22 February, 2013
Volume 18 No. 8
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In This Issue

World Maths Day




Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


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World Maths Day


On World Maths Day, students aged 4-18 years old team up to solve arithmetic and mental computation problems together in real time.

Open to schools, individuals, and homeschoolers alike, this free global event awards minted medals, world cups, and prizes, and recognizes each participant with a certificate.

Begun in 2007 — when over 287,000 students from 98 countries correctly answered 38,904,275 math questions over the course of 48 hours — World Maths Day has "united the world in numbers" ever since. Two years ago, several million students took part as World Maths Day expanded to become the World Education Games and UNICEF joined as an official worldwide partner.

This year's World Maths Day starts in the U.S. on the morning of Tuesday, 5 March, with challenges lasting for as long as an hour or as little as one minute.

Freely downloadable PDFs include a teacher guide, World Education Games poster, and Frequently Asked Questions:


Last week, event organizers released the World Maths Day's first ever apps for Apple iPad and iPad Mini:


For the Android math app — also free — visit


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

"Rosa N. and Elizabeth N. from Johnson Middle School used a Working Backwards strategy. They even included some slick pictures to help the rest of us follow their instructions. Jovanni includes precise angle measures in his explanation, and provides a picture of the most complicated step. What I especially like about his explanation, though, is his 'short answer'...."
- Annie, commenting on the Geometry PoW's Latest Solution



Want to watch two kids sift through a can of soup to form the largest possible number from its noodly digits? or see a Royal Society Research Fellow discuss the new Mersenne prime number discovered last month — and then prove that he has memorized all 57,885,161 digits of its binary expression?

Before shooting these playful clips "about numbers and stuff," independent film-maker Brady Haran worked at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a video journalist for nearly a decade. His first hundred Numberphile videos, most less than ten minutes long, also feature

  • dragon curves, as folded by a co-author of Why Do Buses Come in Threes?
  • the trouble with ordering chicken nuggets in Frobenius number quantities from a drive-through window
  • the Pacman number, as revealed by a former world champion Tetris player
  • a demonstration of the only mechanical pocket digital calculator ever invented
  • favourite numbers, in response to a poll conducted by Alex Bellos featured in these pages a year and a half ago
  • a member of the Festival of The Spoken Nerd and Guerilla Science group explaining the Leading Digit Phenomenon
  • an Enigma Project Officer at a soccer stadium showing how the number eleven figures into book codes, and applying a similar idea to play CDs drilled through with holes

Haran has filmed similar segments about famous scientists, the periodic table of elements, and the symbols of physics and astronomy. For all of his projects, visit


Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"What is more important — real world application or student engagement...."
- Richard, posted to the math-teach discussion



The Dartmouth College Math Department and the Neukom Institute for Computational Sciences invite teens to create videos that "show the world of equations that we live in."

Any legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia registered as a student of a high school or equivalent home school program may participate. Judges — who include Alan Alda, Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award winner Steven Strogatz, an animator who has worked at Disney and Dreamworks, and two Dartmouth College math professors — will then select the best entries, awarding $7,000 in prize money.

Submit your own original story inspired by math, not more than four minutes in length, by the deadline of Wednesday, 1 May.


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