Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Maths Summer School Update and a Video

First the update. Ali Nessin has himself commented on another blog and this is what he said:

Thanks a lot for your support.

We never interrupted the teaching. When we were told to empty the buildings we stayed in tents and had classes in the open air. But a few days later the gendarmery came to tell us to leave the tents as well because some were erected in the forest; the next day we are told to leave the camp grounds completely for security and sanitary reasons! We refused of course. Now that the site is unsealed most of us are back to stone houses. Some of us, including I, are still staying in tents.

Our two classrooms and two hamams were illegally sealed for ten days or so, and eventually unsealed.

All that time we never interrupted classes, except for one day, when we had to level the ground in order to erect the tents and to construct a shade for an open air classroom.

I am told to ask for permission to teach, that I am refusing. I think that to oblige a university professor to ask for permission to teach his/her own specialty is against the academic freedom, apart from being insulting. In fact 27th article of the Turkish Constitution guarantees the freedom to teach and learn arts and sciences.

The prosecutor is still investigating charges against me. There are three of them I believe: 1) Founding illegal institution, 2) Illegal teaching, 3) Illegal construction. My answers to these questions were terse 1) There is no institution, 2) I don’t think I need a permit to teach, 3) Yes, the construction is illegal due to bureaucratic difficulties that we are trying to overcome for a year. Not a big deal!

Thanks again for your support.

Ali

I'm glad that they didn't stop teaching, and once again hope that the matter gets resolved soon. If you'd like to sign a petition to Save Mathematical Summer School, please show your support at the blog linked at the top right. :)


Now AOB, i.e. random happenings in my life. If you're still confuddled by my previous post, then my apologies. Yesterday it was someone birthday. I tend to use birthdays as a brilliant excuse to erm... pass on Maths (one could say). So I gave someone a card in which I presented a proof of why they were a freak, (in the nicest way possible of course, or maybe in the way this person means it when they say it to me). The idea of the proof was that we assumed that the person isn't a freak, and we know that I exist and OBVIOUSLY *coughs* I'm not a freak. Hence since this person isn't like me (height difference), they can't 'not' be a freak. So we have a contradiction, and our assumption was incorrect, therefore said person is a freak. Confused? Well, I didn't think proof by intimidation would work on this occasion, so I was going for 'proof by confusion'!

Sadly, I did more. I wrote a sentence on the back of the envelope, in the same manner as I did in my previous post. My challenge: tell me what that says and I'll give you a present. :D All of a sudden the corner of everyones eyes creased, and I felt gazes of hate and hurt fall upon me. How could I do this, was the unasked question. I brushed all this aside, and informed them that anyone could help to work it out. Amongst these upset faces, some determined ones awoke and attacked the sentence. It was late when I gave the card, and so only a few people remained. Now you see, one person was sly- very sly. I've started reading the Code Book you see, and that's where I had got the idea from. One person, Sly, had spotted me reading this book, and as I sat at the computer Sly had a look through the book.

I became overwhelmed and stupidly had assumed that Sly was interested in the subject matter! (I'd left the sentence and forgotten about it you see.) So I discussed with Sly how 'cool' the book was, and if Sly would like to borrow it. Sly was 'reading' it but not from page one. Thankfully, when I'd realised that Sly wasn't actually reading it, I'd asked for it so that I could continue to read it! It was only when I entered the control tower, with everyone frantically trying to work out the sentence, that I realised how sly Sly had been. They all gleefully laughed at me, and someone suggested that it might be mirror writing! (In the morning I'd been discussing that you see). The computer was on in the control room and cipher alphabets were open. They wanted confirmation that the right thing was being done, and I very vaguely answered them.

They were on the right path, and I did my past to throw them off. When they'd worked the words 'Ha Ha' by guessing, I felt that they'd worked the key out. Much to my relief they hadn't, and so they struggled, whilst I safely hid the Code Book somewhere and watched them. The unity of the struggle was great to see. Tweety was the most determined though, and so I did drop a few hints here and there. I was quietly confident that tweety would work the sentence out and it wasn't a horribly long one, but a short and 'sweet' one. :D

Finally, Sly came running with the sentence. I was must infuriated, for Sly had slyly used the Internet to work out what it was (which I didn't know was possible)! A grinch like smile glued itself to Sly's face and I was told, 'I hate you- you made me think!' This made me feel better and Sly crawled away - proud. (I must confess to giving a code in the comments section to Sly to work out!) Tweety was not aware of Sly's slyness, and eventually Tweety worked out the code for herself. I asked if Tweety knew the key, and then realised that Tweety had used intuition and guess work. (Well she guessed that I had written the birthday persons name and already had 'Ha ha', after which things fell into place).

Tweety had really enjoyed this, but I didn't make the same mistake twice and so asked Tweety whether she'd like to read the book. A sharp no shut me up, but it didn't stop me from discussing what I'd already read in the book! Yes, I am truly a BUG - muhahaha. Ahem, well it had actually been quite fun, watching everyone concentrate their efforts to working the sentence out! Luckily for them, my key hadn't been random, and wasn't too hard. I wonder when I'm no longer going to be invited to birthdays. :D

Oh yeah, now to the video. It's brilliant, awesome and ... well you'll soon see. (I meant all these in the mathematical sense of course).



I couldn't remember whether or not I'd previously posted it, and having found the link again, I decided to post it again!

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