Government abolishes Technology Policy Unit

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that the unit charged with developing the technology in schools policy will no longer exist after April. [More]

This quote is repeated in many online publications:

“We want schools to be free to use curricula and teaching resources that properly equip pupils for the 21st Century and we want experts like Microsoft, Google and Cambridge University to be involved in the development of ICT teaching,” the DfE spokeswoman said.

“Excellent developments such as Raspberry Pi and Computing at School have taken off in schools precisely because government has stepped back and let the experts take the lead.”




GAP in teaching

From GAP Forum: I got feedback [on use of GAP in teaching] from about 25 individuals.

GAP is used for teaching in at least the following institutions (in no particular order):

  • University of Porto, Portugal
  • Universidade Aberta, Portugal
  • RWTH Aachen, Germany
  • ZetaTrek expedition
  • University of Braunschweig, Germany
  • Colorado State University
  • Ghent University, Department of Mathematics, Belgium
  • United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, USA
  • Auburn University Montgomery, USA
  • University of Trento, Trento, Italy
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (
  • Universidade de Brasilia, Brasil
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, USA
  • Benedictine University, Lisle, USA
  • University of Vlora, Albania
  • University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary
  • University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  • University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Spain
  • University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK

The topics of the courses/teaching that were mentioned (many repeatedly) were:

  •  Algebra
  • Group Theory
  • Representation Theory
  • Number Theory
  • Cryptography
  • Computer Algebra
  • RSA cryptosystem
  • Semigroup Theory
  • Coding Theory
  • Information Security
  • Computational Group Theory
  • Computational Representation Theory
  • Experimental Mathematics
  • Groups and Symmetry

The levels of courses/teaching that were mentioned were:

  • 2nd-3rd year
  • Master
  • Bachelor
  • Graduate Education Majors
  • Maths Majors
  • Honours students
  • PhD students

The following specific GAP packages have been mentioned in the feedback:

It was pointed out that GAP was used in various workshops happening all over the world.

The following publicly available resources with respect to teaching material were mentioned:

GAP is of course used in Sage, so the following collection of uses of Sage in teaching is relevant as well:

The following translations of tutorials or material to other languages were mentioned:

  • GAP tutorial in Spanish, by Ramon Esteban Romero
  • Algebra and number theory with GAP” in Russian by Alexander Konovalov

Tony Gardiner: JMC Report: Digital Technologies and Mathematics Education

A. D. Gardiner, JMC Report: Digital Technologies and Mathematics Education. The De Morgan Journal  2 no. 1 (2012), 1-7.

Abstract. This `report‘  was recently published (September 2011) by the Joint Mathematical Council [JMC] of the United Kingdom—of which the LMS is a `Constituent Society’.  It is an important `report’ – though perhaps not for the intended reasons.  The report reveals in stark terms the current level of professional debate about `digital technologies and mathematics education’.  It also raises a number of significant issues relating to how the JMC operates, which we address at the end of our response.

MathJax v2.0-beta available

For the past eight months, we’ve been busy putting together version 2.0 of MathJax, which includes a number of important new features, enhancements, and bug fixes.  The most significant of these are described below.  Today we are releasing a public beta version of MathJax v2.0, available at

which you can load in place of the current version of MathJax that you are using.

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