Making Math More Appetizing

Mathalicious provides free math lessons, including supporting materials, for teachers and parents. The organization hopes to “transform the way math is taught and learned by focusing not only on skills but on the real-world applications of math, from sports to politics to video games to exercise.” So far, they’ve used the Pythagorean Theorem to determine how big a 42-inch TV really is; used percentages to examine environmental issues; and asked whether music can kill you.[%comments]

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  1. R2D2 says:

    This basically eliminates the complaint of “we’re never going to use this later on in life.” I agree with Mathalicious methods of teaching, which may just make the world smarter by capturing and developing a student’s intelligence.

    The question is, why did no one think of this before? If every one of us has had the same complaint at some point inur student lives?

    Its hard to compete against a service that is free and relatively easy to imitate, so the growth of this [apparently] better method is dependent of user’s donations.

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  2. Tonya says:

    Awesome! I always hated math in school – even all through high school. Now I have an insatiable appetite for statistics and am working toward an MS in Finance. Had I known in my school years the “real world” applications of all those crazy numbers, I might have enjoyed it more =)

    I hope this website really takes off!

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  3. spoon says:

    Since you really need a calculator to do all that work in a reasonable amount of time they should take the opportunity at the end to toss in the more elegant solution one with a higher level of math education would use to show that even more education will make those real world applications even easier.

    cos(arctan(o/a)) & sin(arctan(o/a))

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  4. Nad Vega says:

    About time. I was shocked by that part of the Outliers where a nurse in her 20s takes 22 minutes to figure out the coordinates of the y axis and the only thing Gladwell finds crazy is that she… didn’t give up! And a math professor at Berkeley then says it’s 8th-grade math and most students would be clueless just like that woman. Huh? I, at 8th grade, did integrals and trigonometry, and that was a linguistic school where math was a secondary subject nobody cared about. There’s a big, big problem with education when you can graduate from high school without even knowing how to locate a point on the coordinate plane.

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  5. Miguel says:

    This is great, I swish I had that back in school. Pretty much equivalent to the case method of MBA?s for older students.

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  6. Elli says:

    Good afternoon, Happy Fool’s Day!!

    Three ladies were discussing the travails of getting older. One said, “Sometimes I catch myself with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand, while standing in front of the refrigerator, and I can’t remember whether I need to put it away, or start making a sandwich.”
    The second lady chimed in with, “Yes, sometimes I find myself on the landing of the stairs and can’t remember whether I was on my way up or on my way down.”
    The third one responded, “Well, ladies, I’m glad I don’t have that problem. Knock on wood,” as she rapped her knuckles on the table, and then said, “That must be the door, I’ll get it!”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

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