math

Little children are big news this week, as the White House holds a summit on early childhood education on Wednesday. The president wants every 4-year-old to go to preschool, but the new Congress is unlikely to foot that bill.

Since last year, more than 30 states have expanded access to preschool. But there's still a lack of evidence about exactly what kinds of interventions are most effective in those crucial early years.

Let's start with a little word problem. Sixty percent of the nation's 12.8 million community college students are required to take at least one course in subject X. Eighty percent of that 60 percent never move on past that requirement.

  1. Let Y = the total percentage of community college students prevented from graduating simply by failing that one subject, X. What is Y?

    The answer: Y = 48.

  2. And if you haven't guessed it by now, What is X?

Code language is probably as old as language itself. Now, two Northwest university professors have launched a competition to test students’ code breaking skills.

David J. Hand's book, "The Improbability Principle."

Steve Scher explores the probabilities of seemingly improbable events with mathematician David J. Hand. The mathematics professor in London has written, “The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, And Rare Events Happen Every Day.”

He’s being called the “Jeopardy villain,” but Arthur Chu of Broadview Heights, Ohio, considers himself more of a “mad genius.” The 30-year-old insurance analyst and voiceover artist has won three times since he came on the show last week.

Some say Chu is taking all the fun out of the game. He goes for the hardest questions first, slams down his buzzer incessantly and tries to get the host to speed up. It’s all part of his strategy inspired by game theory — a model of strategic, mathematical decision making.

American 15-year-olds continue to turn in flat results in a test that measures students' proficiency in reading, math and science worldwide, failing to crack the global top 20.

The Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, collects test results from 65 countries for its rankings, which come out every three years. The latest results, from 2012, show that U.S. students ranked below average in math among the world's most-developed countries. They were close to average in science and reading.

The Gift Of Multiplication

Nov 1, 2013
Math For Love

Seattle educator Dan Finkel says grown-ups often forget that math is not exotic to kids; it’s very close to them.

For example, Finkel recently taught a class kindergarteners and first graders, and he said to them, “You know what, let’s just count stuff today.” Immediately, the kids pointed to the windows and ceiling tiles and more. He told everyone to pick something and tell him how many there were. They dove right in.

Math For Love

You’ve heard that America must train its children for careers in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. But math is not just a stable, sensible career.

Seattle educator Dan Finkel says math is a joy. If it’s a drag, why would you inflict it on your child?

Finkel and his wife, Katherine Cook, run an education program called Math For Love. Long before he got his PhD in math from the University of Washington, he was a kid, wondering why he was learning math in school.


Lou FCD / Flickr

Two months before high school commencement, 9,083 seniors still haven’t passed Washington state’s new math graduation requirement.

How does Google search the Internet? How many people should you date before getting married? And how should you arrange your mattress to get the maximum wear out of it?