GARY LINDNER - Math & ROBOTICS
Mr. Lindner was born in DC and raised in Kensington , MD. Following high school he studied at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Stanford University (in California, in Paris, France and in Vienna, Austria), with a two-year church mission in between, earning a BA in French Literature and a MA in Education. After 5 years teaching Math in public schools in California and Maryland, plus a private school in Switzerland, a frustrated Mr. Lindner left the classroom for his backup career because he was not really getting much time to actually teach.
After 15 years in Information Systems, Mr. Lindner returned to the classroom in September 2000 at The GW Community School to teach math, the best job in the world! He also manages the student and teacher computers, the school network, and developed the CoyoteTracks software used for recordkeeping, which he has migrated to a web-based system, CoyoteWeb. Mr. Lindner has a wonderful wife Jenee, three great sons (two of whom, Chris and Sam, are graduates of GWCS), and two cozy dogs. He enjoys teaching, reading, international travel, sailing, and being home with his family. Mr. Lindner is also the coach of the championship GWCS Robotics teams, which once competed at the World Championships in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Precalculus is a one-year college-level course that develops student's understanding of algebraic and transcendental functions, parametric and polar equations, sequences and series, and vectors. In this course students prepare for Calculus by revisiting many techniques of Mathematics previously studied. In Precalculus, the foundations of these techniques are analyzed and the relationships between the various techniques are studied. Additional focus is placed on functions, including patterns that apply to all functions. Students extend their study of trigonometry, including extensive work on analytic trigonometry and analytic geometry. Complex numbers and vectors are used to extend the study of analytic geometry beyond the Cartesian Plane. As the same patterns are repeated throughout the various areas previously studied independently, the stage is set for the unification of all mathematics achieved through Calculus. The course concludes with an introduction to limits and the two core problems of calculus, the Tangent Line Problem and the Area Problem. Extensive use is made of graphing calculators to visualize the graphs of functions studied and to study numerical patterns. The techniques learned are also applied to solving real-life applications.
Robotics - Design and Programming
Robotics - Design & Programming is a one or two semester elective course which introduces students to the world of robotics. Students learn about the concepts of autonomous (pre-programmed) and remote-controlled robot design, including elements of structure, motion, sensing, communicating and decision-making. Students build actual working robots using the Lego Mindstorms™ and Tetrix(RM) building systems. Students also can learn to write the actual control programs for the robots using Robotc(RM), a version of the common "c" programming language designed specifically for use with robots.
Advanced students will also have the opportunity to learn to use commercial-quality computer-assisted design software to help design the robots and test their functionality in a virtual environment.
An essential part of the course is our participation in the FIRST Tech Challenge program. This program announces a new game each year in September and manages a series of competitions leading up to a World Championship event. With a motto of "gracious professionalism," students learn to work together as a team to design, build, program, maintain, drive and support a robot to play that year's game. They also learn to work with other teams randomly assigned as partners for a particular match. The competitions also lead to team spirit activities including t-shirts, costumes, decorations and presentations as well as travel to competition sites. Visit the Robotics Website.