In biology class you’re told ad naseum that the process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Darwin is credited as first publishing the cohesive argument in On the Origin of Species in 1859 and it was his love of pigeons that greatly informed his research. You heard that right. Pigeons, not finches. As a wealthy man living in London, Darwin raised pigeons in his backyard. These were not the kinds you see pecking around trashcans; these were majestic birds with curly hair, prominent chests, or peacock-like tails.Read More
Complicated algebra is the last thing many students want to deal with on a high-stakes test like the SAT or ACT. Yet it seems like there is no way around it, with the alphabet soup of variables scattered throughout the exam. Thankfully, there is a strategy for those problems where your algebraic manipulations are leading nowhere. It’s called plugging in numbers.Read More
This month, we interview Jonathan for a peek behind the curtain of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Born and raised in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, Jon considers himself more of a New Yorker after living in the Big Apple for the past five years. He graduated from Columbia University in 2016, where he double majored in Biochemistry and History (B.A., magna cum laude). Jon is currently a medical student at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.Read More
One day - in the not so far off future - when you’re an amazing lawyer (having first crushed the LSAT, of course), any witnesses you call to testify will have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Unfortunately, some truths are harder to determine then others. While we may be able to tell the truth about our own life experiences, things get a little trickier when it comes to the ‘truth’ of conditional statements. In our first blog post on conditionals, we covered what conditional statements are, as well as going through the differences between necessary and sufficient conditions. The second post discussed manipulating conditional statements, so that you could find the inverse, converse, and contrapositive of a conditional (with a little help from Missy Elliott). In this post, we’ll be going over how a table setup can help you figure out the truth of conditional statements.Read More
What is supply and demand?
In economics, supply and demand is the relationship between the quantity of a commodity that producers wish to sell at various prices and the quantity that consumers wish to buy. Though it is a seemingly straightforward relationship, in practical application it can become quite complicated. In this blog, we will use an example to illustrate the basic relationship between supply and demandRead More
As a practicing biomedical engineer and martial artist, I belong to two communities that, at a glance, seem to conflict with one another; engineering requires rigorous thought and thorough validation of proposed innovations, while martial arts focuses on sensing subtle body motions and quickly reacting to one’s environment. When I first became interested in STEM and martial arts, I naively viewed my passions this way, as distinct pieces of my life. With time and careful reflection on my relationship to these groups, I learned to recognize their intersection and embrace the value that comes from bridging these worlds.Read More
Whether you have struggled in your math classes or have excelled so far, to ace the new SAT math section will require putting in additional work. You will need to set aside time to practice for it.
Time is a major factor in the math section, so obtaining the highest score will require more than simply being able to figure out a way to get to the right answer—it will often necessitate being able to identify the quickest way to get there.Read More
My blog posts usually focus on the content of the ACT and SAT: what information is on the tests, how to think strategically about taking the tests, and how to maximize your score. This month, I decided to take a step back from the details and look at the bigger picture, so I sat down and took practice ACT and SAT tests, back to back. I realized a lot more about the two tests in this marathon session, and now I have some ideas for you.Read More
It’s a Tuesday night, and you’ve just remembered that you have a huge algebra 2 test tomorrow. Panic starts to sweep over you as you think back on all you’ve learned this semester. How will you ever succeed? You call up your friend to ask how you can study, and he calmly tells you he has just spent about an hour reviewing the main concepts from the unit, and he feels confident about the test. The question, then, is what is his secret?Read More
There is a humorous, misguided stigma associated with math. Just the mere utterance of the word “math” conjures up, for many, the image of intimidating, arcane equations strewn about blackboards and calculators gone on the fritz. For many, math was a painful experience in grade school (and beyond) -- myself included! In fact, I did not become interested in pursuing a math major until my sophomore year of college. The purpose of this post is not to philosophize on the state of mathematics curriculum in America’s schools, but rather, to explain how I eventually saw meaning beneath the seemingly endless exercises.Read More