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March 22, 2013
Re "The GOP's 'autopsy,'" Opinion, March 20 Doyle McManus examines the GOP's problems as it relates to winning the 2016 presidential election. The real problem is not the message but simply the math. The GOP is hanging on to its old ways thanks to its very skillful management of the vote. Republicans control the House even though they received fewer votes in 2012 than the Democrats. Similarly, they control several state houses thanks to gerrymandered districts. They effectively control the Senate through the filibuster.
March 28, 2014 | By Jason Wells
The mother of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old Oakland girl declared brain dead by multiple neurologists more than three months ago, insisted Thursday that her daughter was "asleep" and "blossoming into a teenager. " Jahi was declared brain-dead Dec. 12 after complications during surgery three days earlier to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula at  Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland. At least three neurologists confirmed that Jahi was unable to breathe on her own, had no blood flow to her brain and had no sign of electrical activity in her brain.
March 24, 1999
To the person who declared that the study of math was a waste of time (letter, March 17), it should be pointed out that colleges and universities are not supposed to be mere vocational schools. Math is a mental discipline that teaches students how to think, something most of them need badly. Whether or not you will ever need to use a quadratic equation is irrelevant. The rigorous logic involved is a valuable tool for a great many activities. THOMAS D. BUTCHER San Diego
March 13, 2014 | By Jason Wells
The attorney for the family of Jahi McMath - the 13-year-old Oakland girl who was declared brain-dead after a complicated surgery to remove her tonsils - is assailing conclusions by investigators that the hospital largely followed state medical regulations. Jahi's case made  Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland a flashpoint of controversy after f amily members won a court order keeping her on a ventilator, and eventually, permission to transfer her to an undisclosed care facility, despite broad consensus among medical experts that her body would continue to deteriorate.
August 27, 2013 | By Richard Winton
A 38-year-old Anaheim schoolteacher who lives in Long Beach was charged Tuesday with possession of child pornography. Aaron Paul Widera, who taught math, pleaded not guilty to one felony count of obscene matter depicting a person under 18, two counts of possession of matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct and one count of sending or bringing obscene matter into the state for sale.  Patricia Karlak, a spokeswoman for the Anaheim Union...
November 12, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
Our unconscious minds may be far more capable than we usually give them credit for: According to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, people can do multi-step math problems in their heads without being consciously aware that they're doing math at all. The same goes for correctly parsing multi-word phrases. It has long been taken for granted that consciousness is required to complete such tasks. While scientists have shown that people can do simple things like add 2+2 and process single words without realizing it, researchers have generally believed that anything more complicated than that would require our conscious attention.
January 9, 1997
Re "Formulas for Math Problems," Jan. 5: The ingredients of a successful program of math instruction are no mystery. Adherence to a few basic principles will go a long way toward producing the desired results. 1. Develop facility with numbers. Multiplication and division tables should be learned through drills until arithmetic manipulation becomes second nature. Calculators should not be allowed until this proficiency is achieved. 2. Do not allow making mathematics fun or easy to become a priority.
May 9, 1999
I have retired from 40 years of teaching high school, university and, primarily, community college, in the areas of math and physics. The article "For Students, Math Equals Fear," March 15, was well- researched and written, with one caveat. You wrote, "More than a quarter of high school math classes are taught by teachers who are not credentialed in the subject." True, but the whole story is even more frightening and egregious. In California a teacher can be credentialed to teach math without having an academic subject major in math, and half don't!
July 11, 2007
Re "Belmont building costs continue to soar," July 8 I cannot believe taxpayers will foot a $400-million bill for a high school that will only require graduating seniors to read, write and do math at seventh- and eighth-grade levels. Why not just cut students loose after the eighth grade and save us taxpayers the expense? MIGUEL ROSALES Cerritos
February 2, 2000
Re "Give Success a Big Payoff," Commentary, Jan. 30: Howard Miller's proposal to give teachers a $50,000 bonus if they agree to take a group of kindergarten students, stay with them four years and are successful in teaching 80% of them to read at the third-grade level has a major flaw. I live in an area served by some of the schools Miller would like to impact with this approach, and my friends who teach there tell me that they are happy to have 50% of the students who enter in September still enrolled in their classes in June.
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 | By Edward Frenkel
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 | By Michael Hiltzik
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...
February 24, 2014 | By Jason Wells
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.
February 21, 2014 | By Jason Wells
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.
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.
November 19, 1990
Your articles on our nation's deficiencies in math and science make some very valid points (front page, Nov. 8-10). I admit to a fear of algebra, which goes back to my experiences in junior high! Thank heavens I had a wonderful teacher in fourth grade who drummed fractions into my head forever. As for science, there's a sad irony that two of the science questions should concern how the Earth began and whether human beings existed at the same time as dinosaurs. When we have a country where certain groups insist creationism be taught as a legitimate science, we can't help but fail our youth.
February 4, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
Poor Benedict Cumberbatch. Just because he plays brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes on TV, everyone expects him to be some kind of genius, when the truth is he struggles to comprehend basic arithmetic.  OK, not really, but that's the joke that the "Sherlock" star and unlikely sex symbol gamely played along with during a visit to "Sesame Street. " There, he came face to face with the dastardly "Murray-arty," who presented the actor with the "mind-bending challenge" of determining whether there were more apples or oranges on the table in front of him. (Seriously, that whole mystery with the soldier in "The Sign of Three" was a cakewalk compared with this.)
January 24, 2014
Re "Defending Jahi's family," Opinion, Jan. 21 After reading the Op-Ed article by Christopher Dolan, the lawyer representing the family of brain-dead teenager Jahi McMath, it's easy to identify the true culprit in this sad case: Dolan himself. We can all sympathize with Jahi's family. What we do not care for is a lawyer who has given this poor family bad advice and prolonged their agony. This case has nothing to do with personal rights; it has everything to do with being honest with one's clients.
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