homepage: Dr. Carol JVF Burns


Blog is short for weblog (weBLOG).
Check here to see the latest information about my site (and, occasionally, about my life in general).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I want to keep track of this video: The Piano Guys
I've never heard or seen ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’ like this before!
(It takes about 30 seconds before they get into the fun stuff ... keep watching ... it comes after the piano is unwrapped!)

Also, I changed the email on my homepage to ‘OneMathematicalCat@outlook.com’ a few days ago.

Friday, December 6, 2013
I finished the web exercises for the natural exponential function.

Thursday, December 5, 2013
I finished the exposition on the natural exponential function web exercise.

My third YouTube video (the one with fun transitions) seems to be the most successful one so far. I've had some nice comments on it!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I'm really appreciating how long it takes to make a movie! I've uploaded a second YouTube video. This one was made using Keynote. I spent all day making a 5-minute screencast. I had never used Keynote before, so that slowed things down. Check it out!

Here's another one: this one has some cool transitions.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Oh dear. All my gmail was being forwarded to an email that no longer exists.
I put in my new email address.

I've found some great videos comparing two Singer machines that I'm considering
to replace my almost 40-year-old Singer Touch and Sew.

I've uploaded my first YouTube video! It takes a look at my homepage.
I actually typed in everything I said and spent a lot of time editing it,
so I'll be curious to see how well the transcription feature works.

Monday, December 2, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for November.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
MathJax version 2.3 was released while I was finishing my updates to version 2.2!
I updated to version 2.3 (it was easy with changes I made during my update to 2.2).
I also added code to the headers of appropriate pages to improve accessibility:

<script type="application/x-mathplayer-prefs">
    !SubjectArea="Calculus"; // or Geometry, or ProbabilityAndStatistics

This helps set the context for screen readers.

I crocheted an afghan for one of my step-daughters a few months ago, and that has gotten me back into crafts. I'm making a braided rag rug from lots of pieces of fabric we have lying around. I'm also using up lots of old thread for zig-zagging the strips to hide the raw edges.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I finished the updates to MathJax 2.2! Hooray! It took me two weeks.

I only noticed a few issues with the new version of MathJax:
code picture of version 1.0.1 rendering version 2.2 rendering comment
\$\sqrt{-p}/$ $\sqrt{-p}$ I liked the old version better;
I put struts in some places to get a better appearance.
\$p_1\$ and \$p_2\$ $p_1$ and $p_2$ I liked the spacing in the old version better (where the subscript is a teeny bit further away)
\$P_2\$ and \$z_2\$ $P_2$ and $z_2$ I like the size better in the new version; however, the subscripts are too close. It looks very bad on this page.

My original MathJax code (for archiving purposes):

<script type="text/javascript" src="/MathJax/MathJax.js">
config: ["MMLorHTML.js"],
extensions: ["tex2jax.js", "TeX/noErrors.js"],
jax: ["input/TeX"],
tex2jax: {inlineMath: [['$','$'],['\\(','\\)']],
displayMath: [['$$','$$']],
processEscapes: true, previewTeX: false},
"HTML-CSS": {availableFonts:["TeX"]},
MMLorHTML: {prefer: "MML"}

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I've been working on the Precalculus updates.
They're going a lot slower, since there is a lot more math to check.

Friday, November 15, 2013
I just barely started the Precalculus updates.
I baked ten cakes for my ‘bonus son's’ Eagle Court of Honor celebration tomorrow. (I love the names ‘bonus son’ instead of stepson, and ‘bonus Mom’ instead of stepmom!)

Thursday, November 14, 2013
The Algebra II course has been completely updated to MathJax 2.2;   1 of these web exercises uses JSXGraph.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Topics in Geometry have been completely updated to MathJax 2.2;   4 of these web exercises use JSXGraph.

I had to remove all the GeoGebra material. GeoGebra would not work unless it was upgraded. Then, after I upgraded, I realized that they've changed the interface so much that my step-by-step instructions are no longer valid. Oh, the joys of changing technologies!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The Algebra I course has been completely updated to MathJax 2.2;   24 of these web exercises use JSXGraph.

Monday, November 11, 2013
I've now updated 120 web exercises to MathJax 2.2. I added a column to the update chart which indicates if the exercise uses JSXGraph.

Saturday, November 9, 2013
I've now updated 80 web exercises to MathJax 2.2. Going well!

Friday, November 8, 2013
I'm updating MathJax to version 2.2. You can keep track of my progress using the link above. I'm managing to do about ten updates per hour, so it will take me close to thirty hours to get everything finished.

Thursday, November 7, 2013
I've finished Recognizing Linear and Exponential Behavior from Tables of Data.

I've heard back from Design Science. The MathJax update (to version 2.2) is indeed going to make my pages work for the accessible math community. So, I'll be spending the next few weeks going through each of my web exercises and checking that they still work properly with the new version of MathJax. (My web site has been using version 1.0.1. Eek!)

Friday, November 1, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for October.
I'm really enjoying having the AddThis data.

I came across thisCourse as I was updating my monthly statistics. (I had a lot of hits from here.) It looks like a simple way to get a course online.

I've decided to keep only my most recent posting next to the crossword puzzle, so it stands out.

I finished the web exercises for Linear versus Exponential Functions.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
I finished the exposition for Linear versus Exponential Functions.
I'm very happy with my ‘stick figure walking along a curve’ diagrams!

I've also started doing some geneological indexing.
Lots of fun! Very challenging trying to read early English handwriting!

Monday, October 28, 2013
I updated my correspondence with Edgenuity.

Sunday, October 27, 2013
Since I'm losing my fun daily crossword on iGoogle (it shuts down in five days), I decided to put one here!
I've learned not to type fast when filling this out—if I do, then if I need to pause to think for a second, it knocks off points really fast! I type really fast, so I just have to concentrate on typing slowly.

Saturday, October 26, 2013
I wrote a function that loads the MathJax code, and put it in my automatically-loaded auxiliary files, to make future MathJax updates possible without going into each individual web exercise.

I cropped my cat logo, so that all you can see is the ‘Dr.’ and a teeny bit of a next letter (which could be interpreted as a ‘B’ for ‘Burns’ instead of an ‘F’ for ‘Fisher’.
Also, I added the word ‘legacy’ to the cat logo on my homepage (since it's my former name, not my new name).

Friday, October 25, 2013
I've begun updating my site to MathJax 2.2. It took over six hours to upload the new version of MathJax to my server!

The only web exercise I've updated so far is expressions versus sentences.
I'm going to wait to hear back from the Design Science people (who had contacted me about updating) before I continue my updates.

It does appear to be MUCH MUCH faster! In particular, the performance in Internet Explorer is leaps and bounds better. All right!

Thursday, October 24, 2013
I finished the web exercises for Exponential Functions: Review and Additional Properties.
It feels great to be working steadily again!
Yet again, Ray's polynomial code made these exercises so much easier to code, and so much better!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I finished the exposition for Exponential Functions: Review and Additional Properties, but haven't yet created the web exercises.
I've finally finished weeding and spreading pecan shells, and we've put up ‘For Sale By Owner’ signs.

Thursday, October 17, 2013
I finished finding slant asymptotes.
It took a long time, since I've been so busy spreading pecan shells!

Thursday, October 10, 2013
I finished the exposition for slant asymptotes, but haven't yet created many web exercises.
I'm spreading 25 cubic yards of pecan shells on our yard!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for September.
For the first time, I've added in stats on Shares, Clicks, and Follows from AddThis.

Thursday, September 26, 2013
I finished the web exercises for horizontal asymptotes. The ‘polynomial tools’ code that Ray wrote allowed me to get an incredible amount of variety in these questions with very little work. He's amazing!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
AddThis makes it easy for users to share a page on Facebook, Twitter, and such. I was able to put the code snippet into my javascript-loaded auxiliary files, so I got the functionality on most of my pages almost effortlessly. I'm able to see analytics on the number of ‘shares’ for each page each day, which will be interesting data. Plus, it's totally free! It will be interesting to see if this social-networking helps my website traffic and income.

I posted a link to my Edgenuity article on a few online blogs. It remains to be seen if this article causes concern to web content providers other than myself.

Monday, September 23, 2013
I've been distraught this week over Edgenuity's abuse of online content. Read my diatribe here.

I've finished the exposition on Horizontal Asymptotes. No web exercises yet, though.

Saturday, September 14, 2013
I finished puncture points (holes).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
My Amazon-only experiment didn't work, so I've returned to AdSense ads on my pages.
I had my lowest income month in years.

I finished most of the exposition for the section on puncture points (holes).

Saturday, September 7, 2013
I cancelled my Alexa subscription—wasn't successful in getting the code snippet on each page. I have about two thousand (primary) pages, and don't have the time to go into each one individually to put in the code. I tried to load it with my common header (via Javascript) but Alexa still didn't recognize it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for August.
Worst income month in a long, long time. Sigh.

Friday, August 30, 2013
I've finished fixing the broken links reported by the Integrity Link Checker. There were 6271 links checked, and now they're all fine. Hooray!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I finally finished the exercises in Finding Vertical Asymptotes.
This ended up taking me way too long; I've been distracted by other things lately.

Friday, August 23, 2013
In looking through some of my backlinks in AwStats, I came across two really wonderful sites for students and teachers:
  • Open Study is “a social learning network where students ask questions, give help, and connect with other students studying the same things”. You can use MathJax in the postings! Oh, I could spend *wayyyy* too much time there answering questions ...
  • Open Tapestry allows educators to easily create courses by combining online resources. The entire original page is preserved, together with ads and such, so (for example) I don't lose any revenue by having one of my pages ‘embedded’ in a course that is made with Open Tapestry. For example, someone might want to use my online Algebra I course, but tweak it a bit—different order, put in some extra topics, take out a few—and Open Tapestry would make this quite easy. Fantastic!
Also, here's a really nicely-designed online graphing calculator: www.desmos.com
It makes visualizing systems of inequalities REALLY easy!

One more: Integrity Link Checker is amazing!
It checked the close-to 5000 links on my site in no time flat, and found the few that were broken. Great utility!!
(Now I need to get to work fixing them!)

Thursday, August 22, 2013
I found the SEO tools on this website interesting and helpful:   Small SEO Tools
In particular: Also, I've finally figured out what all those weird links in my Awstats report are—a referer spam.
And, I've often done the worst possible thing (unknowingly):
clicked the link, looking for how they've linked to me (and, of course, finding nothing).
Well, I won't make that mistake any more! Aargh!

I have found this Scam Advisor site useful for checking if some of my backlinks are legitimate or scam.

Finally, I strongly recommend that NOBODY use http://mrwhatis.net. (I purposely didn't link to it.) It came up as I was checking my backlinks. It appears to pull up documents related to a query, but when you click, it also opens up a full-page ad. Horrible, detestable, terrible, and very scammy! And, there is no contact info for the website developer, so it seems to be impossible to get my site pages removed from its entries. Yuck!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I finished the exposition in Finding Vertical Asymptotes.

Friday, August 16, 2013
I've discovered some of my content being embedded in other site's frames,
so I've added a line to my Terms of Use to clarify the prohibition of such use if any profit can be derived (including page ads).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Ray is busy installing the git version control system for my massive website.
This should be useful in many different circumstances.
In particular, I want to take advantage of a free trial month for Alexa web stats;
to do this, I need a tiny piece of code added to every single web page.
Evidently, having git in place allows Ray to then do this easily.

Saturday, August 10, 2013
I finished the (limited) exercises in Introduction to Puncture Points (holes).

I'm experimenting with taking the Adsense ads off my web exercise pages, and instead putting a single Amazon ad at the top.
I'm concerned that the Adsense ads (which are unpredictable) may be preventing people from using my site in a classroom setting.
Also, I like the more uniform and predictable look of my pages.
Right now, the Amazon ads I'm showing are targeting renting textbooks, buying used textbooks, and general back-to-school items.

Monday, August 5, 2013
I ending up splitting my (way-too-long) introduction to rational function exercise into three smaller ones:
Introduction to Rational Functions, Introduction to Asymptotes, and Introduction to Puncture Points (holes).

Saturday, August 3, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for July.

I've also finished the web exercises for Introduction to Rational Functions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I've just about finished the exposition for Introduction to Rational Functions.

Thursday, July 18, 2013
I've changed all the main title div's to h1 elements in my Precalculus course, so hopefully the search engines will pick up on their main topics better.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
I've finished the exercises for Solving Polynomial Equations. Ray coded a bunch more polynomial helper functions, which made the exercises a breeze, and very reliable. He's absolutely amazing.

I've also been doing some research into why my site ‘crashed’ last November (2012). I found these two interesting articles:
SEO Sanity Check Part I: Google's Penguin and Panda Updates
My site isn't fresh, because the math content doesn't change except for new sections that I add.
Also, my site is more than two years old. Could this perhaps be hurting me?

I found a site (link removed, because it broke) that talks a bit more about the changes. My site is highly original (the only one I know of with the huge variety of online practice, other than the Khan Academy), and all my exposition is written from my decades of teaching experience, so I tend to approach things in a different way from many others. But, I was hit HARD — I had a 35% loss from October to November, and then more in December. It has steadily decreased every month in 2013, so I am now at a whopping 74% drop since last October. This, even though I've been working steadily on my new PreCalculus curriculum (with fantastic online randomly-generated practice problems). I'm just flabbergasted, confused, and very disappointed.

One thing I did notice is that Google seems to be picking up on my ⟨h2⟩ tags more than my ⟨div⟩ tags; and I've been using primarily div tags in all my new offerings. This could again be hurting me.

I've found a fantastic free broken link checker—check it out! Consequently, I spent many hours today fixing broken links—lots are on my much older material that I've kept up for historical reasons. But I'm done! Hooray! No more broken links!

Friday, July 12, 2013
I've uploaded the exposition for Solving Polynomial Equations. Tomorrow I'll work on the exercises for this section.
Then, I'm done with polynomials! Hooray! On to rational functions!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I've uploaded Polynomials with Real Number Coefficients. Finally, after almost 2 months, a new exercise up!

I've now been down in Tucson with my new family for over a year, and finally the days are seeming more relaxed, with time to work.
I'm hoping that I'll get a bunch of new sections up this month.

I also uploaded this Math Website Comparison.
Basically, my website and Khan's seem to be the only ones with randomly-generated exercises.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
We went on a family road trip for about 5 weeks, from the end of June to the beginning of July. We zigged and zagged from Arizona to Massachusetts, and then back again—over 8500 miles. Along the way, we picked up our new Jayco trailer (now named Dewdrop), which we pulled with our van, Blue Giant.
A wonderful time—and now back to work!

I updated my monthly stats and website income for June.

Monday, May 20, 2013
I've finished the exercises for the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.

Thursday, May 16, 2013
I've uploaded the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.
I still need to write the exercises for both the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra and Solving Equations? Finding Zeros? Your Choice!.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sienna Ridge is nice, BUT get everything in writing

I have an unfortunate experience that I feel obligated to share, to warn potential renters to be sure and get everything in writing if you decide to lease from Sienna Ridge in Tucson, AZ. I had a good 8 months there—it has nicely-kept grounds, the price was right, and it was quiet. Unfortunately, however, the incident described below has left a ‘bad taste in my mouth’ upon my departure.

We rented this apartment as an office, paying the various startup fees plus a $100 security deposit. We asked if we could have a discount for paying the entire 8 months rent in full. The manager said she would check with someone. When she got back to us she told us we could have 1/4 month off if we paid in full. Therefore, we paid for exactly 8 months rent minus 1/4 month rent using a single check.

We didn't get this 1/4 month deduction for paying in full in writing. As my lease drew to a close, I received notice that I owed them money. The prior manager was gone, but we explained about the 1/4 month deduction, fully expecting that they would honor the verbal agreement, particularly since we had that cashier's check as evidence.

Unfortunately, the new manager was not willing to honor this verbal agreement, explaining that it had to be in writing. She said that she would get in trouble if she collected less than the full rent without any written justification. So, we then went to her manager—again, fully expecting this situation to be quickly resolved. Yet again, the higher manager would not honor the verbal agreement.

Sienna Ridge is legally bound to honor a verbal contract made by one of its employees. In Arizona, verbal contracts made by employees are binding (see Kain v. Arizona Copper Co., 14 Ariz. 566, 133 P. 412 and many others). The former manager verbally contracted a 1/4 month discount in exchange for early payment and as an inducement to proceed with the lease. Refusing to honor that contract is a violation of ARS 44-1522 and several other statutes.

We are currently waiting for Sienna Ridge to do the right thing and return our $100 security deposit. By the way, we were present when they checked the apartment, and we got in writing that the apartment was fine, except that we needed to hire a professional carpet steam cleaner (which we did immediately, even though the carpet was clean, vacuumed, and in precisely the same condition as when we began the rental). I will post the outcome when this is resolved. Until then, just be careful and—if you decide to rent from Sienna Ridge—get everything in writing!

Thursday, May 9, 2013
I've deleted my sitemap.xml from my server, because it's so old.
In particular, it doesn't include any of my Precalculus stuff.
I also added in an extra section, Solving Equations? Finding Zeros? Same Thing!
to ease into the traditional statement of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I've got a sample re-design page uploaded:   Calculating Percent Increase and Decrease
I'd very much appreciate any comments, either likes or dislikes.
I think it needs to be a bit lighter and a bit more mathy, and it needs a professional logo.
Otherwise, I like it. I think it looks a lot more professional—a lot less ‘home-spun’.

Friday, May 3, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for April.
My hits are down for a fourth month in a row.
I'll be posting a sample re-design page soon.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
‘Life stuff’ has taken an enormous amount of time in these last few weeks.
I'm glad to finally have finished discussion: graphing polynomials with technology.
This is an optional section. There are no exercises. It can be skipped without any loss of continuity.

Monday, April 8, 2013
I've finished multiplicity of zeros and graphical consequences.
Not a lot of exercises, but I'm spending time thinking about a re-design of my web site.

Friday, April 5, 2013
I've been working on multiplicity of zeros: graphical consequences all week, and have finally finished the concept discussion.
I've decided to add a section on ‘graphing polynomials using technology’ to talk about how difficult it is
to see the interesting behavior at all the zeroes of a polynomial in a single to-scale graph.

Monday, April 1, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for March.
My hits are way down for a third month in a row, which is concerning to me.
I've finished the quadratic formula revisited; the discriminant.

Friday, March 29, 2013
I've finished the concept discussion for the quadratic formula revisited; the discriminant.

Thursday, March 28, 2013
I've finished the complex conjugate.
For completeness, I put a little bit about the modulus of the complex numbers in this exercise.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
We did well in the dance competition—we won several second and third place ribbons, and even some money!
I've almost finished the complex conjugate.
Just a few more exercises to finish.

Friday, March 22, 2013
I've finished the square root of a negative number.
Tomorrow, Ray and I participate in our first dance competition:
cha-cha, rumba, East coast swing, bolero, waltz, foxtrot, tango, and viennese waltz.
We're excited!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
I've finished arithmetic with complex numbers.
This one also went pretty fast, since most of what I need to say is already covered in the Algebra II curriculum.

Monday, March 18, 2013
I've just about finished introduction to complex numbers.
This one went really fast, since most of what I need to say is already covered in the Algebra II curriculum.

Saturday, March 16, 2013
I've finished the exercises for trapping the roots of a polynomial; an interval guaranteed to contain all real roots.

Thursday, March 14, 2013
I've finished the concept discussion for trapping the roots of a polynomial; an interval guaranteed to contain all real roots.
Haven't yet written the exercises.

Monday, March 11, 2013
I finished the exercises for the Remainder Theorem.

Saturday, March 9, 2013
I decided to add a section on the Remainder Theorem, since it's a nice application of synthetic division and the division algorithm.
The concept section is done, but I haven't yet coded the exercises.

Thursday, March 7, 2013
I finally finished synthetic division.
It has been an extremely busy week. I'm anxious to get back to more regular work hours!

Friday, March 1, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for February.
I'm just about finished the concept discussion for synthetic division.

Saturday, February 23, 2013
I finished the exercises for the Division Algorithm.
In this web exercise, I load a javascript file containing lots of Ray's polynomial code.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I finished the concept discussion for the Division Algorithm. Exercises soon!

Friday, February 15, 2013
I've finished the web exercises for Long Division of Polynomials.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I've taken an entire week creating a guided practice for long division of polynomials. Check it out!
The coding was a nightmare, and I may still have some bugs in the code.
But, there isn't much on long division of polynomials on the web, so I hope this will be helpful to people.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
I've finished the concept discussion on Long Division of Polynomials.
The formatting took a very, very long time;
but I like the ‘hovering’ feature so people can read what's happening, and follow along in the division problem.

Saturday, February 2, 2013
I updated my monthly stats and website income for January.
I'm currently working on long division of polynomials—the formatting is difficult,
and it's taking a long time just to get the concept discussion finished.
I've also put up an introduction to ballet, and will keep improving it as I go through the class.

Monday, January 28, 2013
I've finished the exercises for Turning Points of Polynomials.

Saturday, January 26, 2013
I've finished the concept discussion for Turning Points of Polynomials.
Now, I have to write the exercises.

Friday, January 25, 2013
I've finished the exercises in End Behavior of Polynomials.

Friday, January 18, 2013
I'm continuing with End Behavior of Polynomials. The graphics are slow and tedious.

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Oh, where has the week gone?
Car woes, dance lessons, ballet class beginning—and not too much web work done. Sigh.
I've started End Behavior of Polynomials, but need to create many more graphics to finish the concept discussion, and then write the exercises.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
I've finished the exercises for Relationship Between the Zeros (Roots) and Factors of Polynomials.
I really really like some of my problems!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I've finished the concept discussion for Relationship Between the Zeros (Roots) and Factors of Polynomials.
My hits are finally beginning to pick up again, following the slump for Christmas and New Years.
People don't seem to do much math over the holidays!
Also, I archived my blog for 2012.

Monday, January 7, 2013
I've finished the exercises for Introduction to Polynomials.
I'm beginning to learn C# and Visual Studio, so I can do some programming with my husband!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Happy New Year, everyone!
I updated my monthly stats and website income for December, and for the year 2012.
Again, my visitors have just about doubled from 2011.
If I can keep this up for a few more years, then I'll start to make some real income from this site.

Blog Archive, 2013
Blog Archive, 2012
Blog Archive, 2011
Blog Archive, 2010
Blog Archive, 2009
Blog Archive, 2008
Blog Archive, 2007
Blog Archive, 2006
Blog Archive, 2005