Math Carol

Here’s our final science/math carol for our December Friday Funnies, sung to the tune of  “Oh Christmas Tree.”

Oh, Number Pi

Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
Your digits are nonending,
Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
No pattern are you sending.

You’re three point one four one five nine,
And even more if we had time,
Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
For circle lengths unbending.

Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
You are a number very sweet,
Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
Your uses are so very neat.

There’s 2 Pi r and Pi r squared,
A half a circle and you’re there,
Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
And we know that Pi’s a tasty treat.

Happy Holidays!

We would like to share with you a card created by one of our content coders using WebAssign graphing code to celebrate the holiday season!  You can add this image to your own assignments and share with your students and other instructors using Question ID:  2811743.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas tree WAplot

Calculus Carol

We are celebrating the month of December with Friday Funnies dedicated to math & science themed holiday carols.  Here is another calculus carol to add to your collection!  This one is sung to the tune of O Christmas Tree.

Derivatives, derivatives,
They help us find the rate of change.
Derivatives, derivatives,
They’re not that hard, they’re in our range!

The product rule is so much fun,
It’s one prime two plus two prime one.
Derivatives, derivatives,
They help us find the rate of change!

Derivatives, derivatives,
They help us find the rate of change.
Derivatives, derivatives,
They’re not that hard, they’re in our range!

Chemical Education Research and Education Technology Industry

ErikEppErik Epp is the Chemistry Product Manager at WebAssign.  He earned a B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and University of Chicago, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Education from Purdue University. We asked him to share some of his experiences in the education technology industry because he has taken an unusual route from a chemical education degree.

What I Do

My job as Chemistry Product Manager at WebAssign has many responsibilities. I am responsible for determining what direction our chemistry offering should take and facilitating the process. I act as a subject-matter expert for our sales and marketing teams, as an educational researcher for our development efforts, and as a liaison to the chemical education and technology education communities. I also visit campuses and attend conferences, and follow the major journals and social media in education and research.

Academia or Industry

I started my graduate career with my heart set on being a faculty member of a small, primarily undergraduate institution. What changed along the way?  Graduate school allowed me to see whether what I was doing was something I truly enjoyed. I found myself drawn towards teaching, technology, and data analysis. Later, during my post-doc (a visiting faculty position), I found that the fraction of time that I spent doing the things I was passionate about was much smaller than I had anticipated. Ultimately I decided to trade my passion of classroom teaching in favor of spending more of my time on my other passions and making a difference in the teaching of thousands of teachers.

Skills for Industry

My chemical education research background provided me strong skills in data analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, that have served me well. I regularly collect and analyze qualitative data on issues professors are facing from sales representatives, customer support representatives, and from interacting with faculty members themselves. This data includes what faculty needs are unmet and how WebAssign might assist the learning process. I also pull quantitative data from a vast database to run analyses and present findings, and ultimately bring about data-driven decisions that shape the business.

Advice for Those Interested in Alt-Ac Careers

If you are considering an Alt-Ac career, the first thing I encourage you to do is research what is out there. One of the easiest ways is to visit the vendor exhibition at conferences and ask the representatives about what they do, what path lead them there, and what roles for an education researcher or content expert exist in their organization. This also has the benefit of helping you network, which can bring opportunities to you now and in the future. Just be sure to remember to hand out your business cards and collect cards in return.

I attend many of the ACS National and Regional Meetings, along with more specialized conferences (BCCE, Chem.Ed., Gordon), and am happy to discuss potential options and opportunities in the education technology field in more depth – look for me in the red shirt and black pants!

We want to hear from you!

Do you have any questions for Erik or advice for those interested in a different career path after a Chemistry Ph.D? Post your questions and comments below!

Physics Carol

From all of us at WebAssign we wish you a very Happy Holiday season! Here’s our Friday Funny Physics Carol for the week, sung to the tune of Frosty the Snowman.

FROSTY THE PHOTON

Frosty the photon
Escaped from a black hole,
Then he used his spin
To find his kin,
Near the ends of a dipole.
Frosty the photon
With momentum h-bar-k
Though he had the right
To be known as light,
He was called a gamma ray.

WebAssign’s Annual Tree Decorating Contest

Our employees recently took part in our annual tree decorating contest and we want to know which tree YOU think deserves to win!  Trees were designed by each department to represent WebAssign or a WebAssign feature. Participants in the office will be voting by adding toys under the tree they like best, all of which will then be donated to Toys for Tots. However, your vote counts toward determining the winning tree as well, so vote now using the poll below.

Product Management & Marketing

Product Management & Marketing Tree

Finance & Administration

F&A Tree

 Customer Support

Customer Support Tree

 Engineering

Engineering Tree

IT

IT Tree

 Content Services

Content Services Tree

Chemistry Carol

We are celebrating the month of December with Friday Funnies dedicated to math & science themed holiday carols.  Here is a chemistry carol to add to your collection!  This one is sung to the tune of Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.

Test Tubes Bubbling

Test tubes bubbling in a water bath
Strong smells nipping at your nose.
Tiny molecules with their atoms all aglow
Will find it hard to be inert tonight.

They know that Chlorine’s on its way
He’s loaded lots of little electrons on his sleigh
And every student’s slide rule is on the sly
To see if the teacher really can multiply.

And so I offer you this simple phrase
To chemistry students in this room
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry molecules to you.