Grand Challenges, Revisited
What grand challenges do mathematics educators need to solve?
What are the field's big-picture problems — the ones that
affect millions, capturing the popular imagination and
A Vanderbilt University professor of mathematics education
wants to know. Scroll down Ilana Horn's blog post of last week
to share your brainstorms, or tweet with the
Horn serves the American Educational Research Association
(AERA) as a co-chair of its special interest group on research
in mathematics education. From her "teaching/math/culture"
blog, she highlights these additional posts as especially
popular among math teachers:
This call for grand challenges, which appeared in these pages
last year, originally came from the National Council of
Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
BLOSSOMS in Spanish
In 2011, we featured the launch of an open repository of
interactive "teaching duet" video lessons created — in English
and Arabic — by faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) and educators in Jordan, Pakistan, Lebanon,
and Saudi Arabia.
Since then, MIT BLOSSOMS has added clips spoken or with
voice-overs or subtitles in languages ranging from Mandarin and
Urdu to Malay and Kannada.
Last Friday, they added Spanish: together with Tecmilenio ITESM
University of Mexico, MIT BLOSSOMS has rolled out the first
stage in a series of video lessons with Spanish
How to Estimate the Value of Pi
The Power of Exponentials, Big and Small
Taking Walks Delivering Mail: An Introduction to
BLOSSOMS stands for Blended Learning Science or Math Studies.
With ten more lessons slated for translation by Tecmilenio,
check back for new Spanish language videos:
The Statistical Atlas, Revived
Also four years ago, we featured a data visualization blog by a
PhD candidate who had a background in computer science and
design. Nathan Yau has since earned his doctorate in
statistics; and last week, he shared a rich data portrait of
the United States.
As a production of the Census Bureau, the Statistical Atlas of
the United States normally follows the decadal census. Due to
budget cuts, the Bureau never produced the one planned for
2010, meaning that the last official Statistical Atlas came out
fifteen years ago.
So Yau took it upon himself to compile his own atlas.
Restricting himself to publicly available data from government
sites, he adhered to the format of the original version — from
1874 — right down to the page length.
With brief observations and historical asides sprinkled
throughout, Yau's resulting compendium handsomely maps and builds
mosaic plots of information about
geology and transportation from the US Geological Survey
(USGS) and the Department of Agriculture
weather from the National Weather Service (NWS) and
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
land cover and crops from the Department of Agriculture
population, age, race, ancestry, education, work, income,
and disability from the American Community Survey, the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Department of
Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service
Cropland Data Layer
government finances from the Office of Management and
mortality from the Centers for Disease Control and