Special Talks

Math is not a spectator sport

Glen Whitney (Museum of Mathematics)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:00 pm
IMS 20

Whence comes mathematical intuition? It seems unlikely that it could come from watching someone else manipulate symbols to produce a desired result. And in fact, folks from the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) have observed that many adults end up with very little real-world meaning attached to mathematical formalism. This outcome might be expected if the education they received in school focused nearly exclusively on executing specific symbolic tasks. A possible antidote is to add immersive, active experiences to math education, the more tactile the better. Doing so is a key part of MoMath's strategy.