27 March, 2015
Volume 20 No. 13
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In This Issue

Math Awareness Month

America's First National Math Festival

Fields Mathematics Education Journal


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Math Awareness Month


April arrives on Wednesday — and with it, Mathematics Awareness Month (MAM)!

This year's theme is "Math Drives Careers." To increase awareness of the non-academic jobs available to those who study the mathematical sciences, MAM 2015 profiles people with degrees in the mathematical sciences who have found successful and rewarding work outside of academia, such as

  • a director of quantitative clinical pharmacology
  • a data scientist at Google
  • a risk analyst at an energy manufacturing and logistics company
  • a researcher working on logical approaches to computation and natural language semantics
  • an actuary
  • an oceanographer
  • a technology analyst for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System


For digital and print versions of the MAM 2015 poster, see


MAM is sponsored each year by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM), a collaborative effort of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the American Statistical Association (ASA), the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

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

"I thought this was interesting, mostly because it wasn't how I thought about the problem, but it makes a lot of sense! Another method, illustrated below by Vincent X. from Oyster River Middle School, is.... The most common mistake students made was ..."
- Annie, commenting on the FunPoW's Latest Solution

America's First National Math Festival


First among the events listed on the MAM 2015 website: the inaugural National Math Festival, taking place Saturday, 18 April, in Washington, DC.

This free public celebration, organized in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, will feature more than 30 unique performances, interactive exhibits, and lectures.

Math Midway will be there with its square-wheeled tricycle and ring of fire. AMS will run its game show, "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician." Other scheduled fun includes

  • Ooblek Olympics, an obstacle course featuring a (non-Newtonian) water challenge, a honey dipper egg-and-spoon style race, and other "mathletic" challenges
  • escape performances by a roving troupe of topological Houdinis
  • Design a Kolam, for young artists to discover the curved loops and geometric symmetry of this South Indian style of painting
  • Geometric Patterns in Islamic Art, an illustrated journey through Islamic art and architecture

The National Math Festival has received generous support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Google, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Simons Foundation, The Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Kavli Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and IBM. Organized by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), the festival received additional support from the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), NOVA, and Elwyn and Jennifer Berlekamp Foundation.

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"Teaching the Boring Bits: https://youtu.be/PIHQH005dJ4 Just saw @ddmeyer Ignite. 'Rippling students' minds.' Great approach! #mtbos @themathforum"
- Jen, tweeted to @themathforum

Fields Mathematics Education Journal


In releasing its second volume earlier this month, an open access journal on mathematics education also took the occasion to announce its new virtual home.

This latest issue of the Fields Mathematics Education Journal (FMEJ) offers two articles. The first reviews mathematics education and teacher education in Finland, further comparing and contrasting that nation's approach to Ontario's. The second article examines how elementary teachers understand fractions, with particular focus on how their understanding of the concept of the whole is underpinned by a complex understanding of fractional parts.


The international peer-reviewed FMEJ "aims to provide open access to the range of themes that attract attention of the mathematics education community internationally." Introducing this second volume, FMEJ's editors announced that future issues will be published by Springer. All articles will remain freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers.


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