A new illustration for when I teach independence in probability. The math quote begins at about the 47-second mark of the video.

## All posts by **John Quintanilla**

# Coin flips and independence

*Posted by John Quintanilla on January 17, 2020*

https://meangreenmath.com/2020/01/17/coin-flips-and-independence/

# YouTube’s Automatic Closed-Captioning of Mathematical Speech (Part 2)

Last semester, as I spend untold hours editing the closed captioning automatically generated by YouTube on the math videos on my YouTube channel, I got a crash course on the capabilities and limitations of this system. This crash course was perhaps not legally necessary but extra work that I took on because a student with a hearing impairment was enrolled in my class, and I wanted to ensure that the review videos that I provide to my students were accessible to him also.

I think the resources offered by my university are fairly typical to ensure that instructors are able to reach all students and not just those who don’t have audio/visual impairments. After discussions with the cognizant people at my university, I’ve made a few conclusions:

- Mostly by accident, my videos are ADA compliant since I made the decision to both write out the solutions and also talking through the solutions.
- While the automatic closed-captioning provided by YouTube may be minimally compliant with ADA, I’m not sure that a student with a hearing impairment could always follow the transcriptions due to a number of errors.
- Aside from punctuation, capitalization, and the occasional homonym (e.g.,
*right*vs.*write*), YouTube does a pretty good job at transcribing ordinary speech. - Naturally, YouTube’s automated closed-captioning is not to blame when I don’t enunciate clearly, have a rabbit trail of thought but then have to backtrack, use poor grammar, make a outright mistake, etc.
- However, YouTube seems to have a lot of difficulty providing automatic closed-captioning of mathematical speech.

Fixing these transcription errors took an ** awful **lot of time. I don’t want to know how many hours I devoted to fixing the 120 or so videos (each video is about 3-10 minutes long) recorded so that my hearing-impaired student could have full access to my class. About halfway into this project of fixing the closed-captioning errors, I started writing down some of the closed-captioning errors. I wish I had thought to do this near the start, but oh well.

Phonetically, I can understand why most of these errors were made. But these mistakes really shouldn’t have happened. Here are my favorite howlers that I recorded, showing both what I said and what YouTube thought I said.

- “931,147,496” became “930 1,000,000 147,000 496”
- “,” pronounced “ intersect ,” became “A inner sexy”
- “arithmetic” became “rhythm sick”
- “capital ” became “Catholics”
- “cardinality” became “carnality”
- “divisible by 5” became “visited his wife live” (I have no idea how that happened)
- “” became “eat ooh the x”
- “for succinctness” became “force the sickness”
- “,” pronounced “ choose ,” became “and shoes and”
- “set containing” became “second taining”
- “” became “squirt tuna”
- “two ways in” became “too wasted”
- “what latex f$ of 3,” became “whateva 3”
- , pronounced “ is in ,” became “sexism be”
- , pronounced “ is in and ,” became “x is Indiana see”
- , pronounced “ is in ,” became “excellency”

Here’s the complete list of howlers that I recorded for posterity. If I’ve learned nothing else, it’s that I need to be more proactive about ensuring the mathematical accuracy of closed-captioning for my YouTube videos.

4 | for |

857 | a 50 7 |

1232 | 1230 two |

4761 | 4760 1 |

19,999 | 19,000 999 |

46,376 | 40 6376 |

123,552 | 120 3,552 |

5,565,120 | five million 565,000 120 |

931,147,496 | 930 1,000,000 147,000 496 |

2d sent | |

28 | |

one too | |

12 juice 4 | |

16 choosing | |

surplus one mix for | |

4 2 0 | |

four twos k | |

49 she’s 5 | |

52 six | |

a choose to | |

A inner sexy | |

a intersecting | |

a you be | |

a UNC | |

a you will see | |

a proof | approved |

a compliment | |

asa by | |

all multiples of | almost visit |

an element of | known the debate |

an element of | normal today |

and divisible | and as above |

and positive 50 | + + 50 |

and tens | intense |

and would let this be 3 | andrew lippa p3 |

arithmetic | earth to |

arithmetic | rhythm sick |

s | ace |

but not | be but not si |

b in a sexy | |

if | beef |

bijection | bi CH action |

bijection | bite jection |

bijection | by dejection |

bijection | by ejection |

bijection | by jection |

bijection | by Junction |

both sets | both says |

capital X | Catholics |

cardinality | carnality |

Cartesian | car to shull |

codomain | code Amin |

coordinate | cordon |

coordinate | court |

coordinates | corners |

coordinates have | cort in sap |

cosine | cosign |

disjoint | destroyed |

divisible by 5 | visited his wife live |

eat ooh the x | |

element of A | illness of A |

element of A | mellow today |

element | that Windex |

elements | of us |

empty | MQ |

descent | |

intercept | |

equal | able |

exponent | x1 |

factored | acted |

factorial | fact welders |

fill in | film |

flipping four coins | philippine for coins |

for succinctness | force the sickness |

hence in | Hanson |

eye | |

aye | |

If I divide by 15 | If I / 15 |

in | nae |

in there | a bear |

infinite | if an |

infinite | imp an |

infinite | infant |

into five | in 2 5 |

s | ice |

j choose arms | |

th | cave |

th | kate |

likewise | lakh wise |

and shoes and | |

th row | nth throw |

one-to-one | 121 |

onto | on 2 |

our shoes are | |

to | art at |

to | already |

are too | |

our too | |

‘s | hours |

same row | samro |

second coordinate | sec cornered |

set containing | second inning |

set containing | second taining |

set containing | seconds hanging |

set containing | secretary |

set containing 1 | second anyone |

since has | say has |

sixth one | six-month |

square | swear |

score 2 | |

squirt of tuna | |

team A | teammate |

term in it | terminate |

than zero | gloves are off |

that’s chosen | that’s Showzen |

then | the next |

therefore | there for |

this entry in | the century plus |

to the | decay |

two are | to are |

two ways in | too wasted |

union | you need |

up here | pier |

what | whateva 3 |

will be 4 | will before |

with | finials 4 |

would subtract | was attract |

writing | riding |

is | extras |

is in | exiting |

is in | x as a native |

is in | x is nay |

is in | sexism be |

is in and | x is Indiana see |

is in | excellency |

is in | X’s and see |

next to | |

text too | |

coordinate | export |

why | |

wine | |

is greater than or | wider |

s | wise |

*Posted by John Quintanilla on January 13, 2020*

https://meangreenmath.com/2020/01/13/youtubes-automatic-closed-captioning-of-mathematical-speech-part-2/

# YouTube’s Automatic Closed-Captioning of Mathematical Speech (Part 1)

The biggest change that I’ve made to my teaching in the past ten years has been posting review videos for my students as they prepare for exams. The playlists that I post for my students can be found at my YouTube channel. The production quality of the videos is definitely low-budget: I just placed a ruler along the top of two textbooks of equal height, balanced a webcam on the ruler to point downward, and then recorded myself as I wrote out and talked through the solutions of the review problems. I’m not going for high production value in my videos, unlike excellent sites like Physics Girl or Numberphile, since my target audience is deliberately narrow (the students in my classes and, more recently, in some of my colleagues’ classes) and not worldwide.

For what it’s worth, I have recorded roughly 650 videos, each usually between 3 and 10 minutes long, which have collectively amassed over 200,000 views since I started recording them in 2011. Not bad for your friendly neighborhood mathematician.

Posting these videos have spurred some immediate changes to my pedagogical practice. First, I no longer give review lectures in class immediately before my exams. Instead, I ask students to take a shot at completing the review problems on their own, asking them to watch the videos only to check their work or else to get the answer if they get stuck. Students are still welcome to come to me for help during office hours or by appointment, but they’re expected to watch the videos first. In my end-of-semester evaluations, my students seem to really appreciate having these videos. They tell me that they like having after-hours help while studying for their exams and that, unlike a regular review lecture, they can rewind the video and start over again if they need to hear a concept repeated.

Another positive development is that eliminating the review lectures have given me three or four hours of extra contact time each semester with my students. Rather than add new material or cram in extra examples, I’ve mostly used these extra hours to slow down the pace of my lectures and to include group activities and other forms of student engagement during class time. I’m particularly happy that I have three dedicated days in my Discrete Mathematics class when my students can practice their new (for them) techniques of writing mathematical proofs. If they get stuck, I’m around to answer questions about the mechanics of proof-writing. If they don’t need help, they can get immediate affirmation from me about whether or not their proofs are correctly written. Discrete Mathematics is our math majors’ first introduction to writing mathematical proofs, and that my students have their initial struggles with this technique in class as opposed to when they do their homework on their own time.

So I intend to maintain this practice for the rest of my career.

However, there’s been one complication that I should have foreseen in 2011 but didn’t: the Americans with Disabilities Act. This had been mostly a potential problem for me that I hid away in the deep recesses of my mind until last semester, when a student with a hearing impairment was enrolled in my class.

In my next post, I’ll discuss some humorous examples of erroneous closed-captioning of mathematical speech which were automatically generated by YouTube.

*Posted by John Quintanilla on January 10, 2020*

https://meangreenmath.com/2020/01/10/youtubes-automatic-closed-captioning-of-mathematical-speech-part-1/

# Predicate Logic and Popular Culture (Part 206): Jack Johnson

Let be the set of all things, let be the set of all times, let be the proposition “ is good,” and let be the proposition “ remains at time .” Translate the logical statement

.

This matches a line from “Mudfootball” by Jack Johnson.

Context: Part of the discrete mathematics course includes an introduction to predicate and propositional logic for our math majors. As you can probably guess from their names, students tend to think these concepts are dry and uninteresting even though they’re very important for their development as math majors.

In an effort to making these topics more appealing, I spent a few days mining the depths of popular culture in a (likely futile) attempt to make these ideas more interesting to my students. In this series, I’d like to share what I found. Naturally, the sources that I found have varying levels of complexity, which is appropriate for students who are first learning prepositional and predicate logic.

When I actually presented these in class, I either presented the logical statement and had my class guess the statement in actual English, or I gave my students the famous quote and them translate it into predicate logic. However, for the purposes of this series, I’ll just present the statement in predicate logic first.

*Posted by John Quintanilla on January 6, 2020*

https://meangreenmath.com/2020/01/06/predicate-logic-and-popular-culture-part-206-jack-johnson/

# Predicate Logic and Popular Culture (Part 205): Bob Marley

Let be the set of all things, let be the proposition “ is a little thing,” and let be the proposition “ is going to be all right.” Translate the logical statement

.

This matches a line from “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.

Context: Part of the discrete mathematics course includes an introduction to predicate and propositional logic for our math majors. As you can probably guess from their names, students tend to think these concepts are dry and uninteresting even though they’re very important for their development as math majors.

In an effort to making these topics more appealing, I spent a few days mining the depths of popular culture in a (likely futile) attempt to make these ideas more interesting to my students. In this series, I’d like to share what I found. Naturally, the sources that I found have varying levels of complexity, which is appropriate for students who are first learning prepositional and predicate logic.

When I actually presented these in class, I either presented the logical statement and had my class guess the statement in actual English, or I gave my students the famous quote and them translate it into predicate logic. However, for the purposes of this series, I’ll just present the statement in predicate logic first.

*Posted by John Quintanilla on January 3, 2020*

https://meangreenmath.com/2020/01/03/predicate-logic-and-popular-culture-part-205-bob-marley/

# Predicate Logic and Popular Culture (Part 204): Billy Joel

Let be the set of all times, and let be the proposition “She is a woman to me at time .” Translate the logical statement

.

This matches a line from “She’s Always a Woman” by Billy Joel.

Context: Part of the discrete mathematics course includes an introduction to predicate and propositional logic for our math majors. As you can probably guess from their names, students tend to think these concepts are dry and uninteresting even though they’re very important for their development as math majors.

In an effort to making these topics more appealing, I spent a few days mining the depths of popular culture in a (likely futile) attempt to make these ideas more interesting to my students. In this series, I’d like to share what I found. Naturally, the sources that I found have varying levels of complexity, which is appropriate for students who are first learning prepositional and predicate logic.

When I actually presented these in class, I either presented the logical statement and had my class guess the statement in actual English, or I gave my students the famous quote and them translate it into predicate logic. However, for the purposes of this series, I’ll just present the statement in predicate logic first.

*Posted by John Quintanilla on December 30, 2019*

https://meangreenmath.com/2019/12/30/predicate-logic-and-popular-culture-part-204-billy-joel/

# Predicate Logic and Popular Culture (Part 203): Bill Withers

Let be the set of all people, let be the set of all times, let be the proposition “ has pain at time ,” and let be the proposition “ has sorrow at time .” Translate the logical statement

.

This matches a line from “Lean on Me.” Note: while I think the translation above matches the intent of the song, a case could be made that, literally rendered, the “there exists” symbols should come first — that there’s a single time that everyone has pain at that one time.

*Posted by John Quintanilla on December 27, 2019*

https://meangreenmath.com/2019/12/27/predicate-logic-and-popular-culture-part-203-bill-withers/

# My Stanford Story: Madeleine Gates

In honor of her team winning the national championship on Saturday night, I’m reposting this video about Madeleine Gates, who is both a middle blocker for the Stanford women’s volleyball team and also a graduate student in statistics. There aren’t a whole lot of graduate students who play NCAA sports (which would necessarily mean finishing their undergraduate degrees in three years or less), let alone play at an exceptionally high level while also pursuing an advanced degree in a field as demanding as statistics. I really enjoyed watching this.

Here’s the video of championship point from Saturday night. Gates had the final swing.

*Posted by John Quintanilla on December 23, 2019*

https://meangreenmath.com/2019/12/23/my-stanford-story-madeleine-gates-2/

# Predicate Logic and Popular Culture (Part 202): The LEGO Movie

Let be the set of all things, let be the proposition “You’re part of a team,” let be the proposition “ is awesome,” and let be the proposition “ is cool.” Translate the logical statement

.

This matches the opening line of “Everything is Awesome!!!” from The LEGO Movie.

*Posted by John Quintanilla on December 20, 2019*

https://meangreenmath.com/2019/12/20/predicate-logic-and-popular-culture-part-202-the-lego-movie/

# Predicate Logic and Popular Culture (Part 201): Hamilton

Let be the set of all times, let time 0 be now, and let be the proposition “I like the quiet at time .” Translate the logical statement

.

This matches a line from “It’s Quiet Uptown” from the hit musical *Hamilton*.

*Posted by John Quintanilla on December 16, 2019*

https://meangreenmath.com/2019/12/16/predicate-logic-and-popular-culture-part-201-hamilton/