Friday, 29 August 2008

Algebra!

Algebra - it's everywhere: "The very word can twist the stomachs of otherwise well-adjusted adults, dredging up memories of nonsensical X's and Y's and a lifelong loathing of math."
"I doubt if the politicians promoting this have any idea what they're promoting," said Keith Devlin, Stanford University researcher and mathematics professor, as well as the "Math Guy" on National Public Radio. "Few people know what algebra is.

Devlin would like to see "mathematicians in residence" at middle schools and high schools. They could visit schools and show students the cool side of math - like how an iPod uses algebra to play music.

Lockhart: "if I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child's natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn't possibly do as good a job as is currently being done. I simply wouldn't have the imagination to come up with the kind of senseless, soul-crushing ideas that constitute contemporary mathematics education."

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