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IN THE NEWS

FEATURED ARTICLES ABOUT MATHEMATICS - PAGE 4

OPINION

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.

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OPINION

July 5, 2003

Your June 28 editorial on math education ("The 'Why' of Math") certainly hit one nail on the head: This country is in serious need of math teachers with solid math training. It's not enough to have teachers trained in process and barely competent in subject matter. However, the study you cite that attempts to explain the success of Asian students in math exams misses one crucial factor that may well differentiate Asian students from American students: namely, work ethic. In my many years of teaching experience, I have found that, as a general rule, Asian students work harder.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

June 15, 1998 |

Two San Fernando Valley schoolteachers were among 11 instructors honored by the state Board of Education for being finalists in the 1998 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching Program. Darshana Bharatkumar Shah, a science teacher at Portola Highly Gifted Magnet in Tarzana, and Enid Denise Stagg, a mathematics teacher at Willow Elementary School in Agoura Hills, were among the instructors from throughout the state honored Friday in Sacramento.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

April 20, 1992

Cal State Fullerton professor Harris S. Shultz, long active in efforts to make mathematics exciting to young students, has been named one of the nation's distinguished mathematics educators. The Mathematical Assn. of America honored Shultz and 28 other college and university math educators recently in this inaugural year of the awards program.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

February 12, 2008 |

Herbert B. Keller, 82, a professor emeritus of applied mathematics at Caltech who was known for his work in numerical analysis and large-scale scientific computing, died Jan. 26, the university announced. His family said he drowned in the hot tub at his Pasadena home. Keller joined the Caltech faculty in 1967, after spending 16 years as a research scientist and professor at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. At Caltech he became an executive officer for applied mathematics and director of the school's branch of the Center for Research on Parallel Computation.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

March 17, 1997

Re "Sacramento Math Wars: Basics vs Reformists," editorial, March 9: Being a liberal Democrat, I wish I could agree with you that Delaine Eastin, the Democrat, is supporting a balanced approach, while the Republican, Janet Nicholas, only wants "a greater emphasis on basic math instruction." This is simply not true. Nicholas included mathematicians and scientists on the mathematics framework committee who recognize the need for balance, while Eastin wanted to exclude the moderates and retain the reform extremists.

OPINION

July 30, 2008

Re "No gender difference found in math scores," July 25 While it appears that girls and boys show no significant differences in mathematics achievement on various standardized tests, there is a difference in the number of women who choose further learning in mathematically based fields. Women represent close to 57% of the nation's college population, yet fewer than one-third major in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Compare that with 41% of male students who choose such majors.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

August 31, 2008 |

Henri Cartan, one of the world's foremost mathematicians in the last half of the 20th century, died Aug. 13 in Paris. He was 104. The cause of death was not reported. Almost all of Cartan's career was spent in France, and he was acclaimed for his research in pure mathematics, including algebra, topology and the analytic functions of complex variables. He was also an influential writer and teacher. At least two of his students won Nobel Prizes, one in economics and one in physics.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

November 17, 1990 |

Just as the United States is launching a war on scientific illiteracy, the Soviet Union is also trying to reform science and math education--but in almost exactly the opposite direction. At a meeting Friday at Cal State Long Beach, a leader of the Soviet reform movement told U.S. educators that the Soviet system fails to educate the best and brightest science and math students. Unlike the U.S.