At least on first pass it appears the Common Core Standard has been purged of "number bases" as a topic and yet "base 10" lingers as part of the nomenclature throughout.
To a product of the New Math curriculum such as myself, this realization comes as a shock, akin to the Surgeon General deciding smoking cigarettes might be good for one after all.
Imagine being on the committee that decides to strike "number bases" from the official standards of any state. Was no sleep lost? Were talking points ever drawn up in case the New York Times had an op-ed exposing this scandal?
Note that learning about number bases does not imply needing hundreds of hours of chair time manually converting from arbitrary base A to arbitrary base B. Leave it to a committee or textbook company to think so unimaginatively.
When it comes to binary-decimal conversion, we have ASCII and Unicode to ponder; their historical role, plus again the idea of a "mapping" (a bijection in this case) of numbers to human language glyphs.
Yes, do some conversions, to and from hex for sure, but there's no need for page after page of boring nonsense as some parents might be picturing, and dreading, for homework (some parents have a big investment in being able to help junior with homework).
I'd actually play the Tom Lehrer track in class, were I back in the classroom. I've played songs before, such as the fun one on Ramanujan. No, this isn't fluff, this is the "historical dimension", this is actually telling students pre high school we once had a thing called New Math and now we have a thing some of us call Gnu Math (GNU is not UNIX).
Gaining the concepts does *not* mean turning everything into a twitch game for desk monkeys.
Using a calculator (simulated on screen perhaps) or Python's interactive free-of-charge console, I can just go:
to get a few of my "to decimal" conversions. Show the tools of the trade in action. Don't pretend paper and pencil skills are what they're looking for at that first job interview. Computer skills are what's hot, not the ability to scratch out stuff with a graphite pencil on wood pulp.
Remember spiraling? When it comes to tedious on-paper algorithms, boring stuff, you do that two or three times to get a feel, and then you learn to code it as a program.
No, that's not computer science, that's basic STEM literacy, just like knowing something about HTML / CSS is not computer science either, but is rather so much additional grammar and punctuation -- might as well add that web stuff to English class (what poet Gene Fowler used to advocate).
Anyway, it seems we really have a smoking gun here, with the ability of America's school children to attain even minimal numeracy as the victim.
If really true, that CCSS Math is really this neglectful, then said smoking gun may actually be the final nail in its coffin.
I think we'll be able to persuade guardian taxpaying voters that politicians have been interfering where they have no business and a drastic dumbing down by these anti-professionals, in cahoots with pros of dubious moral values, has left us with a structure / framework that's already rotting away before our very eyes, so transient and unworthy were its building materials in the first place.
On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 10:13 PM, Anna Roys <email@example.com> wrote:
> Sharing something I read on bases topic... > > (snip) Converting between different number bases is actually fairly > simple, but the thinking behind it can seem a bit confusing at first. And > while the topic of different bases may seem somewhat pointless to you, the > rise of computers and computer graphics has increased the need for > knowledge of how to work with different (non-decimal) base systems, > particularly binary > <http://www.purplemath.com/modules/numbbase.htm#Binary> systems (ones and > zeroes) and hexadecimal > <http://www.purplemath.com/modules/numbbase3.htm#Hexidecimal> systems > (the numbers zero through nine, followed by the letters A through F)" > > (another snip) "The only reason base-ten math seems "natural" and the > other bases don't is that you've been doing base-ten since you were a > child. And (nearly) every civilization has used base-ten math probably for > the simple reason that we have ten fingers. If instead we lived in a > cartoon world, where we would have only four fingers on each hand (count > them next time you're watching TV or reading the comics), then the > "natural" base system would likely have been base-eight, or "octal". > > http://www.purplemath.com/modules/numbbase.htm > >