Recently, the windows of Jesser have been covered with brightly colored stickies. Not only is it a good way to draw attention to our science building on a cloudy day, it's also the result of a recent computer science project. Students in the Computer Science Principals class learned about a lossless image compression technique called Run-Length Encoding (RLE for short). A lossless image compression is where the original image can be perfectly reconstructed from the compressed data, stored as a string of bits in the form of 0s and 1s. This project was in color (as opposed to black and white), so each row of data had two sets of numbers to tell you the color and how many pixels (the run length) that color consists of in a row. Students used their new RLE skills to make an image on a 16x16 pixel grid, then write the code needed to transfer the image in the correct format.
"Is algebra necessary?" Andrew Hacker, in a recent op-ed piece for the New York Times, argued that it isn't, provoking a storm of reaction from math teachers in particular and educators in general. To be fair, once you read past the attention-g rabbing headline, Hacker points out that his "... question extends beyond algebra and applies more broadly to the usual mathematics sequence, from geometry through calculus." His main points seemed to be that a misplaced focus on rigor leads to kids dropping out and that math taught in schools has little relation to skills needed for success in the workforce. (Hacker) He closes by stating "I want to end on a positive note" and calling for the creation of exciting new courses such as "Citizen Statistics."
Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, gender, Science, Algebra, On Education, Math, Bill Ivey, Boarding and Day, College Prep, All Girls Education, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, STEM, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Women in Technology, Education, Admissions