Archive for January, 2006

Everyday Math

The article Go figure - "Everyday Math" shows there's more than one way to solve a problem, but it has parents lost in translation [which is no longer available] demonstrates two things: Mathematics education is one extended experiment Parents never have a clue what is going on in schools - especially in math In the […]

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Where have the real world math skills gone?

A study by the American Institutes for Research has some scathing things to say about the state of literacy - readin’, writin’ and ’rithmetic - of US graduating college seniors. Concerning mathematics literacy, the study says: Students in 2- and 4-year colleges have the greatest difficulty with quantitative literacy: approximately 30 percent of students in […]

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No loose math propellors, please

An article in the Dutch site, FontysOnline (the article has disappeared, unfortunately), bemoans the plans of the Dutch government to reduce the number of math hours in schools by 30%. The aim, as far as I can work out, is to allow students to choose either a social science subject ("nature, life and technique") or […]

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Fractal tattoos

Mathematical tattoos, especially ones based on fractals, are very interesting. Here are some examples.

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Happy Australia Day

Australia Day is celebrated every 26th January, commemorating the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Britain's newest colony needed some "white stock", so the Brits sent a motley group of petty criminals half way around the world in crowded, harsh and dirty conditions. On arrival in Botany Bay and later Sydney Cove, the convicts' […]

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GrafEq math graphing software

GrafEq is interesting software. It is very robust when graphing relations. (A relation has more than one value of y for each value of x, eg a circle. A function, on the other hand, has only one y-value for each value of x, eg a parabola.) GrafEq is also good with functions! GrafEq (pronounced "graphic") […]

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Moronic math methods

Finally I have found a kindred math educator. I agree with many of the issues raised by Harold Brochmann in his Questions page (no longer available), especially: A lot of the mathematics processes that we force students to do are a waste of their time and ours. Who cares what the roots of a 6th […]

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Technology & learning

An interesting interview with Robert Kvavik (in PILOTed newsletter - no longer available) discusses the recent Educause survey on technology use in education. What was surprising to the researchers was how students were unimpressed with the use of technology and tended to prefer face-to-face contact. Kvavik says: At this point, technology is not pedagogically transformational. […]

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Read? ya gotta be kidding

A few scary experiences recently made me wonder about the future of book reading - and reading generally. Kids do read a lot - but it is mostly on screen reading, scanning in nature and rarely deep and reflective. Give 'em the answer in the first line or two, or forget it. Instant gratification. Do […]

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This cheeses me off…

My Interactive Mathematics site has a "Comments? Questions?" facility. Some users ask a question, but do not leave an email address, so I cannot respond to them. In such cases, if it is a good question, I will include it (with answer) in the site in due course. But sometimes users will ask a question […]

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