Category: Quantitative Reasoning

Data Sleuthing

Khan Academy Idaho is a grant-funded initiative to help K-12 teachers in Idaho integrate digital devices and the Khan Academy program into their math classrooms. Yesterday I gave a keynote there called “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” about (1) the challenges facing math educators and (2) Data Sleuthing, a way to encourage math curiosity and data literacy in students. Resources from this presentation: Wolfram Alpha Gapminder Google Trends Many Eyes Visual.ly Google Fusion Tables Google Public Data Homework from the Presentation TED Talks: Hans Rosling Flowing Data CoolInfographics Guardian Data Blog Edward Tufte Measure of America InformationIsBeautiful...

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WolframAlpha: Recalculating Teaching and Learning

For at least a decade, we have had the ability to let CAS software perform computational mathematics, yet computational skills are still a large portion of the mathematics curriculum. Enter Wolfram|Alpha. Unlike traditional CAS systems, Wolfram|Alpha has trialability: Anyone with Internet access can try it and there is no cost. It has high observability: Share anything you find with your peers using a hyperlink. It has low complexity: You can use natural language input and, in general, the less you ask for in the search, the more information Wolfram|Alpha tends to give you. Diffusion of innovation theories predict that these features of Wolfram|Alpha make it likely that there will be wide-spread adoption by students. What does this mean for math instructors? This could be the time for us to reach out and embrace a tool that might allow us to jettison some of the computational knowledge from the curriculum, and give math instructors greater flexibility in supplemental topics in the classroom. Wolfram|Alpha could help our students to make connections between a variety of mathematical concepts. The curated data sets can be easily incorporated into classroom examples to bring in real-world data. On the other hand, instructors have valid concerns about appropriate use of Wolfram|Alpha. Higher-level mathematics is laid on a foundation of symbology, logic, and algebraic manipulation. How much of this “foundation” is necessary to retain quantitative savvy at...

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Implications for Math Instructors

They say a picture is worth 1000 words.  Then here are about 15,000. I’ve taken screenshots of several examples of the algebra through calculus that WolframAlpha will do. You can see the album of screenshots here. I’ll let you see the implications for yourself. Possibly Related Posts: Reimagining Calculus Keynote Group Exploration in Math Learning at Scale Slides from ICTCM Elaborations for Creative Thinking in STEM The Importance of Findability for...

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New Math: A Formula for Everything

I think that I will have to start (or end?) every class session next fall with one of these fabulous formulas from New Math. Some of them are obvious (once you see them) and some of them just have me laughing out loud because of the simplistic way Craig Damrauer can depict such a complex subject. A few of my favorites: Inspired by these great formulas, I think we should have a contest to see who can come up with the best “new math formula” for math words like Calculus, Algebra, Statistics, etc. Take your best stab at your favorite math word, and then link here. Here’s my contribution, and then I’m back to work on my dissertation (where all my creative energy is flowing these days). Possibly Related Posts: Group Exploration in Math Elaborations for Creative Thinking in STEM Learning Math is Not a Spectator Sport Recorded Webinar: Teaching Math in 2020 AMATYC Keynote Notes: Challenge and...

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