Friday, March 05, 2010

blind spots.

i think my analysιs midterm today caused trauma to my students. afterwards, they asked me about part A of one problem:

"can you give us the counterexample?" they asked.

"sure," i said. "take the closed interνal $[0,\infty)$ and then .."

".. wait, that's a closed interval?" one asked, shrilly.

i blinked; oh no ..

so i said yes. they inquired further, and we looked it up in the textbook.

"so is $\mathbf{R}$ an open interval?" another asked.

"actually, it's both open and closed," i pointed out. "there are no endpoints to test, so it has to be both."



i thought that was one of the first things that anyone ever teaches students: open vs. closed, neither or both ..

oh well. i'll just grade the exams generously.

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