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

This Week in Math Ed: February 10, 2017

I'm in catch-up mode again so all I have for this week is Math Ed Said. Thanks for your patience!

Math Ed Said

Dan Meyer presenting at the 2016 ASSM Annual Meeting.
February 3: Dan Meyer said "Here Are Ten New Desmos Activities" and people couldn't wait to help share them.

Shared by: Leigh Ann Mitchell, Craig Klement, Levi Patrick, Pam J. Wilson, Jen McAleer, Ed Southhall, Melissa Haun, Christy Poole, Judy Larsen, Geoff Krall, Robert Kaplinsky, Tom Boito, Dan Burfeind, Sean Sweeney, Gene Jordan, David Petro, Kimberly Wassmuth, Bob Lochel, Kyle Pearce, Jami D Packer, Imtiaz Damji, Sarah Aldous

February 4: Even more people were sharing Dan Meyer's list of ten new Desmos activities.

Shared by: Jennifer Blinzler, Alex Jaffurs, Martin Joyce, Matthew Oldridge, Nita Cochran, Richer Maths

February 5: Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova wrote "The History of Zero: How Ancient Mesopotamia Invented the Mathematical Concept of Naught and Ancient India Gave It Symbolic Form." It's an in-depth review of a new book by Robert Kaplan called The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero.

Shared by: Federico Chialvo, Carrie Muir, John Golden, Elizabeth Statmore, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Nat Banting, Karin Brodie, Ilana Horn

February 6: I feel like it's been a while since Katrina Schwartz's writing as been featured in TWiME, but here she is with "How Playing With Math Helps Teachers Better Empathize With Students." This article focuses on Math Teachers' Circles and the ways they engage people with mathematics.

Shared by: Melissa Hosten, David Coffey, Robbyn Glinsmann, Theresa Walker, Kimberly Wassmuth, OCTM, Andrew Gael, Fawn Nguyen, Justin Lanier, NCTM, NCTM, Regan Galvan, Lisa Melton Pizzuto, John Golden

February 7: After Elizabeth Warren was prevented from reading from Coretta Scott King's 1986 letter about Jeff Sessions on the floor of the U.S. Senate, folks in the math ed community helped share the document.

Shared by: Jessica Faurote, Elham Kazemi, Sheri Eastman, Amy Ellen Zimmer, Annie Perkins, John Carter, David Coffey, Laura Wagenman, Joelleen Bidwell, Kathy Henderson, Keith Devlin

February 8: Well-known educator Richard DuFour died on the 8th and people sadly shared the news.

Shared by: Karyn Vogel, Jessie Hester, Math Coach Rivera, Kate Fisher, Peter Cincotta, Jill Gough, Terry Johanson, Juli K. Dixon, Diana Suddreth, Beth Chinderle, Beth Chinderle, Penny Bentley, Tim Kanold

February 9: "Active learning" doesn't always mean physically active, but physical activity in learning can be beneficial, too, according to a study reported on by the Daily Mail. The research was published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience with the title, "Motor-Enriched Learning Activities Can Improve Mathematical Performance in Preadolescent Children."

Shared by: Andrew Gael, Malke Rosenfeld, Mark McCourt, Math Coach Rivera, Christopher Rohde, Tim Kanold, Janine Franklin

This Week in Math Ed: February 3, 2017

I haven't had much work time to keep up with the goings-on in the math ed community, and I've been spending more of my evenings and weekends dissertating instead of blogging. (Gotta graduate sometime!) I'm way behind on TWiME, but I have been able to grab the the most-shared posts on my math ed Twitter list each week. I may not be able to make time to dig into all the latest news and research, but I can at least share this.

Math Ed Said

January 27: Jose Vilson talked about writing with the Global Math Department in a session called "Writing: Your Questions Answered."

Shared by: Bridget Dunbar, Sahar Khatri, Heather Kohn, Sharon Vestal, Jose Vilson, Global Math

January 28: The refugee band was the talk of the day, including the sharing of this NY Times story: "Refugees Detained at U.S. Airports, Prompting Legal Challenges to Trump's Immigration Order."

Shared by: Spencer Bagley, Sahar Khatri, Keith Devlin, Earl Samuelson, Karen King, Zach Cresswell

A creatively-drawn congressional district in California.
January 29: As the saying goes, gerrymandering is when politicians choose their voters instead of voters choosing their politicians. If you're thinking there should be a mathematical solution to this problem, then you're likely to learn about it during a 5-day summer session at Tufts University called Geometry of Redistricting. The session is August 7-11 and applications are open until March 15.

Shared by: Anne Schwartz, Joshua Bowman, David Radcliffe, John Allen Paulos, Steven Strogatz, Bethany Sansing-Helton, Rebecca Gasper, Margret Hjalmarson, Ilana Horn, Kay Endriss, Ryan R Ruff, Spencer Bagley, Ralph Pantozzi, Kate Nowak, Tom Henderson, Christopher Hanusa, Dave Richeson, Mike Lawler, Keith Devlin, Carrie Muir, Evelyn Lamb

January 30: The American Mathematical Society announced that they opposed the Executive Order suspending immigration from seven nations.

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Travis Olson, Ron King, Dana C. Ernst, michiexile, Kathy Henderson, Amy Hogan, Andrew Gael, Carrie Muir, Mitch Keller, Joshua Bowman, John Allen Paulos, Evelyn Lamb, David Radcliffe, Ben Braun

January 31: Folks were sharing Robert Kaplinsky's guide for depth of knowledge in secondary math.
Shared by: Andrew Stadel, Zack Miller, Nanette Johnson, Jeremiah Ruesch, Jen McAleer, Mary Bourassa, Daniel Luevanos, Robert Kaplinsky

February 1: At a school in North Carolina, a "Teacher Has Personalized Handshakes With Every One of His Students." I believe I saw people split on this in my tweetstream, as people questioned how teachers can connect to students' culture without appropriating students' culture.

Shared by: Ann Gaffney, Doug Moore, Brian Mierzwa, Michael Pershan, Jill Buecking, Justin Bock, Paul Morris, Annie Perkins, John Rowe, Janice Cotcher

February 2: Quanta Magazine had a great interview with Francis Su, the outgoing president of the MAA. It's called "To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics" and it covers Su's perspectives on "human flourishing" and how the math community can be open to more people.

Shared by: T R, Kevin Lawrence, Keith Devlin, John Allen Paulos, Joshua Bowman, Joelleen Bidwell, Steven Strogatz, Dana C. Ernst, Kate Owens, Michael Pershan, Earl Samuelson, Carrie Muir, Steph Gunning, MAA, Ben Braun, Matt Lane, Egan J Chernoff, Francis Su