Program Goals and Principles
Activities and Services
Evaluation of Math Forum Programs
Sample School Web Site
1992 - 2011 Timeline
Program Development and Funding
Awards given to the Math Forum
The Math Forum has had proven success in building a true community that bridges professional mathematicians and the educational profession. This has produced high quality online mathematical information, excellent student programs, and, very importantly, real improvements in the quality of mathematics in the classroom. It exemplifies the kind of constructive interaction and collaboration between mathematicians and educational practitioners and scholars that is now so important for the improvement of mathematics education in American schools.
As a teacher educator, I have been an active user of the Math Forum's Internet resources for many years. Most mathematics teachers refer to the Forum as "one stop shopping" for things mathematical on the Internet. I consistently point my students as well as teachers participating in professional development workshops to this useful resource. To the 100,000+ NCTM members and their millions of students, the Math Forum is viewed as a leader in mathematics Internet-based resources and educational services.
We have been privileged to work with the Math Forum for the last seven years in our common interest to improve the effectiveness of mathematics education. We have benefited from the results of your community building efforts in mathematics and mathematics education, and have highlighted your accomplishments through citing various elements of your web site through multiple awards of ENC's Digital Dozen recognition. The Math Forum web site is known for the high quality of resources you produce, the communities of interest you have created around mathematics education, and the selectivity in screening resources of value to mathematics educators and students. You certainly have developed or linked to the key resources that are essential to improving the quality and effectiveness of K-12 mathematics education.
Assorted notes from the mathematical community in general
I am so excited! Thank you so much! It was my first time tracking you down. I had heard about you from other kids at school. I am in the 5th grade at PK Yonge Developmental Research School at the University of Florida. After sitting at the table fussing with Dad about who was right, (my dad thinks there are six edges on a cube and I think there are twelve edges - who is right?) we headed to the Internet! I was very excited to see a reply so quickly and the explanation is awesome. If that doesn't convince Dad I was right, nothing will!
Thank you so much for being out there to help us kids. It is very exciting that so much is available to our generation through the Internet. Thank goodness for the computer nerds! Have a great day...hope to talk to you again!
Some of the activities reach students who are disconnected from the educational system. There is something about the computer that is addicting. Unfortunately I only have one computer.
Our Geometry classes participate in POW-the students enjoy knowing they are competing with students all over the U.S. After browsing the resources of the Forum, one of my teachers began running a Geometry Fair which has become extremely popular and successful.
I ask all of my students to become familiar with the Forum. Actually, few use Ask Dr. Math, since there is a very good system of peer tutoring and our math teachers are available throughout the day.
Students enjoy the POW but few choose to actually send in responses. They often work in small groups on puzzles and like finding solutions. You are reaching many more kids than just those who actually send in responses!
My kids have been very enthusiastic. A couple of kids who wouldn't do anything else dived into the POW problems. I think they like it a lot.
An important part of the process was finding a way to organize and communicate their solution. Learning how to communicate the problem solving process is a powerful skill reinforced by this activity.
They can't wait to get the new problem each week. My students are in the computer room using Sketchpad to work on their solutions before school, during their lunch and study periods, and after school. At parent conferences, many parents have told me that they have gotten hooked on the problems. One mother works the night shift in a hospital and the whole hospital is usually working on the problem by the end of the night.
I feel the work I am doing at and with the Forum will be an important cornerstone in my career path. Huge contributions to my knowledge about mathematics, technology and teaching.
It has played a significant role. I've always tried to be innovative and the Forum has given me many tools to do that.
I would like to take a minute to tell you that Dr. Math is the best thing on the Web. It helps me every time I have a question about something and don't want to ask my dad. You are the smartest bunch of people I've ever seen.
I greatly appreciate the time dedicated and information given in your response to my question about complex numbers. I never dreamed I would get such a thorough response. I was very impressed with your attention to detail. Thanks so much for the information!
The Forum has contributed to my knowledge of geometry. I've often used things I've found there in my own teaching, etc.
I have learned a great deal about geometry and about teaching mathematics from the newsgroups and I've enjoyed the sense of being able to share ideas with people from other places. I've posted questions on mathematical topics in which I was interested (Penrose tiles and quasicrystals) and followed discussions on others (eversion of the sphere, flexahexagons and so forth). In addition, I've been involved in the debates about various teaching techniques especially with regard to congruency proofs. I was also very interested in the discussions of mathematics and language.
The Forum has opened my eyes to the usefulness of the Internet to education. I can see how the Internet will change education in a matter of years.
My focus has changed to a global vision. My level of expertise in the cutting edge of computer technology use has put me on the firing line for many teachers now wanting to know more about the Internet and how to use it, and get connected.
The Forum is my most significant math resource. It has helped connect me to people who support the directions I have chosen. They have redirected and focused my energies. The Forum supports both the subject matter and the teaching of that subject matter.
Thank you so much for your thorough proof regarding my square/triangle problem. I can't tell you enough how happy I was to hear from you. I was really excited by this problem, but quite frankly haven't had a lot of time to try and solve it. It's exciting to know that a resource such as yours exists. I told all of my students about Dr. Math and have encouraged them to visit your Web site.
I've used a good number of lessons from your site and have found them really great! Keep up the great work. You help me feel "connected" to a larger mathematics community - which is important for high school teachers!
I'm 52 years old and find myself back in college struggling with mathematics. Thank god I have stumbled onto this site. Just reading the questions and your answers has already been a great help to me. Thank you again.
Thank you so much for responding to our math problem so quickly. I actually sent the question in on behalf of my son, Julian (16 yrs), as he has this problem in his physics class and hadn't a clue as to how to solve it... I just wanted to let you know how impressed my son is with the internet now because of you. I too am impressed by your clarity, in that I actually (almost) understand the concept of the problem now that you've explained it.
My professional development has soared.
It's been a great place for me to find out what teachers are doing. It's also helped me to start thinking about math as other than an analytic tool for the physical sciences (much of my previous work experience has been as a Navy meteorologist/oceanographer).
I am teaching a course on dynamic geometry for teachers. I am using the Forum to judge whether my ideas are current and to get some of your wisdom.
I always read the Forum messages. Many of the questions posed and answered by teachers like myself all over the country have given me great ideas for the classroom and have made me really think about some important education issues.
Many thanks for your help tonight with my sixth grade daughter's homework question- "what is an eleven sided polygon called?" Your site was found through the Internet Public Library site, and was also referred to in a recent article in the Vancouver Sun. She had been sent home with instructions not to ask her mother, me, a high school math teacher, and frankly, the magic of searching your site was just as good as finding the answer. After all, we all know that finding an elegant solution is the true beauty of mathematics! She tells me that the Ask Dr. Math site was as close to asking me as she could get. Many thanks for your help. By the way, my husband was very impressed that we were talking to The Math God, John Conway.
I really do not have a question. Would just like to tell you guys what a great site you have here... As an Economics senior at Radford University, I find a greater use for math with every passing day. Whether it is integrals, statistics, or whatever, math plays a very important role in my studies. I just wanted to let you guys know that yours is the first page I have found that is so complete. I use this page often. It is interesting to go back and brush up on some of the things that I have forgotten as well as learn new things and applications from the questions of others. Again, I salute your efforts and it is very much appreciated. It is my opinion that yours is the best math related page on the net.
This is not a question, but a comment. I have been struggling with my daughter, who is in the 4th grade. She can do division in her head but struggles with the long division and putting it down on paper. Thanks to a teacher online - she sent me your link, and now with the graphics and step-by-step simple instructions I have found I do believe my daughter will be fine. I much appreciate your efforts to simplify the process so that children can continue learning. I am very grateful to you and will continue using this wonderful site very much in the future.
I need to say "thank you" for the third year running. I really just want to say I can't thank you enough for your time and effort and the very speed with which you responded again. It is so, so gratifying I'm genuinely moved. You don't know me from Adam, as we say - which means you have no reason to be so helpful and so generous, and there's nothing in it for you. These are controversial times when the Internet is creating so much adverse feeling. The privacies and sensitivities of people are so often abused by mischievous and sometimes evil people, hiding behind the anonymity of the computer. To be treated in so friendly a manner and to be given so much assistance on what many people would dismiss as a trivial matter, is positively uplifting. If this eulogizing of mine sounds rather excessive, I don't wish it to - you've transformed my mood - the better side of human nature is still out there, alive and kicking! And it's smiled on me when I asked it to. That's how you've made me feel... and I'm going to be telling everyone about it for the next few days, just as I did last year, and the year before that!
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