Wed05062015

News

LASD, city move toward land discussions

The ice may be thawing a bit as the Los Altos School District and the city of Los Altos consider resurrecting discussions on the potential use of public land as a school site.

The city voted to discontinue conversations about civic land with the sch...

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Schools

Mental health expert dispels myths

Mental health expert dispels myths


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Palo Alto University Professor Paul Marcille addresses a crowd of psychology students and mental health activists last week about myths surrounding mental illness and violence.

In the wake of the 2011 Sandy Hook Elementa...

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Community

Q&A: Meet the city's new public works and administrative services directors

The city of Los Altos has hired three new department directors in the past ten months. The Town Crier recently profiled new Recreation Director Manny Hernandez. This week, the Town Crier profiles Susana Chan, new public works director, and Kim Juran-...

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Comment

Familiar icon pops up in Los Altos: A Piece of My Mind

I was walking to my car parked on State Street when my eye fell on an old familiar acquaintance from my early childhood, totally unexpected to meet in Los Altos. It was the “Steinway” logo over the door of the new Steinway Piano Gallery,...

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Special Sections

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Teaspoon, the milk tea shop at Village Court in Los Altos, above, serves a range of bubble teas and snow ice drinks, right.

Los Altos made it onto the milk tea map this spring with the opening of Teaspoon, a new bubble tea ...

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Business

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing


Alicia Castro/ Town Crier
C2 Los Altos tutor Max Shih, left, instructs Homestead High School student Rajesh Suresh.

Los Altos families have a new resource for helping their children ace the test.

C2 Los Altos – a recently opened education cente...

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Books

People

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

9/17/1918-4/15/2015

Dorothy Puder died on April 15th in Sunnyvale, California. She will be remembered for her gentle, loving, positive and caring ways and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

 PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View

PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View


Lyn Flaim/Spotlight Moments Photography
The cast of Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Once Upon a Mattress” includes, from left, Sophia Graziani (of Los Altos) as Winnifred, Chris Gough (Sunnyvale) as the Prince and Reilly Arena (Palo Alto) as the Queen. ...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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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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