Saturday, February 20, 2010

Some states will allow graduation after 10th grade

Eight states in the U.S. are planning to participate in a program that will allow students to graduate 2 years early assuming that they pass the appropriate exams. The tests would cover math, history and science. The program is being introduce by the National Center on Education and the Economy.

The purpose of the program is to allow students who are interested in a vocational or college degree to not have to take the full four years of high school. Even if students pass the tests they may opt to during their junior and senior years of high school to take college prep courses Massachusetts decided not to implement the program because they felt it was aimed at students interested in vocational training and they already have a vocational program developed in their schools.

New York Times coverage

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New York Times blog about a second chance at math

The New York Times is publishing in the opinions section a blog by Mathematician Steven Strogatz. The purpose of this series that he is writing is to take a look at math from elementary school to grad school for an artist friend of his who knows very little about mathematics. He hopes to introduce to this friend the meaning of what we say when we call a proof elegant and to convey the importance of mathematics.

In his first two entries he is starting with some very elementary ideas, numbers and arithmetic, but he intends to build up to bigger things. Already he has given a proof (using rocks) that

1+3+5+...+(2n-1) = n^2 .

Here is a TED talk by him about how synchrony arises from very simple mathematical rules and in nature.