Look, we don’t want to take all of the magic out of life. After all, can “science” and “mathematics” quantify something as mysterious as the beauty of music, or the evil of the human spirit, or the madness of a panicked mob?
Yeah, pretty much. Get enough data, create the best algorithm, and you can get some nice pretty graphs that tell you. Read more …
“We’re working on some things. He knows his colors and his shapes. He still gets seven when he counts the toes on one foot — he really likes seven right now! He likes it when I recite Pi. And I’m trying to teach him the quadratic formula. He hasn’t quite gotten it yet. It’s sung to the tune of ‘Pop Goes the Weasel.’”
–Danica McKellar aka Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years,” has successfully transitioned from sitcom star to math missionary and author of best-selling books such as Math Doesn’t Suck, and now she’s teaching her 23-month-old son Draco (god, best name ever) some algebraic basics. Is it wrong that I’m a bit relieved to find out that a two-year-old hasn’t quiiiiite gotten a grasp on the quadratic formula yet? It took me a while to memorize it when I was in high school, even when my math teacher brought in a guitar and taught us the song, which is now stuck in my head (“The opposite of B / plus or minus the / square root of B squaaaaared…”). Thanks a lot, Draco. [People]
Guess what? It’s March 14th, aka 3.14, aka PI DAY. Pi, as you probably remember from high school geometry, is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is one of the sexiest math concepts in the game, because it’s huge (recent calculations have mapped it out to 5 trillion digits) and poetic and mysterious. My friends and I have been celebrating this sacred holiday for the past few years. Want to honor the almighty pi? Here are some ways to get in on the fun… Keep reading »
I’ll endorse this T-shirt, which does not promote violence, sexism, anorexia, or the stereotype that all women are bad at math. Non sequitur, but remember when T-shirts weren’t trying to be clever? Those were simpler times in the world of T-shirts. [Think Geek]
Everything I know about physics I learned playing Angry Birds. (Physics is all about different types of birds divebombing mean green piggies, isn’t it?) And now the youth of America can learn from everyone’s favorite iPhone game, too. Boing Boing found this question on a math test — worth seven points — to school the kiddies about fractions and square roots and piggy-killing strategy. [Boing Boing] Keep reading »
Way to perpetuate the myth that girls suck at math, Forever 21.
The retailer pulled a dopey magnet that says “I’m too pretty to do math” after complaints. Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker, who runs a media literacy non-profit for kids, posted on her Facebook page that a friend of hers complained to Forever 21 about the sexist magnets and the store actually pulled the item from Forever21.com. According to her Facebook wall, the company wrote:
“We apologize if the magnet offended you in any way. We have received numerous emails regarding this item and it has been forwarded to upper management for review. However, please note that the item has since been taken off our website for purchase.”
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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say that gender inequality is the cause of the “math gap” between boys and girls—not just girls sucking at math.
The study looked at countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index and found that girls score better at math in countries where there is more freedom, better education and financial opportunities for females. For example, girls in Iran, that beacon of women’s rights, scored low in the International Mathematical Olympiad—but in the U.S., girls are taking high school calculus at the same rate as boys. Keep reading »
More and more of us are studying math in college, and not just Stats 101 to fulfill a requirement. According to research released in the journal Science, women earned 48 percent of undergrad degrees in math. Sadly, we still lag behind in physics and engineering. Maybe the Nerd Girls will change that. [AP via WSJ]
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