# Len Vacher

## University of South Florida

Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum: The Geology of National Parks Collection part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:Geology of National Parks
A resource of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum modules for the introductory geology course, Geology of National Parks, at the University of South Florida.

Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum is a three-year project to develop and test educational spreadsheet modules that enhance quantitative literacy wherever quantitative problems arise in the undergraduate curriculum.

## Website Content Contributions

### Activities (21)

The Floating Lithosphere - Isostasy part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are asked to numerically and then analytically determine the relations governing the depth of compensation.

Frequency of Large Earthquakes -- Introducing Some Elementary Statistical Descriptors part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students examine the number of large earthquakes (magnitude 7 and above) per year for 1970-1999 and 1940-1999. QL: descriptors of a frequency distribution.

Density of the Earth - How to Solve It part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This module addresses the real problem of determining the density of the Earth and invites the student to figure out how to solve the problem.

Density of rocks - How large is a ton of rock? part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This module addresses the problem of how to determine the size of a ton of rocks of a given composition and invites the student to figure out how to solve the problem.

Density of Earth - Using Some Field Data part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This module addresses the problem of how to determine the density of the earth and has students do some field experiments to get the data they need to answer the problem.

The Floating Lithosphere - Eureka! part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students examine Archimede's Principle in general and as it applies to Isostacy.

The Floating Lithosphere - Cross Section of North America part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students calculate the pressure at the depth of compensation along a cross section of North America.

The Floating Lithosphere - Isostasy part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are asked to numerically and then analytically determine the relations governing the depth of compensation.

The Earth's Shells - Density vs. Depth part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students are asked to devise a way of graphically plotting the density variations with depth in the Earth.

The Earth's Shells - Thicknesses and Densities part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This module explores the combination of densities and shell thicknesses that produce an aggregate density of the Earth of 5.5 g/cm3.

Scaling Galileo's Solar System - Times part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students are asked to look at how long it takes for planets and moons to complete their orbits, and how fast they are going.

How Large is the Great Pyramid of Giza? -- Would it make a wall that would enclose France? part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students calculate the volume of the Great Pyramid and, following Napoleon, estimate whether its volume is large enough to make a wall around France.

How Large is a Ton of Rock? -- Thinking about Rock Density part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students build spreadsheets to calculate the edge length of cubes and diameter of spheres of various rocks starting with their mineralogic composition.

How Far is Yonder Mountain? -- A Trig Problem part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students use Polya's problem-solving heuristic to find the distance of a peak using vertical angles sighted from a wagon train heading toward the peak.

Earth's Planetary Density: Constraining What We Think about the Earth's Interior part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students build spreadsheets to forward calculate the Earth's aggregate density from combinations of densities and thicknesses of the Earth's four shells.

Density of Rocks - Some Applications part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This module studies some applications of being able to determine the density of rocks.

Kepler's Third Law - The Equation part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students are asked to devise a simple relationship between the sidereal period and orbital radius.

Scaling Galileo's Solar System - Locating the Globes part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students are asked to produce an angular measure of the planets' position based on their scaled orbital distances and periods. To plot the position of the planet on a campus map, they are also asked to convert polar coordinates to Cartesian coordinates.

Scaling Galileo's Solar System - Size of the Globes part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students determine the sizes of the various planets in the solar system given a particular scale. At this scale, they are also asked to compare the planet sizes to the grain sizes of different sediment types.

How Large is a Ton of Rock? part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
PowerPoint module leading students through creation and manipulation of spreadsheets to calculate the edge length of cubes and diameter of spheres of various rocks weighing a ton.

Westward Ho! How Far is Yonder Mountain part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
PowerPoint module leading students through development of a spreadsheet to calculate the distance of a mountain peak from coplanar vertical angles shot from two points a known distance apart.

### Teaching Method Module (1)

Teaching with Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum part of Pedagogy in Action:Partners:Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:Teaching with SSAC
Len Vacher, University of South Florida, Tampa Ask students a quantitative question in non-mathematics context – a question that requires consideration of numbers, tables or graphs, and/or a calculation or ...

### Conference Presentations (2)

Writing in Geology to Reduce Math Anxiety part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Oral Sessions:Wednesday A
Students in GLY 4866: Computational Geology at the University of South Florida learn to solve mathematical problems in a geologic context. Quantitative literacy – a fundamental set of skills and habits of mind ...

Alumni Narratives on Computational Geology(Spring 1997 - Fall 2013) part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Poster Sessions:Thursday
"A Course in Geological-Mathematical Problem Solving" (Vacher, JGE v.48 i.4 p.478-481, 2000), describes a course (GLY 4866: Computational Geology) which has been evolving at USF for nearly 20 years. In ...

### Other Contribution (1)

Word Problems: Living at the Intersection Of Quantitative Literacy and Geological-Mathematical Problem Solving part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Teaching Demonstrations:Thursday A
A course in geological mathematical problems solving has been evolving in the undergraduate curriculum at the University of South Florida for nearly 20 years. Now called Computational Geology (after the column of ...