March 8, 2014
Re "The masterpieces of math," Opinion, March 2 As a high school math teacher, I appreciate UC Berkeley professor Edward Frenkel's enthusiasm for the abstractness and applications of math in the real world. I love projects on fractals, snowflake symmetry, logic and reasoning in advertising and more. I would do more if I had time - but I don't have time. High-school curriculum is held hostage to tests that measure those 1,000-year-old formulas and applications as a means to get into colleges.
March 2, 2014 |
Imagine you had to take an art class in which you were taught how to paint a fence or a wall, but you were never shown the paintings of the great masters, and you weren't even told that such paintings existed. Pretty soon you'd be asking, why study art? That's absurd, of course, but it's surprisingly close to the way we teach children mathematics. In elementary and middle school and even into high school, we hide math's great masterpieces from students' view. The arithmetic, algebraic equations and geometric proofs we do teach are important, but they are to mathematics what whitewashing a fence is to Picasso - so reductive it's almost a lie. Most of us never get to see the real mathematics because our current math curriculum is more than 1,000 years old. For example, the formula for solutions of quadratic equations was in al-Khwarizmi's book published in 830, and Euclid laid the foundations of Euclidean geometry around 300 BC. If the same time warp were true in physics or biology, we wouldn't know about the solar system, the atom and DNA. This creates an extraordinary educational gap for our kids, schools and society.
February 26, 2014 |
The long-awaited Republican tax reform plan was released today by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich). It's being hailed as a breakthrough in putting real reform on the table, but also being instantly eulogized as dead-on-arrival in a Congress that wants no part of any tax reform, now or ever. Still, it's instructive to examine the Camp plan for a primer on the latest mathematical trickery aimed at making something that...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2014 |
The mother of the 13-year-old girl who became a cause celebre after being declared brain-dead at an Oakland hospital last year defended her decision to keep her daughter on a ventilator, saying the case has brought worldwide attention to her plight. Citing alleged death threats, Jahi McMath's family has declined to say where they transferred the teen's body after she was released by Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland to the county coroner. Jahi was declared brain-dead Dec. 12 after surgery three days earlier at the hospital to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 |
The mother of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old Oakland girl who was declared brain-dead after a complicated surgery that involved removing her tonsils, insisted in a Facebook post this week that her daughter has improved physically, but that it continues to be an "unbelievably difficult time" for the family. Citing alleged death threats, the family has declined to say where they transferred Jahi's body after she was released by Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland to the county coroner.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014
Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead after having tonsil surgery at an Oakland hospital but whose parents refused to take her off a ventilator, is not suffering, her mother wrote Wednesday. The teen was at the center of a patient's rights struggle between her family and the Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland after her death. She has since been moved to an unnamed long-term care facility. "I can tell you that she is much better physically since she has left Children's Hospital and I see changes that give me hope," Nailah Winkfield wrote Wednesday in a Facebook message to KTVU-TV . She did not provide any details on Jahi's physical condition.