Ty McLamb Mrs. Sigmon Discrete Mathematics 14 September 2012 Discrete Mathematics Self Reflection Unit 3 For the first unit of Discrete Mathematics with Mrs. Sigmon, we had a total of four learning goals. These four goals are as follows: Gaining the ability to find the centers of triangles, understanding similar and congruent triangles, making proofs and understanding quadrilaterals, and finally understanding and gaining the ability to apply transformations. My goal was to gain at the very least proficiency in all of these topics, if not mastery. Some of the academic content that we had that involved some of these topics was a regular influx of worksheets, which helped to practice and learn more about the subject as a whole, along with a unit-long project, which was helpful in reinforcing what we had learned and helped us to learn to apply those skills in a more real-life setting. Our habit of mind for this unit was striving for persistence, which I feel that I now know my current level of success with it, and will continue to gain mastery over it for the rest of the semester in this class. There were a number of ups and downs in this unit, successes and failures, challenges and the overcoming of those challenges. One of my main successes was my understanding of how to find the four centers of triangles, as it was entirely new information yet I was able to gain a good understanding of the topic quickly. I enjoyed working in a single group for the entire unit, as I feel that allowed me to gain a lot more synergy with my teammates, which in turn led us to getting the work done quicker and more efficiently. The thing that I personally did to help myself learn was to study at times, and work as hard as I could on the homework. Of course, it was not
all successes, as I have talked about so far, and there were challenges that I had to face. One of the biggest challenges I had was having trouble gaining a good understanding of proving triangles, which was reflected on my test score. I also had great trouble with some of the work itself, most notably having to learn to understand quadrilaterals online, as my laptop would not run a number of the applications on the websites given to us by the teacher. I also had a personal problem while completing this unit, one that Iâ€™ve struggled with just a bit in every class, and that would be procrastination. I was able to deal with it moderately well in this unit however, mostly by setting up personal deadlines that I replaced in turn of teacher-given deadlines, so that I would get more and more of the work done as time progressed, which led to me not being bogged down with a large amount of work for mathematics class all at once. This unit connected to the local and I imagine quite a bit of the local community in a number of ways, most notably of a more artistic variety. While it would of course be useful for an architect or someone of a similar profession to have connections to something more involving the first learning goal of this unit, finding the centers of triangles, a number of things that we learned in this class would be useful to know in an artistic community as well. We learned in this unit how to find parallel lines, and how to use parallel and perpendicular lines to prove similarity and congruence in quadrilaterals and triangles. This could carry over to an artistic community, as art often employs parallel and perpendicular lines, which are usually more eye-catching and enthralling. By taking this unit, I learned more about the artistic community, at least in the way of how they are able to conceive more eye-pleasing shapes and lines. Because of the difference in the two subjects, I of course still have a lot that I do not know about an artistic community of any kind, local or global. But, I did learn a bit, so it is not like anything was a waste.
The habit of mind that we had in this unit was striving for persistence, which showed up a number of times throughout the unit, in our work and in our ACT preparation quizzes. One moderately famous person who has strived for persistence a great amount, is Andrew Hussie, who creates a web-comic on the internet called Homestuck. The way that he uses persistence can be obvious, at least when looking at the size of his work and his rate of updating it. He spends nearly every waking moment of his life persisting on his comic, and has said as much himself. And the amount of persistence that he has has really shown through his work, as Homestuck is the single longest webcomic on the internet, and in fact is one of the longest English works ever written. To think that he is able to spend all of every day updating his work, there is really not a better person to pick when trying to show someone who is persistent, and strives for persistence. His goal is not yet complete, and likely will not be for a number of years, but given his past persistence it is doubtful that he will slack at this point. I feel that I did pretty well in mastering my goals for this unit, and though I am not yet a master in every learning goal, I of course plan to take the time to work to improve my score on what I didnâ€™t master the first time around. Iâ€™m still not very persistent myself, though I am taking the steps to improving that. And I will continue to work on striving for persistence for the rest of the semester, along with all other habits of mind I am given. To maintain what I learned in this unit, I am going to continue studying the work from time to time, and keep it moderately fresh in my mind. For the next unit, my goals will be the same, to gain proficiency and mastery in each learning goal of the next unit.