Wed09172014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Los Altos High offers Multivariable Calculus for advanced students


Photo By: Ellie Van HOutte/ Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

Los Altos High School instructor Michael Richardson conducts the Multivariable Calculus class last week. Los Altos High is among the first high schools in California to offer the advanced math class for college credit.

Future engineers and physicists at Los Altos High School have the opportunity to pursue their advanced math education this year, as the school became one of California’s first public schools to offer a Multivariable Calculus class.

Calculus is usually taught in three stages, with the first two typically offered at the high school level. Because so many local students finish with their calculus classes junior year, a gap remains before they can take the third class, Multivariable Calculus, in college.

Multivariable Calculus picks up where Advanced Placement Calculus BC leaves off and requires students to build on the skills they learned in BC to solve more complex problems. The class is essential for higher-level math, physics and engineering.

“It is learning how to use calculus in a wide variety of three-dimensional applications,” said Michael Richardson, class instructor.

Such applications include describing how planetary bodies move or economic systems work.

Richardson, who had a gap in his own calculus instruction between high school and college, said he wishes he hadn’t experienced that lapse in learning.

Continuing calculus without a gap in instruction better prepares students for success in higher education, particularly because Los Altos High produces many graduates who pursue degrees in mathematics, engineering or physics.

The class currently enrolls approximately 15 students, mostly seniors, and two-hour sessions are scheduled after school Mondays and Wednesdays. The hope is that as more students enroll, the school will offer the class as part of its standard curriculum.

Richardson said he was eager to teach the class when approached about it. He has been teaching Alternate Path Geometry, Advanced Placement Calculus BC and Advanced Placement Computer Science (another new class this year).

“I like all calculus,” he said. “I studied physics in college, and this is the level of calculus that most deals with three dimensions and physics.”

Richardson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Utah.

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