Welcome to Tech Powered Math. Since 2010, I’ve written about my passions of mathematics, education, and technology. I started this site because I realized a lot of my students and their parents felt hopelessly lost when trying to make buying decisions about graphing calculators, online resources, and other educational technologies.
Today, I find my writing patterns beginning to shift. I’m rebooted Tech Powered Math in 2018 as a place for people pursuing a STEM education to get the best information that I can give them about this process. The world is rapidly changing around us, and a great STEM education is one of the best ways students can prepare themselves for those changes.
My “Distant” Past
I’m a guy who started off as a freshman engineering student back in the 90’s. Even though I really enjoyed my STEM classes, calculus in particular, I wanted to do something that connected with young people. After a lot of soul-searching and prayer, I ended up changing my major and earning a bachelor’s in mathematics, and eventually a master’s degree in mathematics education.
While in college, I worked at my university’s office for STEM education. There, I had the opportunity to learn about Texas Instruments graphing calculators and their capabilities, and I picked up some web design basics, something that’s been helpful to me with this blog. I was also able to teach an engineering section of calculus in the the university math department, where I was named to the university’s list of outstanding instructors.
My “Recent” Past
For more than a decade in the 2000’s, I worked teaching math in the Midwest. In early 2007, I attended a Texas Instruments “T3” conference, which moved my proficiency with the TI-84 plus and TI-Voyage to a whole new level. This was also a conference where TI showcased the TI-Nspire, which was quite amazing to all of the conference attendees. For much of my time as a high school teacher, I was known as the “calculator guy,” a somewhat dorky yet endearing title. I made sure my students knew all the ins and outs of their calculators prior to taking the ACT (the Midwest version of the SAT), and it’s paid off for my students on that test and others.
Eventually, I transitioned out of the classroom. I (re)discovered how to code, and I put my math degrees to use in the private sector, a very different setting. After several years of working in the corporate world, I understand where I had prepared my students well and where I had let them down.
I’m also now the father of three young children who have started to enter the school system. Of course, I’m very eager to see how they develop and encourage them to grow in our changing world. I feel I have an unusual perspective as someone who has spent many years as a teacher, professional in the STEM community, and father that gives me an interesting voice to speak to parents out there that are still learning how to encourage their children to learn and prepare for STEM careers.
Why Should You Care What I Think About Any of This?
That’s a fair question. Let me try to summarize some of my experience:
- I taught math for over a decade in public high schools, including classes like Algebra, Geometry, AP Statistics, and AP Calculus.
- I was a long time math team coach of a consistently state ranked math team, and one of my team’s won a math team state championship.
- I have been been writing about graphing calculators since 2010 and teaching students how to use them even longer. Casio even had me do the video work to promote their original Casio Prizm graphing calculator.
- I taught students to prep for high stakes tests like the ACT, SAT, and AP tests throughout my teaching career. My students were accepted and graduated from prestigious schools like the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the United States Military Academy, and many, many others.
- I’ve gone through online education myself by completing a Coursera specialization in a STEM field.
- I have since spent over 5 years in industry writing code, analyzing data, and building predictive models.
- I now mentor people making career transitions into STEM careers both at my day job and on the side at an online bootcamp.
Here are some things you should know about this site:
- I am the only person writing for this site. Sometimes that means I write several posts in a week and then not again for months.
- Tech Powered Math has been cited as a source by sites like Engadget, CNET, and Ars Technica.
- I don’t accept guest posts or sponsored posts.
- I do use affiliate links for products I believe in. Read more about my affiliate policy here.
- Besides affiliate links, I don’t currently run any ads on the site and haven’t for many years.
Tech Powered Math
When I launched this site in the summer of 2010, I was pretty much starting from nothing. In less than a year, I’d been one of the first to cover the release of the TI-Nspire CX, reviewed countless calculator, software packages, and covered the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. It’s been a thrilling ride to watch the readership grow, and I hope you’ll join me on the journey.
I will respond to virtually any inquiry from a regular person about the posts on this site. You can reach me at: techpoweredmath via gmail.