Going Corporate

I need to clarify my professional situation, which is nothing like my announcement last spring that I was quitting teaching to pursue a doctorate.

  1. I am teaching two math classes. The same remedial Algebra at the same high school.
  2. I am working for Google. I have deferred graduate school for a year and accepted a ten-month position as a “curriculum fellow” at Google’s campus in Mountain View, CA. I start Monday, which means my understanding of the job is informed only by the application process and not yet by any actual experience. Regardless, I’m ecstatic. Google wants to hire competent programmers, obviously, so they’re reaching out to university CS professors and down to high school math teachers, which is my angle. I will be working with a handful of other math teachers to embed the Python programming language into traditional math curriculum for adoption on the sort of scale you’d expect from Google. I am realistic. The challenges are immense but so are the possible returns. It isn’t my ideal full-time job developing WCYDWT math curriculum next to an on-call barista but it’s really close.
About 
I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.

30 Comments

  1. Congratulations! Wow, you’ll (finally) be surrounded by people who will all — in one way or another — “get” what you’ve been on about :)

    I hope you post lots of updates.

  2. I doubt that your classes this year look the exactly the same as they did last year. The course title may be the same, but I’m guessing you’re still tweaking what you do.

    I wish you joy in the new position. On a selfish note, I can’t wait to see what comes of it.

  3. Dan, this is amazing! congratulations and best of luck. As a homeschooler I am very excited to see what you work on. Regardless, google is lucky to have you!

  4. Agreeing with everyone else. Lots of congrats all around. Selfishly can’t wait to see what you produce! Here’s to your Monday being a really exciting first day of a really exciting 10 months.

  5. Working for Google!!! That is a dream job. Hopefully, Google will allow you to blog about your work over the next 10 months and maybe even some of us can be guinea pigs to test out some of the things being developed.

  6. Congratulations, Dan! You’re a lucky guy. Anything connecting math to programming would be my dream job. I’ll look forward to reading more. (and now I know what the python tweets were all about)

    Are you familiar with Kirby Urner’s work? He’s been working with math and python for years. He may even be involved with this project. If not, reading some of his papers might be helpful. http://www.4dsolutions.net/ocn/index.html

  7. Ditto to Jackie on number 1. This summer you used how much of the geometry curriculum that you posted last year? And how many hours today on the new WCYDWT? Yeah.

    Enjoy the adventure at Google! I’m curious how the experience will shape your message. (Not that we’ll be able to separate that from the effects of your teaching and the rest of life, but curious all the same.)

  8. Thanks for the support here, team. I imagine I’ll have to be more circumspect in my blogging now at Google than I have been at my high school but no doubt I’ll be dipping into this well often in the ten months to come.

  9. Not sure how compatible this concern would be with whatever you’re planning to do, but it ever is, keep the needs of math teachers in countries where textbooks and materials just can’t be afforded in mind, too.

  10. Put it down as a high priority. I can’t promise we’ll have Norsk translations up immediately, but it’s important to me that whatever my group produces be free (in both senses) to all educators. I was told in the interview this would be so.

  11. Google?! That means you can look all the stuff up you want…for free! That is awesome.

    Looking forward to what you’ll be able to accomplish once you are able to string together a few contiguous hours on this stuff!

  12. Sweet stuff! I tried the stuff out at Google a few months ago and think it’s really great.

    As a fellow math teacher and general numbers/data nerd, I also love your blog.