27 May, 2011
Volume 16 No. 21
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In This Issue

$250,000 Global Education Challenge

Wolfram|Alpha Gets You Ready for Summer



Online PD


Orientation Sessions

Math and Tech Workshops


Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


$250,000 Global Education Challenge


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt recently announced that they will give away $250,000 in cash and prizes to the best ideas that "can become tangible tools to improve student outcomes across the globe — both inside and outside the classroom."

The judging panel, which includes former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett, seeks entries that are impactful, unique, and adaptable. Entrants might suggest an idea for a software program; a service for students, parents or teachers; a classroom tool — or a completely new educational technology. Prize money will be yours to keep and does not have to be used for any specific purpose.

Each week through the July 15th deadline, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will also randomly select three entrants to win a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card.

PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week

"At first I thought this problem would be hard because I am not the greatest with fractions and cooking, but when I looked at it more closely, it started to become more simple in my mind. I realized all I had to do was...."
- Ames, highlighted in the FunPoW's Latest Solution

Wolfram|Alpha Gets You Ready for Summer


Query wolframalpha.com for "time to sunburn," and the computational knowledge engine calculates how long your skin can be exposed to the sun without burning based on your skin type, geographic position, current time, the level of sun protection factor (SPF) used, and how long you stay in the sun. Read more about the sunburn calculator on the Wolfram|Alpha blog:


W|A also crunches data on gas prices, airlines, and currency to help you plan a summer vacation:


Now taking place: math education conversation of the hour

"If there were a 2 year or 1.5 year Algebra I course, perhaps this student might have passed the first time around — and really have known enough to move on. You who are reading this probably are saying — geeezzz, did she really have to say that? It's exactly what we all know. I know that. I just felt I had to get it in words. Forgive me in advance. But don't forgive the people who are sitting behind desks making these decisions instead of sitting in the classroom watching the effects of them. I predict a huge increase in drop out rates."
- Sharon, posted to the secondary (grades 9-12) discussion group of the Association of Math Teachers of New York State



This blog explores how designers, statisticians, and computer scientists use data to understand ourselves better, mainly through data visualization. Started four years ago by a PhD candidate in statistics with a background in computer science and design, FlowingData posts have included

  • A deadly year of tornadoes
  • How to win Rock-paper-scissors every time
  • Are gas prices really that high?
  • Sorting algorithms demonstrated with Hungarian folk dance
  • Think like a statistician — without the math
  • What Visualization Tool/Software Should You Use?


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