ESP Biography

GABRIEL DAVIS, PhD student in math ed, former HS math teacher

Major: SESAME (Mathematics Education)

College/Employer: UC Berkeley

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Gabriel Davis

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Hello, I'm Gabe.

I'm excited to be starting my first year of doctoral studies in math education in the SESAME program at Berkeley after a 7-year career teaching high school math in the Northeast. Through friends, I've previously been involved with SPLASH on the MIT and Yale campuses, as a teacher and volunteer.

I love getting opportunities to engage with students about math outside of the "classroom" setting-- my classes tend towards the collaborative and the participatory. I look forward to Splash as an opportunity to share my interests and passions with awesome, curious students!

Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)

Taxicab Geometry in Splash Fall 18
What's the shortest distance between two points? A straight line, right? Well... what if it wasn't? Taxicab Geometry is a very simple non-Euclidean geometry, in which we replace the usual distance metric with one using the sum of the vertical and horizontal distances-- i.e., the way a taxicab moves through city blocks. It turns out that this small change has a big impact, and the natures of all sorts of fundamental geometric objects are radically different. (For one thing, in Taxicab World, circles have corners!) We'll explore the rules of this new world, see what's different, and (time permitting) look at some applications.

Case Studies in Environmental Ethics in Splash Fall 18
What are our responsibilities as humans to the living world? This is a big question that can get very complicated very quickly. Even those who believe they have a duty to protect the environment may find themselves faced with situations where it is not so clear what kinds of actions are consistent with this duty. After grounding ourselves in some of the perspectives taken by those who've considered this question in the past, we'll work in groups on specific case studies where our principles can be put to the test, and come out with a stronger sense of what is valuable about the living environment.

Arguing About Math in Splash Fall 18
Okay, well, maybe not *arguing*, exactly... more like a "structured disagreement." But it turns out that research suggests argument can actually be a powerful tool for learning mathematical concepts. In this class, you'll get a chance to work on some interesting math problems, and to discuss your ideas with other students, and argue about your approaches. You'll learn how to make your mathematical arguments more productive, and you'll come away as an expert collaborative problem-solver. Anyone who loves math, puzzles, and working and learning collaboratively will enjoy this class!