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April 12, 2009 | Susan Salter Reynolds
A Mathematician's Lament How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form Paul Lockhart Bellevue Literary Press: 192 pp., $12.95 paper This gorgeous essay, a critique of K-12 math as it is taught in our schools, was first written in 2002 and circulated on the Internet for years before Keith Devlin, a professor at Stanford University, encouraged Paul Lockhart, a professor of mathematics, to expand it for a larger audience.
March 15, 2009 | Alana Semuels
The gig: A math whiz who became president of Harvey Mudd College in 2006, Klawe was named to Microsoft Corp.'s board of directors last week. She has worked in the computer science and math departments at Princeton University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto, and she is currently trying to perfect a version of the video game Dance Dance Revolution for the elderly. Background: Born in Toronto. Klawe's father, a mapmaker, moved the family to Scotland when she was 4.
February 27, 2009 | Ben Bolch
Talk about traditions unlike any other. Players from the son's team miss games to prepare for class. Players from the dad's team miss class to fly across the country for games. The son's team sends players on to study at California, Cal Poly Pomona and UC Irvine. The dad's team sends players on to compete for the Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors. U.S. News & World Report ranks the son's school No. 26 in the country. USA Today ranks the dad's team No. 12 in the nation.
December 20, 2008 | Howard Blume
A Sacramento Superior Court judge Friday blocked a controversial state plan requiring that all California eighth-graders be tested in algebra. The state's algebra mandate would have been the most ambitious in the nation. The state Board of Education approved the high-reaching goal in July as a way to push school districts into having all students enroll in algebra by the end of the eighth grade. State board president Ted Mitchell vowed to appeal the decision.
In the beginning, there was the Professor. Though he never could figure out how to repair the S.S. Minnow, Russell Johnson's high school science teacher, stranded with the other castaways on "Gilligan's Island," was so ingenious he could re-charge a battery using only bamboo and coconuts, so morbidly cerebral it never occurred to him that he was the most likely mate for Ginger and Mary Ann.
September 11, 2008 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A high school mathematics teacher has won a round in federal court in his fight to put "God Bless America" and "One Nation Under God" banners back in his classroom. Brad Johnson, a teacher at Westview High in San Diego County, had the banners up in his classroom for two decades, but last year the principal ordered him to take them down, saying they were an impermissible attempt to make a Judeo-Christian statement to his students. Johnson sued in federal court. Poway Unified School District officials sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that, as a public employee, Johnson had only limited 1st Amendment rights while on the job and that the principal had authority over what was put on classroom walls.
August 31, 2008 | Martin Weil, Washington Post
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.
August 13, 2008 | Howard Blume
The state schools chief joined academics, school officials and labor groups Tuesday in calling on the governor to set aside $3.1 billion to help all eighth-graders succeed in algebra. The call for funding by state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell comes one month after the state Board of Education sided with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to require that eighth-graders be tested in algebra within three years. In 2007, 52% of eighth-graders took algebra, with 38% testing as proficient.
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.
July 5, 2008
Re "Studying time's mysteries, and the multiverse," June 28 Sean M. Carroll states that "it used to be, a thousand years ago, that if you wanted to explain why the moon moved through the sky, you needed to invoke God." In fact, a thousand years ago, Ptolemy's system of the universe was widely accepted in Christian Europe, Christian Byzantium and in the Muslim world. However mistaken that system was, it was based on observation and mathematics and did not involve God mechanically moving the moon through the sky. The tendency to insert God into the gaps left by inadequate observation and faulty mathematics was introduced by scientists of the 17th and 18th centuries, not by religious teachers.
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