22 June, 2012
Volume 17 No. 25
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In This Issue

Knowledge of Fractions Predicts Long-Term Math Success

Alan Turing's Life and Legacy

International Comparison of Low-Performing Students


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Knowledge of Fractions Predicts Long-Term Math Success


Fifth graders' understanding of fractions and long division predicts high school students' knowledge of algebra and overall math achievement. Researchers recently came to this conclusion even after statistically controlling for parents' education and income, and for the children's own age, gender, I.Q., reading comprehension, working memory, and knowledge of whole number addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

Watch video commentary by Robert Siegler, the Carnegie Mellon University professor who led the research team, particularly starting 1 minute, 45 seconds into the video.

Siegler offers a freely downloadable PDF of the Psychological Science article, titled "Early predictors of high school mathematics achievement":


Siegler's research team examined two nationally representative data sets that consisted of over four thousand children, thanks to grant support from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences and from the National Science Foundation's Developmental and Learning Science Group at the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Directorate.

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"If anyone has their results [from the Algebra 2/Trigonometry Regents Examinations], we were disappointed with ours and wondering how other districts fared?"
- psmoore, posted to the secondary (grades 9-12) discussion group of the Association of Math Teachers of New York State

Alan Turing's Life and Legacy


In celebration of Alan Turing's birthday 100 years ago tomorrow, the Science Museum has just opened a special exhibition dedicated to his life and legacy.

A British mathematician most widely known for his critical involvement in the codebreaking at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, Turing was also a philosopher and computing pioneer whose ideas have helped shape the modern world, including early computer programming and artificial intelligence.

At the heart of the free exhibition in London is the Pilot ACE computer, built to Turing's ground-breaking design.

Not going to be in London before the free show closes next July? Online resources include a five minute-long video, a biography, an interactive cryptography game, images and short descriptions of the artifacts on display at the museum, and a Facebook timeline:


Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"I would like to refresh my mathematical skills through self-study, but have trouble finding books or courses which contain the full proofs of the subjects. I have found many excellent books on algebra, calculus, geometry and others, but it is all applied, and no mathematical proofs whatsoever. And I really want these proofs, because I want to fully grasp and understand what I'm doing (which sounds obvious). Can you help me find the courses or books I need?"
- ahum, posted to the sci.math newsgroup

International Comparison of Low-Performing Students


Does the U.S. have higher proportions of low-performing students than do our economic peers around the world?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) used its International Data Explorer to find, among other conclusions, that the United States had three times the percentage of low-performing 15-year-olds as it did low-performing 4th graders.

NCES based these conclusions on recent analysis of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).


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