All posts by Dr. Scott R. Franklin

About Dr. Scott R. Franklin

Dean, School of Mathematics and Sciences Professor of Mathematics Wayland Baptist University

Mathematics and 3D Printing

From the upcoming Fall 2017 School of Mathematics and Sciences Newsletter:

The Dean has a new hobby and, as a result, a whole lot of new toys.

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The School of Math and Sciences has entered the world of 3D printing by acquiring a new Cartesian-model 3D printer.  The Monoprice Maker Select V2 is a hobbyist’s dream, but it also has great potential for classroom use as well as in our research programs.  Thanks to a large online community of “makers,” and a particularly large user base for this particular model, the Maker Select is ideal for small projects at low cost.

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The original goals of having a 3D printer in the school centered on being able to create manipulatives to visualize concepts in three dimensions. Examples include conic sections in Algebra, the disc and shell methods in Calculus, nets in Geometry, or even more advanced topics in Computer Aided Geometric Design.

However, since acquiring the equipment, some NEW projects are now being considered.  We now have plans to begin printing scale replicas of outcroppings for use in our Geology courses and research.  We are also exploring the use of the printer to develop molds for our micro-fluidics research in Chemistry.

We can almost guarantee the next time you visit us on campus, we’ll be printing something so stop by the Dean’s Corner and see what new creation is on the print bed.

 

 

How to Print to PDF on your iPhone or iPad

This how-to is based on iOS 10 and I only just discovered this feature, in spite of having looked for it many times over.

Whether from a website or from a word processing app or just about anywhere, I’ve always wanted to be able to print to PDF on my iOS devices. It seemed only natural that Apple would make something like this available when you print from your device. When you go to the share icon and choose to print, shouldn’t one of your options be to select a PDF printer? But, alas, you can only select an AirPrint enabled printer on your network.

Well, I have GOOD NEWS! The capability is there and has been there all along.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to any app that is print-enabled and select to print. Usually, that means finding the share icon.
  2. In the extensions menu, tap Print:
  3. Now, for the secret sauce. In the print preview window, use two fingers to expand the page (opposite of “pinch”). In other words, touch the screen with two fingers and spread them apart. VOILA!!
  4. You now have a preview of the PDF that you can send to any other app, including cloud storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or OneDrive. You can even send it to apps that allow annotations on PDFs for marking up.

Some other helpful related tips:

  • Some apps like the Microsoft office suite of apps have the print functionality embedded somewhere besides the share icon, so you may have to look for it.
  • The Word app, at the time of this writing, does not have an export-to-pdf feature so this is extremely useful if you want to produce a pdf of your word documents.
  • Occasionally, the print preview is blank and I cannot expand the preview window. In that case, I just cancel out and try again. It usually works the second time.
  • Articles in Safari work best if you first switch to reading mode before you select print. To do this, tap the reading mode icon at the left end of the address bar:

Hope this was helpful!

Is it a core requirement or just an elective?

This week of Creation Care emphasis has coincided with a very busy time of the semester on the Plainview campus.  We are in the first week of early registration for the Spring term which means faculty and students alike are pouring over course schedules and degree plans.  As a result, my mind has unavoidably conflated the two.  As I listened to Rachel Lamb’s message in chapel on Wednesday, I was challenged in a new way regarding the role of Creation Care in my daily walk with Christ.

It was several years ago when we first began our Creation Care emphasis week at Wayland that I first made the connection between caring for the environment and my duty as a Christian to be a steward of God’s creation.  Prior to that moment, I knew I was responsible to God for managing my own resources in a way that honors Him, but I had not recognized God’s creation, the physical world, as my responsibility.  It became obvious to me through meditating on the Psalms that God’s handiwork is all around, and how I live my life not only has an impact on the people around me but on the physical world as well. So, I have taken small steps to lessen that impact and even engage in creation care as worship of the Creator.

And yet, I have not been as persistent or committed as I ought. That’s what struck me in chapel on Wednesday. Rachel presented a three pronged approach to serving our Lord by serving his Church, serving people, and serving creation.  From what I heard, she went one step further and claimed that all three were necessary.  You cannot eliminate any one of those.

It dawned on me that I often treat my responsibilities to God, including service, worship, study, even stewardship of his creation, as if they were “electives” instead of “core requirements” in my daily walk.  As we schedule our classes for next semester, we make sure to first include the ones that are required and then pick and choose our electives based on what fits our schedule and interests.

My challenge to you (and especially to me) is to “enroll” in the core requirements of our relationship with God. Time with God is not an elective.  The study of his Word is not an elective.  The stewardship of his creation is not an elective, especially when neglecting and even wasting his gifts has a demonstrably harmful effect on the “least of these.”  Consider for yourself what are the core requirements of your faith and bring them back into focus in your daily walk.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
Psalm 8:3-8

Why I do what I do

As I glance back over the previous post where I listed out those questions I intend to tackle here, openly on my blog, I noticed a somewhat glaring omission.  There are no “Why?” questions, not even the most important one: Why do I do what I do?

My life has taking only a small number of twists and turns. In fact, it almost seems as though I have been on track for this current career path ever since I decided to add a mathematics major my second year of college.   Continue reading Why I do what I do

Summer Blog Project

5951683773I’m about to ramble so take this as fair warning.  My blog has been around for a long time and has meandered through many identity crises.  Sometimes, it’s a puzzle blog posting interesting mind-benders that need a keen intellect and occasionally, some mathematics.  That’s all still here, by the way, which you can find with a not-so-difficult search tool in the sidebar.  It’s also been a devotional through my efforts to better understand our responsibilities as stewards of God’s creation.  It’s been a log of classroom activities.  At one time, I was posting periodically about what I had accomplished in each of my classes.  For the last few years, it has been only a repository for sparse events and thoughts in my professional life.

So what is it now?  In an effort towards both professional and personal development, it is going to serve this summer as a kind of diary or journal where I attempt to solidify my mission and calling in life.  Periodically, there have been times in my life where I doubt my chosen path, I wonder about what might have been, or I simply lack the drive to keep heading down the road I am currently on in life. While I have no doubts about the path I’m on now, I am certainly in a dry spell finding the springs of motivation often running dry, both professionally and spiritually.  So, I’m going to write it out and clarify in possibly painful detail what it is I really care about and what I hope to carry out in the coming weeks, months, and years.

If you happen to read this and you’re either one of my faculty, my students, my colleagues, or even my supervisors, should you be concerned about my commitment to my current job responsibilities? Or to say it another way, if I were in your place, would I be worried about someone in my position laying bare their soul about their calling in life? Absolutely not.  In spite of all the challenges that have come along with my first year as an academic dean, I am more committed than ever to affecting positive change through our programs.  I am more committed than ever to the personal and professional fulfillment of students.  I am more committed than ever to fulfilling God’s call on my life.  The problem is the that it too often feels like a drudgery than the passion it once was. This is intended to be a rejuvenating exercise that will renew my spirit and strengthen my resolve to see God do his will through me.

Here are just some of the questions I intend to reflect upon:

  • What strengths do I have that particularly equip me for this position and what are areas where I need to grow?
  • What are specific actions I can take to strengthen those weaknesses or to partner with people who can complement my weaknesses with their strengths?
  • What am I afraid to do because I’m afraid we might fail?
  • What can I learn from the mistakes I made in my first year as dean?
  • How can I keep up and build upon the successes in my first year as dean?
  • If I were to squeeze all of my current job responsibilities into 80% of my current time spent on them, what would I do with the other 20% of my time to make a lasting mark on the world?
  • Revisit my Personal Mission Statement
  • How do I work? How do I make sure I “get things done”? How do I follow through?
  • Who are my colleagues, my friends, my mentors/mentees?  Where do I go for help?
  • How do I balance work and family and faith?
  • What can I do to continue to improve?
  • The bucket list and the reverse bucket list.
  • How did I get here?  How do I get to where I am going?
  • What do I value most? Prove it.

Here’s hoping I can follow through…