This Week in Math Ed: February 17, 2017

Here's yet another abbreviated edition of TWiME.

Math Ed Said

February 10: People were sharing a recent interview with John Urschel from HBO's Real Sports.

Shared by: Andrew Gael, Andrew Stadel, Denise Spangler, Kristin Gray, Janice Novakowski, Sarah Bush, Kimberly Wassmuth, NCTM

February 11: Sometimes mathematicians play football, sometimes they do magic. "Raymond Smullyan, Puzzle-Creating Logician, Dies at 97" wrote the New York Times. Here's a 1982 appearance by Smullyan on The Tonight Show:

Shared by: Keith Devlin, Jorge Nuno Silva, Kent Haines, Jim Wilder, Justin Lanier, Eddi Vulić, Steven Strogatz

February 12: I'll admit, I don't know exactly why people were sharing Sara VanDerWerf's "Secondary Number Talks (I'll convince you with ducks)" post from last year. I can only say it was a good post then, and people obviously think it's still a good post now.

Shared by: rosa, Susan Davidson, Ben Braun, Kate Nowak, Geoff Krall, Lisa Bejarano, Morgan Fierst, Melinda Knapp, Nicole Bridge, Amanda Jansen

February 13: People were sharing the Washington Post story, "Justice Department warned White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say."

Shared by: Ilana Horn, Spencer Bagley, John Allen Paulos, Keith Devlin, Mister Ed, Matthew Haden

February 14: Another day, another political story: "Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence."

Shared by: Keith Devlin, Paul Morris, Kathy Henderson, Mister Ed, John Allen Paulos, Spencer Bagley, Samuel Otten, Kenneth Tilton, Kay Endriss

Comment: It seems one or two political stories make their way into TWiME each week, which is lower than I'd imagine given how much attention politics is getting on Twitter. I think math still surfaces to the top in TWiME because there are so many political news outlets that the same links aren't shared by everybody.

If you really want something math ed and Russia-related, maybe you should check out the work of Daniil Elkonin (1904-1984) and Vasily Davydov (1930-1998), students of Lev Vygotsky. I don't know all that much about them myself, but the Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education tells me that Elkonin and Davydov an approach to learning math built on two principles: (1) dialectical logic, where general ideas are established before more advanced, specific ideas are developed, and (2) learning from one's own activity and building mathematical ideas from their origin. Like I said, I don't know all that much about Davydov, but I can already tell that I'd need to read a lot more about this before those two principles would make sense to me. But if you wanted something Russian but also math ed, that's what came to mind.

February 15: Robert Kaplinsky warned us to Beware of Fake Math Modeling Problems." Robert finds an example where modeling seems to partly be the "smaller version of" kind of modeling, and then the questions students are expected to answer really aren't there to help them understand what's happening in the thing they're supposed to be modeling.

Shared by: Lisa Melton Pizzuto, Michelle Dupree, Zack Miller, Kate Fisher, Andrew Gael, Andrew Browning-Couch, Math Coach Rivera, Mike Flynn, Lindel

February 16: People were sharing some of the accessibility features found in Desmos.

Shared by: Denise Green, Rosa Serratore, Daniel Luevanos, Jason Merrill, Martin Joyce, Jen Silverman, Cathy Yenca, Eli Luberoff