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Topic: Re: math education
Replies: 3   Last Post: Dec 15, 1993 7:27 PM

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Richard Askey

Posts: 227
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: math education
Posted: Dec 14, 1993 5:11 PM
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There are two things wrong with the letter on Gail Young which
has just been posted. He did nnot say what the interpretation
said he said. He said there was nothing wrong with someone who
loved mathematics but did not have a particular talent for
research teaching mathematics. This is not saying that those
who teach are not talented enough to do research. Some will
opt for teaching more rather than the research they could have done
because that is what they enjoy most.
Gail is a wise senior statesman in the mathematics community.
Years ago, when we happened to be sitting next to each other on
the way back from a mathematics meeting, I mentioned I had been
quoted in the local newspaper as claiming I could not read a
9th grade mathematics book which had just been adopted by our
school system. I said I was probably the only mathematician who
had been quoted in the newspaper as saying he was not able to
read a ninth grade book. After telling him the name of the
authors, he said he had also been quoted as not being able to
read this book. Here is part of the review of 8th grade at the
start of ninth grade. A rational number is a pair (a,b). Two
rational numbers are added by (a,b)+(c,d)=(a+c,b+d). Can any
of you make sense of this? It is correct for their definition,
so the problem is to figure out what they are talking about.
Dick Askey

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