Math Forum Internet News

Volume 10, Number 48

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November 28 2005                               Vol. 10, No. 48

             THE MATH FORUM @ DREXEL INTERNET NEWS

       Robotics | KSEG Free Interactive Geometry Software
     Reassessing U.S. International Mathematics Performance


                           ROBOTICS

              http://www.thetech.org/robotics/

  Robotics was designed to introduce the science behind the
  design and operation of robots. After interacting with the
  exhibit, the user will be able to:

    - Define a robot as a machine that gathers information
      about its environment (senses) and uses that information
     (thinks) to follow instructions to do work (acts).

    - Recognize the advantages and limitations of robots by
      comparing how robots and humans sense, think, and act
      by exploring uses of robots in manufacturing, research
      and everyday settings.

    - Understand the connection with technology and create an
      excitement about science and math that will prepare one
      for a workplace in which computers, robotics, and
      automation are common and essential.

  The exhibit has specific areas that compare how human and
  robotic systems sense, think and act:

    - Introduction
    - Sensing
    - Thinking
    - Acting
    - Applications
    - Display and Demonstration Area
    - Robots, the Workplace and Careers

  Robotics at The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, CA, was
  funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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          KSEG FREE INTERACTIVE GEOMETRY SOFTWARE

            http://www.mit.edu/~ibaran/kseg.html

  Ilya Baran offers KSEG, a free (GPL) interactive program for
  exploring Euclidean geometry. Create a construction, such as
  a triangle with a circumcenter; and as you drag vertices of
  the triangle, watch the circumcenter move in real time
  accordingly.

  KSEG runs on Unix-based platforms and according to users, it
  also compiles and runs on Mac OS X and should run on
  anything that Qt supports.

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    REASSESSING U.S. INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICS PERFORMANCE:
          NEW FINDINGS FROM THE 2003 TIMSS AND PISA

    http://www.air.org/news/documents/Release200511math.htm

  Despite a widely held belief that U.S. students do well in
  mathematics in grade school but decline precipitously in high
  school, a new study comparing the math skills of students in
  industrialized nations finds that U.S. students in 4th and
  8th grade perform consistently below most of their peers
  around the world and continue that trend into high school.

  The study, conducted by the American Institutes for Research
  (AIR) under funding provided by the U.S. Department of
  Education, reexamined data from three international surveys
  assessing mathematics achievement in 2003 -- the Trends in
  International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which
  assessed students in grades 4 and 8, and the Program for
  International Student Assessment (PISA), which assessed
  15-year-olds, most of whom were in 10th grade.

  Download the PDF of the full report:

  http://www.air.org/news/documents/TIMSS_PISA%20math%20study.pdf
  
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