7 March, 2014
Volume 19 No. 10
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In This Issue

Top Ten Issues in Math Education

Math Teachers' Circle Workshops

Symbolab's Solution Steps and Practice Widgets


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Top Ten Issues in Math Education


What do you see as the biggest issues in math education? A community college math teacher wants to know — and recently posted her top ten list.

Two different statements that begin "If you're going to teach math...." rate as most important for Sue VanHattum. She elaborates on those and other positions, such as

  • Textbooks are trouble
  • Real mathematicians ask why and what if
  • Math itself is the authority — not the curriculum, not the teacher, not the standards committee

This ranking by VanHattum, a teacher and mother who also blogs as "Math Mama," revises an earlier post of hers:


Each top ten list has elicited thoughtful responses, including from other blogging teachers, authors, speakers at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and a volunteer from the Math Forum's Ask Dr. Math service.

VanHattum's post to the De Morgan Journal — an online forum and blog of the London Mathematical Society (LMS) that first featured in these pages a year and a half ago — has inspired a mathematician who blogs for the American Mathematical Society (AMS) to come up with a countdown of her own:


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

"To solve the second problem, I made a table. I also noticed that the angle size increased before it decreased, leading me to ..."
- Keegan, highlighted in the Algebra PoW's Latest Solution

Math Teachers' Circle Workshops


Apply now for the professional development opportunity "How to Run a Math Teachers' Circle," offered by the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM).

Math teachers' circles (MTCs) put middle school math teachers in regular contact with mathematicians to work collaboratively on mathematical problem solving in the context of rich problems. Nearly three dozen states already have an MTC, and seven cities plan to roll out new circles soon. For a map of these member circles, check out


The deadline to apply for AIM's "How to Run a Math Teachers' Circle" summer workshops is Saturday, 15 March.

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"Most amazing Noticing and Wondering with my Alg class. Thx @maxmathforum and @MFAnnie for the great chapter in PPS!"
- Megan, tweeted to @maxmathforum and @MFAnnie

Symbolab's Solution Steps and Practice Widgets


On Sunday, Symbolab Solutions rolled out some nifty updates to its step-by-step online problem solver:


Symbolab now prominently displays theorems and definitions; provides clickable information points; and discreetly incorporates description and structure with rules, tips, and more details.

Symbolab has also just released a practice widget that can be embedded into any site. For a small demo of it in action with integrals, check out


CEO Michal Avny invites teachers to contact the Symbolab team for personalized versions: "If any site or school would like to use the widget, we would be happy to customize it to accommodate their needs." To request your own, use the site feedback form:


A year and a half ago — shortly after we featured Symbolab's launch as a semantic search engine for math — it indexed Ask Dr. Math's archive of more than 11,000 questions and answers. So if you enter equations or text into Symbolab's search box, expect to see some familiar results ... from the Forum's ask-an-expert service!



This newsletter is provided as a service of The Math Forum, an online educational community for mathematics hosted by Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

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