Math Forum Internet News

Volume 21, Number 46

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 November 18, 2016                              Vol. 21, No. 46


           Survey: Motivation For Teaching Mathematics
                  Q&A: Statistics and the Media
            Scholarships and Grants for Women in STEM



 Why do you teach math?

 For her PhD research in educational psychology, a University of
 Northern Colorado graduate student invites U.S. teachers to
 click scale ratings in response to prompts and questions
 such as

    - I chose to teach mathematics because I find it interesting
    - I feel burned out from school
    - To what extent can you craft good questions for
      your students?
    - I feel like I'm positively influencing other people's
      lives through my work
    - I select the teaching methods and strategies I use with
      my students

 Upon completing this questionnaire, you may volunteer contact
 information to enter a random drawing for gift cards. 


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

 "I thought it was neat how Isabel put her check calculation
 right in the table so we could see her consistent thoughts, and
 how Declan showed his (with smiley faces) in a slightly
 different way."

 - Max, commenting on the Pre-Algebra PoW's Latest Solution


                  Q&A: STATISTICS AND THE MEDIA

 Ever wonder how the media use statistics?

 Do your students have questions about the decisions journalists
 make as they report data?

 Then log on to Reddit this coming Monday for an "ask me
 anything" session with the Director of STATS.

 Featured in these pages seven years ago, STATS is a statistical
 literacy project run by Sense About Science USA in
 collaboration with the American Statistical Association. The
 nonprofit's director, Rebecca Goldin, has contributed articles
 to STATS such as

    - Can Statistics Save Us from Gerrymandering?
    - Death by Bacon: Did the News get to the Meat of
      the Matter?
    - Presidential Polling's Margin for Error
    - The Audacity of Dope
    - Fracking and Babies: It's Complicated
    - African American Boys and Autism
    - Is U Worth It? The Economic Value of College

 New to Registration does not require so much as an
 e-mail address -- just a username and a password. Then click to
 the "I Am A ..." subreddit at noon ET on Monday:


 Goldin, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at George Mason
 University, was recently announced as one of the six presenters
 set to headline the National Math Festival. For more about this
 free and public celebration of math, highlighted here in its
 inaugural year, visit


 See, in particular, the festival website's selection of videos,
 puzzles, games, books, and other resources, categorized into
 "Fun for All Ages," "Resources for Kids + Families," and
 "More Math! for Teens + Adults":


    Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

 "I don't know exactly how to interpret the results -- it seems
 clear that the solver provides a couple of recursions ... but I
 don't see an explicit (x,y) solution, and the page says
 'Program not finished yet!' at one point."
 - James, posted to the sci.math discussion




 This past Monday, a contest began for U.S. girls and women who
 want to "make their STEM dreams come true."

 Presented by PepsiCo and 21st Century Fox, it offers $200,000
 in scholarship and grant money for creative uses of science,
 technology, engineering and mathematics toward the solution of
 real-world problems.

 To read about the two creative essays required, the December 10
 deadline, the criteria by judges that include Pharrell
 Williams, and other details, consult

 This contest draws its inspiration from three African-American
 women who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space
 Administration (NASA) amidst Jim Crow laws. Katherine Johnson,
 Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson taught math in the South's
 segregated public schools until World War II's labor shortages
 opened America's aeronautics industry to anyone who had the
 "right stuff." Their trailblazing contributions to Langley
 Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory's all-black "West Computing"
 group have come to life in the book "Hidden Figures."

 Subtitled "The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black
 Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race," this debut
 publication by Margot Lee Shetterly has already topped
 best-seller lists. A movie adaptation hits theaters in January.
 For more about the pioneering women who worked as
 mathematicians and "computers" at NASA and its predecessor,
 the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), visit
 the website of The Human Computer Project, founded
 by Shetterly:



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