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Saving the World From Zombies (and Other Ways to Make Math Matter)

Ed Surge – Mandy Morgan and Steven Morgan

“It’s the first day of school. Students are lined up outside your door, not yet comfortable enough to talk to each other as they wait to be let into math class. You fist bump them as they enter, and nervously take their seats, unsure of what to expect. That’s when you hear it, just as the second bell rings to begin class: an emergency tone, like a siren. What is going on?! Without warning, an anxious Army commander flashes across the projected screen, briefing the class on an emergency situation. “Something bad’s happened,” the commander explains hurriedly. “I can’t go into much detail but you need to get out of the building as soon as possible. We’re being overrun…by zombies.” Students let out a sigh of relief, realizing it’s all pretend. But more importantly, every single one of them is listening attentively for their next instructions—right in the middle of math class.”(more)

No Such Thing as a Math Person

The New York Times – Perri Klass, M.D.

“When I wrote about fending off math anxiety last month I learned both from the experts I interviewed and from people to whom I happened to mention the topic that math anxiety is found across all lines of gender, ethnicity and educational background. There are plenty of men and women out there, including the highly educated and the professionally aggressive (professors and corporate lawyers, say), who proudly — or shamefacedly — wave the math anxiety flag. Oh yes, that’s me, I don’t have a math brain — though the whole idea of a math brain is frowned on by those who study this topic. There is a general assumption that women are affected more than men, and that math and math anxiety contribute to the barriers that keep women underrepresented in the STEM fields. In my own familial experiment, I have two sons and a daughter, and though everyone managed O.K. in math, the daughter was, without question, the math kid — though the very idea of “math kids” is considered part of the problem.”(more)

Building A Love For Math And Science

ECN Magazine – Argie Sarantinos-Perrin

“Knocking down a stack of blocks, then backing up to switch directions, a robot effortlessly moves around a local school as a group of children watch and wait for their turn to operate the remote control. The children marvel at the hodgepodge of whirring motors, nuts and bolts, the culmination of their hard work in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) robotics competition. Through STEM experiences, competitions and research apprenticeships, the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP)–managed by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) on behalf of the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology–offers an array of educational opportunities for children from kindergarten through college. As a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, RDECOM is working with AEOP and its academic and industry partners to develop the workforce of the future.”(more)

Why You Should Care About Remedial Math

Inside Higher Ed – Alexandra W. Logue

“There is a crisis in our traditional remedial mathematics education. Many, likely most, math faculty members have already heard much about this crisis. But many faculty members outside math departments are unaware of it and how it negatively affects them, which it probably does. Once you are aware of it, you may want to contribute to solving it, which you possibly can.”(more)

The Habits of America’s Top Math Students: Survey Shines Light on Study Groups, Sleep, Enthusiasm

The 74 Million – Mareesa Nicosia

“A new survey sheds light on the habits of some of America’s brightest high school math students, revealing that most dedicate one-quarter to one-half of their weekly homework time to math-related subjects and the majority spend this time alone in a quiet room.
Nearly half the 1,680 students, or 47 percent, said they spend more than 11 hours a week doing homework, while 29 percent spend six to 10 hours, according to the survey conducted by the Philadelphia-based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and sponsored by the Moody’s Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the credit-rating and analytics company.”(more)

Let’s Put Creativity Back Into Math

Education Week – Sandra Anderson

“Math has gotten a bad rap. I would go so far as to say that many students love to hate math. No other school subject has the power to elicit as much chagrin from students, parents, and teachers alike. Even math’s old buddy English class now has a friendly name: English/language arts, which suggests creativity, spontaneity, and flexibility. Why has math become the outcast, even though it is a fundamental part of, well, everything? Perhaps this is because in the history of the subject, there has often been little room for exploration. Many students think of math, with its rigid rules and formulaic equations, as a static process to find one correct answer in one specific way. They think of failing grades for wrong answers rather than the value of perseverance and learning through mistakes.”(more)