classical properties" showing "the internal inconsistency of the notion of elements-of-reality introduced in the famous Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paper" (also quoted here)

    Links below were mostly for myself, and (other than DNA computation links) most of them are somewhat defunct

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    Harel Barzilai
  • Archival snapshot at The Geometry Center (UIUC) of my 1997 homepage at Cornell University.