19 December, 2014
Volume 19 No. 51
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In This Issue

Teacher Leadership Program


Significant Digits


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Teacher Leadership Program


Want to exercise geometric habits of mind? and figure out what students are thinking about math? Participate in the Teacher Leadership Program (TLP).

Part of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)/Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI), TLP promotes math teacher capacity through collaboration with colleagues from across the nation. Through an intense mathematical experience, focused reflection on the practice of teaching, and leadership development around standards such as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or the Texas TEKS, teachers gain perspective about the work of teaching and develop their potential for contributing in meaningful ways to the field.

For the summer of 2015, TLP participants will take the math course "Some Applications of Geometric Thinking," as well as "Reflecting on Practice: Using Formative Assessment to Inform Instruction."

Apply for this three-week residential program before the deadline of Saturday, January 31, 2015.

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

"Finally, I want to leave you with a fun challenge that I don't know how to solve! Emma B. from Birch Wathen Lenox School had a different interpretation of the problem...."
- Max, commenting on the Pre-Algebra PoW's Latest Solution



Roughly every other day for a year now, a former math professor has blogged about his adventures homeschooling his children.

Rich with video clips of his sons at a white board, and sometimes conducting experiments and handling manipulatives, Mike Lawler's posts have included

  • Another great problem from Fawn Nguyen (2 of infinity)
  • Conrad Wolfram's Computer-Based Math Education Summit talk and "Perfect" Pentagons
  • Family Math and paper folding
  • Fun with James Tanton's base 1.5
  • Neat math online and some fun number patterns for kids
  • Numberphile's "Pebbling the Chessboard" game and Mr. Honner's square
  • Surprises you get watching kids do math
  • The last 4 digits of Graham's number
  • 3D Printing and "Rollers"

Lately, Lawler has introduced his boys to ideas from some famous mathematicians:

  • A 3d Geometry project for kids and adults inspired by Kip Thorne
  • Terry Tao's MoMath lecture part 3: The speed of light and parallax
  • The Collatz conjecture and John Conway's "amusical" variation
  • Using Jacob Lurie's Breakthrough Prize talk with kids

With a top ten list last Thursday, he recapped the "fun math-related things I'll remember from this year":


Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"I sense a pattern. Could it be that the solution exists whenever x is odd? What is the most general sort of consideration that reduces to evenness/oddness in this particular example? But none of the solutions presented, including my approach above, are necessarily better than what Jim Ke mentioned.... Perhaps Jim Ke's question is not so innocent."
- Joe, posted to the math-teach discussion

Significant Digits


Seventy-two million dollars in fake money ... 1.66 cents ... 294 mistakenly accepted freshman ... 80% of Los Angeles' water.

On Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight began rolling out a daily digest of "the telling numbers tucked inside the news."

Every day since, the self-described "data journalism site" has rounded up ten topical items, described each quantity in a few sentences, and linked to sources ranging from The New York Times to Pew Research Center to Grub Street.

FiveThirtyEight last appeared in these pages eight months ago, shortly after its re-launch under the auspices of sports entertainment company ESPN.


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