Vacancies for two Associate Professors/Senior Lecturers in Mathematics Education at Stockholm University
Paul Andrews, Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Mathematics and Science Education, would be happy to field any informal enquiries.
From Julian Gilbey:
We are currently looking for somebody to join our team at the Cambridge Mathematics Education Project. The appointee will be working with us to develop Educational Resources for our website which is aimed at 16+ mathematics.
More information about the project is available from
Details of the job are available here:
Is this beginning of the end of the traditional model of mathematics education?
This advert for PhotoMath gone viral: and enjoys an enthusiastic welcome.
Mathematical capabilities of PhotoMath, judging by the product website, are still relatively modest. However, if the scanning and OCR modules (“OCR” here refers to “Optical Character Recognition”, not to the well–known examination board). of PhotoMath are combined with the full version of Yuri Matiasevich‘s “Universal Math Solver“, it will solve at once any mathematical equation or inequality, or evaluate any integral, or check convergence of any series appearing in the British school and undergraduate mathematics. Moreover, it will produce, at a level of detail that can be chosen by a user, a complete write-up of a solution, with all its cases, sub-cases, and necessary explanations (with slight Russian accent, but that can be easily fixed).
In short, smart phones can do exams better, and the system of mathematics education based on standard written examinations is dead. Perhaps, we have to wait a few years for a formal coroner’s report, but we cannot pretend that nothing has happened.
In my opinion, a system of mathematics education which focuses on deep understanding of mathematics and treats mathematics as a discipline and art of those aspects of formal reasoning which cannot be entrusted to a computer is feasible. But such alternative system cannot be set-up and developed quickly, it is expensive and raises a number of uncomfortable political issues. I can give an example of a relatively benign issue: in the new system, it is desirable to have oral examinations in place of written ones. But can you imagine all the complications that would follow?
PhotoMath gives a plenty of food for thought.
An embedded link to YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHAuGA7gqFU :
An Open Letter: To Andreas Schleicher, OECD, Paris
Heinz-Dieter Meyer and Katie Zahedi, and signatories – 5th May 2014
From Charles Walkden, University of Manchester:
The Imitation Game Cryptography Competition: www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/cryptography_competition_the_imitation_game
The film’s distributors asked us to get involved in the publicity and promotion for the film by running a one-off on-line `Imitation Game Cryptography Competition‘, www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/cryptography_competition_the_imitation_game.
R. Hanson, National Assessment Reform – Where are we now? The De Morgan Gazette 5 no. 5 (2014), 33-39.
This short report summarises the pending changes to national assessment at 4/5, 6/7, 10/11, 15/16 and 17/18. It attempts to list the key concerns about the reforms and to describe the likely imminent calls for modifications.
It can also be downloaded as a word document here:
National Assessment Reform Where are we now 1 Sept 2014
If you have any questions you can contact the author.
Mobi Snoodles, September 2014 Newsletter
Hi, I am Moby and I bring you the news about Natural Math. Send me your questions, comments, and stories of math adventures at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this newsletter:
- Math coloring pages and other activities to try
- Math Future live online meetings for teachers, parents, and teens
- Math Storytelling Day stories
Math coloring pages and other activities to try
BugFest is a big annual celebration of insects and crustaceans at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, attracting some 35,000 visitors to its hands-on learning centers – for example, to explore fractals in nature at our table. We miss you already, BugFest friends, and hope to see you again next year! Huge thanks go to the amazing kids who liked our activities so much that they taught them to others. The two most popular activities at the BugFest were insect-themed coloring pages and origami.
As it happens with most viral stories in social media, the provenance of this picture (at one point published in chinaSMACK) is hard to trace:
From BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29342539 :
Low-level, persistent disruptive behaviour in England’s schools is affecting pupils’ learning and damaging their life chances, inspectors warn.
The report says too many school leaders, especially in secondary schools, underestimate the prevalence and negative impact of low-level disruptive behaviour and some fail to identify or tackle it at an early stage.
Source: Poll conducted by YouGov for Ofsted, http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/failure-of-leadership-tackling-poor-behaviour-costing-pupils-hour-of-learning-day
This is one of many low-level school issues that affect undergraduate mathematics teaching. In a mathematics lecture, weaker students are more prone to “loosing the thread” than in most other courses. Also, students for whom English is not the first language, in particular, most from overseas are more sensitive to the signal-to-noise ratio than natives, and, at a certain level of background noise, their understanding of the lecture becomes seriously degraded. In my opinion, this is one of many neglected issues of undergraduate mathematics education. I in my lectures always insist on complete silence in the audience (and usually start my first lecture with a brief explanation of the concept of signal-to-noise ratio).