Narratives Add

This year at Carleton I’ve gotten to teach one of my favorite parts of multivariable calculus, the multivariable chain rule. Despite its scary-sounding name, the multivariable chain rule seems to capture a fundamental principle about how the world works, a principle I call “narratives add.” I’ll walk you through how the multivariable chain rule works … More Narratives Add

Optimization takes effort

I love optimization—both the general principle of trying to make things the best they can be, as well as the specific techniques that go into making that happen. In an alliterative-adjective icebreaker game, I even introduced myself as “Optimizing Owen,” which somehow did not surprise my Intro Calculus students. But optimization has a cost—it takes … More Optimization takes effort

Lose the Training Wheels: Automating Habits, Part 3

This is the conclusion of a three-part series on automating habits. Click here for the introduction, part 1, and part 2. Let’s review: In part 1, we talked about how to choose exactly what your new habit will consist of (the behavior) and when exactly you’ll do it (the cue). In part 2, we covered … More Lose the Training Wheels: Automating Habits, Part 3