July 27, 2014
NY Times obsesses about math again; every kid loses

Roger Schank:

I have a confession to make. I did graduate admissions in computer science for more than 25 years. The first thing I looked for was the applicant’s math GRE score. I eliminated anyone under 96th percentile. (Also, to add to my confession. I majored in Mathematics in college.) 

[source: mme rss]

July 27, 2014
If you're avoiding air travel after MH17 and more, let statistics be your guide

James Ball:

Is it really so irrational to avoid air travel in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, and the TransAsia crash off the coast of Taiwan, and now the Algerian airliner in Northern Africa?

Yes. Completely, totally and entirely irrational. You are probably not going to die in an airplane crash.

[source: mme rss]

9:38am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-RmKx1MeJVbK
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Filed under: stats 
July 27, 2014
Another tragic cluster - but how surprised should we be?

Sir David Spiegelhalter:

However, it shows that flying can still carry some danger. 91 commercial flights containing 18 or more passengers have crashed in the previous 10 years (2004 to 2013), a rate of one every 40 days on average. So how surprising is it that 3 should happen in a space of 8 days?

[source: Spiegelhalter’s Twitter feed]

July 27, 2014
Don’t Teach Math, Coach It

Jordan Ellenberg:

PEOPLE ask me all the time how they can get their kids excited about math. That ought to be a softball for me, because I teach math for a living. I wake up excited about math.

[source: mme rss]

9:32am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-RmKx1MeHtiz
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Filed under: ellenberg 
July 27, 2014
5 Things You Need To Know About The Future Of Math

Jordan Shapiro:

When I am writing about math education and I need a true expert opinion, I reach out to Keith Devlin. He is co-founder and Executive Director of Stanford University’s Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute. He is also a learning game and app developer who founded a company called BrainQuake (a part of the Co.lab/Zynga.org edtech accelerator). And, of course, he is well known as the “NPR Math Guy.”

[source: mme rss]

9:28am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-RmKx1MeGvC1
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Filed under: devlin 
July 23, 2014
Why Do Americans Stink at Math

Elizabeth Green:

One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it.

Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “⅓,” led them astray.

[source: mme rss]

6:27am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-RmKx1MH1gZ2
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Filed under: math wars 
July 22, 2014
Managing Risk: How to Make Better Decisions

Big Think Editors:

In the latest installment of Big Think Edge, psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer explains how to analyze risk. The author of Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions, Gigerenzer teaches this exclusive workshop, where he stresses understanding the critical difference between calculable risk and uncertainty.

[source: mme rss]

July 21, 2014
The Role of Mathematics Departments in the Mathematical Preparation of Elementary Teachers

Diana White:

Mathematics departments have long provided the bulk of the mathematics content training for both practicing teachers and those studying to be teachers.  This is a tremendous responsibility, and one that presents a variety of challenges and opportunities.  In this post, we start early in the mathematical spectrum – with elementary teachers and how mathematics departments impact their mathematical preparation.

[source: mme rss]

11:16am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-RmKx1M686iA
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Filed under: ams blogs 
July 20, 2014

What is Random?

enjoy!

[source: Dirk Morrison]

July 19, 2014
You shouldn’t try to pigeonhole quantum physics

Tom Siegfried:

Just when you thought quantum physics couldn’t get any weirder, it violates the pigeonhole principle.

[source: mme rss]

July 18, 2014
Should Travelers Avoid Flying Airlines That Have Had Crashes in the Past?

Nate Silver:

Is this behavior rational? Should we really be less inclined to fly airlines that have had fatal crashes in the past — even when the crashes don’t appear to be their fault? Or are crashes essentially random events that occur at about the same rate on all airlines over the long run? (The two fatal accidents involving Malaysia Airlines this year were the first for the carrier since 1995.)

[source: mme rss]

10:54pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-RmKx1LuFHq8
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Filed under: silver 538 stats 
July 18, 2014
Manitoba reading, math, science scores in the toilet

Michael Zwaagstra: 

Richards noted that from 2000 to the present, Manitoba was one of only two provinces (the other being Prince Edward Island) to experience a statistically significant decline in all three competency areas. To make matters worse, only Manitoba’s math and reading results declined by 35 points.

I’ve alerted my Inbox to expect a WISE Math email alert in the not too distant future…

[source: mme rss]

July 18, 2014
The Mathematician Who Showed How the US Could Be Made A Dictatorship

Esther Inglis-Arkell:

In order to get citizenship, Gödel had to pass various tests, go through an interview, and have a couple people vouching for his character. One of those people was Albert Einstein, so Gödel was made a citizen. After the citizenship was confirmed, Einstein talked about how Gödel’s interview went. The officer conducting the interview mentioned how wonderful it was that the United States was not and would never become a dictatorship. Gödel, obviously pleased that the subject was raised, said that actually it was perfectly possible for the US to become a dictatorship. In fact, he said, he had discovered a loophole in the Constitution that made the entire thing quite likely.

[source: mme rss]

July 17, 2014
Should We Stop Teaching Calculus In High School?

Steven Salzberg:

Math education needs a reboot. Kids today are growing up into a world awash in data, and they need new skills to make sense of it all.

The list of high school math courses in the U.S. hasn’t changed for decades. My daughters are taking the same courses I took long ago: algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. These are all fine subjects, but they don’t serve the needs of the 21st century.

[source: mme rss]

July 16, 2014
Mathematics makes strong case that “snoopy2” can be just fine as a password

Dan Goodin:

A team of researchers says the widely repeated advice isn’t feasible in practice, and they’ve provided the math they say proves it. The burden stems from the two foundations of password security that (A1) passwords should be random and strong and (A2) passwords shouldn’t be reused across multiple accounts. Those principles are sound when protecting a handful of accounts, particularly those such as bank accounts, where the value of the assets being protected is considered extremely high. Where things break down is when the dictates are applied across a large body of passwords that protect multiple accounts, some of which store extremely low-value data, such as the ability to post comments on a single website.

[source: mme rss]

7:34pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-RmKx1Lhqztv
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Filed under: offbeat 
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