Lecture Capture in Mathematics (Cardiff, April 2015)

My talk in Cardiff last week at the Learning and Teaching Workshop organised by Dr Rob Wilson, Cardiff, April 23 2015 (see https://explainingmaths.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/learning-and-teaching-workshop-at-cardiff/) is currently available at http://wirksworthii.nottingham.ac.uk/webcast/maths/Cardiff-April-2015/ (I think this may require flash player?). This link will have to change by the end of July 2015. But by then the video may have appeared on YouTube and iTunes. I recorded this video on my tablet using Camtasia and my webcam. I set the webcam up to use its “follow-my-face” option, which has pluses and minuses. In the end I think it may be better to stick to some fixed wider angle instead (so that the audience doesn’t get seasick!) But follow-my-face is definitely an interesting option.

Learning and Teaching Workshop at Cardiff

I’m off to Cardiff tomorrow to tell them about my uses of IT in teaching mathematics, as one of the sessions in a Learning and Teaching Workshop there.

Here is the PDF file I will be using for my talk: Lecture Capture in Maths

See also http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/mathsnews/?p=221, from where I quote:

This week Cardiff School of Mathematics will be welcoming 3 visitors from the University of Namibia (UNAM) Mathematics department as part of the Phoenix Project. (The Phoenix Project is one of the five University flagship engagement projects. For more details on the project visit http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/about/our-profile/our-values/engagement/transforming-communities/the-phoenix-project and http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/hallje/category/phoenix-project/.

To coincide with the visit, the School will be hosting a Learning and Teaching Workshop taking place on Thursday 23rd April, in Room M1.02.  (See outline agenda below). The discussions will revolve around the learning and teaching of large groups, and although some of the speakers will have experience of this in Maths, it will focus more broadly on the general engagement of large group teaching, and therefore would be of interest to teaching and support staff outside of the discipline.

Outline agenda

12.00-1.00pm Buffet lunch (Room M1.04)

1.00-1.10pm Introduction: Tim Phillips, Cardiff School of Mathematics

1.10-1.40pm Martin Mugochi, University of Namibia – Overview of UNAM Mathematics

1.40-2.30pm Joel Feinstein, Nottingham University – Lecture Capture in Mathematics

2.30-2.45pm Coffee Break

2.45-3.30pm Stephen Rutherford, Cardiff School of Biosciences – Assessment of large groups

3.30-4.00pm Vincent Knight, Cardiff School of Mathematics – The flipped learning environment for a large class

4.00-5.00pm Discussion session

Please explain the question again

Here is something I just mentioned in a comment on my previous post on in-class voting. I often include two extra options at the end:

  • E: Please explain the question again
  • F: I’m not sure

Here option E usually gets very few votes, but it is quite revealing if the majority suddenly vote for E. This happened once in my first-year pure maths module this year, when I asked a counting question (how many different 3-cycles are there of a set with 8 elements?). Clearly my first attempt to explain the question failed! See timestamp 26:25 of the 18th lecture in Foundations of Pure Mathematics


and see if you can tell what went wrong!

Blog page updates

I noticed that some of my “static” blog pages had become a little too static!

So I have just made some updates to:

It looks like I may need to move some of the resources which currently live on the University of Nottingham’s Wirksworth server. I’m not yet sure when this will happen. [Sally Hanford tells me this needs to be done by July 2015.]

Royal baby stats and odds

My colleague David Sirl has just appeared on Radio Nottingham to provide some stats/odds related to the Royal Baby.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02n5h3c#playt=1h25m00s (for those who can play this).

G11FPM Foundations of Pure Mathematics now complete on YouTube and iTunes

Thanks to Sally Hanford, all of my G11FPM Foundations of Pure Mathematics videos are now available on Youtube Edu and on iTunes U.

The YouTube Playlist is at


The iTunes album is available via
(though you will probably need iTunes software to actually play the videos there).

Curiously a (relatively) large number of people are watching the very last video, which is a discussion of a class test (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ILTDzF-C3o). I would have thought that the earlier videos would be more interesting! It was good that the students were awake, because I did make one silly mistake in that class. (Keep your eyes open!) But one of the students spotted it, allowing me to put it right.

[Note added: this appears to have been just a temporary surge in views.]

Talking of Teaching

The University of Nottingham has a blog called Talking of Teaching at http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/talkingofteaching/

They have just posted links to the recordings of the seminars three of us gave on March 4th at a Teaching and Learning seminar.

Mine is available at http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/talkingofteaching/2015/joel-feinstein/

Three points to note:

  • I had my webcam at a slightly awkward angle, and it was set to “follow my face” (software, not mechanical), which means that the viewer can get a bit seasick if I move around too much.
  • As mentioned in an earlier post, I failed to turn the mains power on at the socket. This has affected the audio quality in my recording. This was ironic, because one of the points I mentioned was how important it was to make sure that your laptop is on mains power if you are using software on the laptop to record audio/video. (In this case I was using Echo360 Personal Capture on my laptop.)
  • The small blue square visible in my recording was not visible on my laptop  screen. Echo360 Personal Capture apparently doesn’t always capture exactly what you see on your screen. (We have raised this as an issue with Echo360.) Subjectively, I have found that Camtasia is more reliable from the point of view of recording what you actually have showing on your screen, but that Echo360 appears to maintain synchronization better between the various recorded streams. Some sub-comments here:
    – I have no “small square” problems when using the resident Echo360 systems (which, I think, actually record what is being sent to the data projector).
    – Things have improved! A few years ago, Echo360 Personal Capture could not record my “digital pointer” (CursorAttention) properly: where I saw a clear red highlighter on my screen, the recording showed a generic mouse pointer instead.) We raised this as an issue then, and it looks like it has been fixed.